How to market your business with a limited budget

By Samantha Garner | November 28, 2020

marketing on a limited budget

Whether you’re just starting your small business or are trying to keep money coming in the door during these difficult times, you’d probably love to not have to shell out the big bucks for marketing.

Luckily, GoForth’s CEO and Founder Leslie McGeough has some tips to help! As one of our GoForth Experts, she was asked how to generate awareness of a new business on a limited budget. A couple of her top tips were:

  • Get creative with social media. For example, post a behind-the-scenes Instagram video, or do a Facebook Live Q&A.
  • Partner with related, complimentary businesses to offer bundled services.
  • Investigate influencer marketing.

Click here for more of Leslie’s list of affordable marketing ideas!

Share this post:

Topics: GoForth Institute News, GoForth Institute Small Business Training, Small Business Tips and Advice | No Comments »

What accounting records do you need to keep?

By Samantha Garner | November 21, 2020

most important accounting records canada

In Canada, entrepreneurs must keep accurate financial records of all activities for their company for six years.

Along with your financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow forecast), you must keep records for all the individual accounts that make up those statements.

What are the most important accounting records to keep?

In Canada, the major accounting records that you must accurately keep are:

  • Accounts Receivable: Who owes you money, how much do they owe, and for how long have they owed you?
  • Accounts Payable: Who do you owe money to, how much, and for how long?
  • Inventory: How much inventory did you buy, when did you buy, and how much did you pay? How you account for your inventory will affect your cost of goods sold.
  • GST/HST and Provincial Sales Tax: All businesses with an income over $30,000 per year are required to collect and submit on behalf of the federal government a goods and services tax (GST) and, depending where your business operates, provincial sales tax (PST) or harmonized sales tax (HST).
  • Payroll: Total salaries paid to employees, payroll taxes and deductions.
  • Fixed Assets: What you bought, how much you paid, and when you bought, along with depreciation amounts.
  • Cash: Cash inflows and outflows should be recorded to maintain proper control of cash.
  • Other Records: Including insurance, leases, investments.

Looking for a software solution? Ask your accountant for their advice on which program would be best for you and your business. However, keep in mind that outside accounting advice is still important to small business success. Accountants see loads of businesses in different industries and can help you understand and manage the financial health of your company. They also remove some of your own stress by making sure important financial details aren’t overlooked. Win-win!

Share this post:

Topics: Small Business Tips and Advice | No Comments »

Getting your business ready for year-end in 2020

By Samantha Garner | November 14, 2020

It’s been a rough year for small business, and getting ready for year-end might be a difficult process for some. Here are some tips to help the process go as smoothy as possible.

Some of these tips assume a December 31 fiscal year-end, but they still apply if your small business has a different year-end.

Getting your small business ready for year-end in 2020

  1. Organize your files, records and receipts.
  2. Update your payroll records.
  3. Report all 2020 paycheques on T4 slips.
  4. Make sure all tax deductions are in order.
  5. Make any business purchases that would qualify for tax deductions for 2020.
  6. Create a to-do list for the first week of January and make appointments now with key advisors, especially your bookkeeper and accountant.
  7. Remove old contacts and update professional contacts.
  8. Update your personal productivity and technology tools – download updates and templates and make sure your current apps are still working for you. Even more fun – look for new ones! Check out some productivity apps you may find useful.
  9. Keep your important information safe by updating your passwords. Apps like LastPass or even Chrome and Safari’s built-in password managers can help.
  10. Check to see if any of your licenses or permits are up for renewal.
  11. Review your business plan. Take this time to think of new strategies based on what worked and what didn’t – or what changes in the business environment might necessitate a plan update.
  12. Review your marketing, human resources management, financing, and operations. Can you improve in those areas next year?
  13. If you have employees, prepare and give evaluations. Discuss expectations and performance, and listen to any concerns your employees may have.
  14. Plan for holiday time off, whether or not you have employees. Holidays are an odd thing during a pandemic, we know, but ensure that you and your team take some time to unwind and recharge. If possible, you can consider taking your office holiday party online this year.
  15. Brainstorm ideas for next year. It may be a tough 2021 as well, so critically examine your business and see if there are any ways you can adapt, or investigate resources to help.
Share this post:

Topics: GoForth Institute Small Business Training, Small Business Tips and Advice | No Comments »

6 common questions investors ask in a pitch

By Samantha Garner | November 7, 2020

investor pitch questions

Pitching your small business idea to an investor can seem daunting, and it can seem hard to know what to prepare for. When getting ready for your small business pitch, try to have answers ready for these 6 common questions that investors often ask entrepreneurs:

  1. What is your business all about? (Discuss your company, what you do, why you’re so special – in the shortest possible amount of time).
  2. What will prevent others from doing what you’re doing, or, what’s your competitive advantage?
  3. What are you going to do with the money you raise?
  4. Who’s your target market and why will they buy from you?
  5. What’s your marketing strategy?
  6. What does your venture/management team look like?

Though these are 6 of the most likely questions, every investor will have their own things they want to ask you. You can’t prepare for every question, but getting the basics nailed down will help.

Check out our tips for pitching to investors – and good luck!

Share this post:

Topics: Entrepreneurial Inspiration, GoForth Institute Small Business Training, Small Business Tips and Advice | No Comments »

7 tips for pitching your small business to an investor

By Samantha Garner | October 31, 2020

tech business

We know that making pitches to potential investors or customers can be nerve-wracking, so here are seven tips to help you get prepared:

  1. Know your numbers. Familiarize yourself with the basics: things like yearly sales (volume and dollar amount), cash flow projection and net worth.
  2. Know your business. You should be able to describe your business model, explain what unique need your small business fills, who your competition is and your marketing and sales plan – to name a few.
  3. Research your potential investor or customer so you can speak accurately to what they’re looking for – and so you know what issues may arise.
  4. Act natural! Pitching your business is certainly something that can feel intimidating. But be professional, friendly and try to relax! Your investors are looking for someone great to work with as well as a great business to invest in.
  5. Practice in front of your business partners, trusted friends or family or even in front of your mirror. This will help you pinpoint strengths or missing pieces, and give you confidence if you need to go “off-script.”
  6. Be concise. You might have five minutes to make a pitch, or you might have 30 seconds. Prepare a few pitches of varying lengths that get the point across and sound compelling.
  7. Put yourself on the other side. If you were being pitched to, what questions would you ask? Make a list of these questions to help you become better prepared.

What materials should you have when pitching your business to investors? Check out our blog post here to find out!

Share this post:

Topics: GoForth Institute Small Business Training, Small Business Tips and Advice | No Comments »

« Previous Entries