Blog

Dealing with Deposits

Category: Business planning Operations

Although landlords often ask for security deposits on commercial leases, such deposits aren’t legally required. In fact, you can often negotiate them. Unfortunately, too many business owners don’t know that and willingly pay the deposit, without negotiating the amount or the terms. Your goal as a tenant is to pay as little deposit as possible—no deposit at all is best. Deposit money, which generally doesn’t earn a penny in interest, can better serve as working capital for your business rather than security for your landlord.

Finding Software and Services in the Age of AI

Category: Innovation Operations

Every business needs to consider themselves—at least partly—a technology business. If your company isn’t leveraging technology, you risk losing valuable business to competitors who are. Finding solutions for business challenges has become harder now that machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) are poised to affect how we work. This challenge may seem ironic—technology is meant to make life easier—but unlimited options can increase the difficulty of making informed decisions.

Nonprofit Myths: BUSTED!

Category: Entrepreneurship Startup

Despite the fact that nonprofit organizations have been part of our daily lives, directly or indirectly, for a very long time, there are still many myths and misconceptions about who they are and what they do.
Unfortunately, these misconceptions have a negative impact on the public's conception of governance, the recruitment of volunteers and staff, the use of funds, the expected results, and ultimately the success of these organizations.

Is there anything Dallas Arcand can't do: A success story.

Category: Indigenous business Success stories

Since we last spoke with Dallas Arcand in 2017, he has been working on some amazing projects as he expands and diversifies his business. From high profile performances to producing an album and filming a documentary—and everything in between—Dallas has been keeping busy and shows no signs of slowing down. 

Creative Financing Ideas

Category: Business planning Financing

By far the most common question we find entrepreneurs asking is: “What financing options are out there to start or grow a small business?”. Although there are many traditional ways to finance a business, like through personal savings, family and friends, loans from financial institutions, and speciality financing programs, sometimes these may not be enough (or available at all) to get a new venture off the ground. That’s when you need to harness your creative energy and start thinking outside the box!

5 Tips for Starting a Successful Social Enterprise

Category: Business planning Operations Startup

My ten years of experience helping people start and grow businesses, nonprofits, and social enterprises in Alberta allows me to witness one of the most common mistakes made by would-be social entrepreneurs. Most of them tend to confuse social enterprise with nonprofit or corporate social responsibility and therefore focus more on their social mission than a sustainable, profitable business model during the planning process.
Here are my top 5 tips for starting a successful social enterprise.

5 Tips to Simplify Your Business' Bookkeeping

Category: Accounting Operations

For small businesses without dedicated accounting resources, the labour involved in recording transactions, reconciling debits and credits, handling monthly or quarterly close, and running financial statements can seem like a weighty drain on daily operations. Even a few hours a week can be hard to balance, potentially putting the accuracy of your reporting in hot water.
If your team is struggling under the weight of accounting obligations, it's time to ease the burden. These five tips can help you simplify your business' bookkeeping for good.

Operating Costs: The Lease Secret that Can Cost You Money

Category: Accounting Operations

As a ­­­­commercial tenant, the monthly base rent you pay your landlord for leasing commercial space may not be the only rent you pay! Many commercial tenants will also pay a secondary amount for property operating costs. The good news is that both these rents are often negotiable. 

The Sweet Taste of Success: Confetti Sweets

Category: Entrepreneurship Success stories

The Story
Kathy Leskow was a stay-at-home mom who started off baking cookies in her kitchen and selling them at her local farmers’ market. But that wasn’t enough, so she expanded to a few more markets. Soon her oven couldn’t keep up with the new demand, so she bought a commercial oven, and before she knew it, Kathy was running a fully-functional, health board-certified bakery out of her basement with a dozen staff and stalls at farmers’ markets across the province.
Kathy secured a permanent home for Confetti Sweets in 2014 with her first storefront.

Intellectual Property—Save Your Ass(ets)

Category: Intellectual property Legal issues

If you are starting a business, there are TONS of things you need to think about—everything from getting your business license to setting up a bank account to creating a website. But one area people often neglect relates to Intellectual Property (or IP for short). IP is broadly defined as being any “creations of the mind,” or the set of legal rights individuals or entities attain through intellect in the development of concepts, inventions, and creations. These may be ingenious new inventions, a unique logo, or a creative design.

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