woman in business

Small business blog posts we liked this week

From new careers to de-extinction, here are some of the small business blog posts we liked this week – enjoy!

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business trends

10 high-growth business ideas

Most small businesses start with a great idea. However, at GoForth, we know that sometimes a great small business idea can be coaxed out with a bit of help.

We’ve scanned trends in society, our economy, technology, and government regulations and came up with a list of businesses expected to grow in the next 10 years – from nanotechnology to machine learning to augmented reality and more. Click here to read the list – your next great small business idea could be there!

And if you’re ready to take the plunge into one of these high-growth industries, get prepared with our 100 Essential Small Business SkillsTM training!

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creativity in small business

Tips to build your business creativity

To us, creativity is combining ideas or concepts to discover unique or new connections. It means merging previously discrete ideas, concepts or forms of thought, and coming up with something new. Creativity is an important thing for entrepreneurs to develop – it can help you to see everyday things in new and useful ways. It’s the basis of innovation! Creativity can help you come up with new products and services, new industries, new ways of doing business, and new business opportunities.

Here are some ways you can encourage creativity and inspire great things for your small business.

Think in opposites

Sometimes, thinking about opposites can help you come up with a great business idea. When you’re able to hold two conflicting thoughts or outcomes in your head at once, you can often come up with creative ways to bridge the gap between the two – even if there doesn’t seem to be a connection. For example, clothing company Everlane could be said to think in opposites: What if clothing could be both ethically-made and affordable? To connect the two opposites, they adopted a strict e-commerce business model, reducing retail markups and cutting out the overhead necessary to run a brick-and-mortar store.

Have “think time” every day

For at least a few minute per day, unplug. Put your phone in the other room. Read, garden, go for a walk, go for a run, or sit and let your mind wander. Get into a routine of letting your brain loose every day — just not while you’re driving, please!

Be a kid again

When was the last time you played with Lego? Did a jigsaw puzzle? Looked for shapes in clouds? Built a sandcastle? Kids are masters at creativity because of how they play, losing themselves in imagination and coming up with amazing stories and ideas. They also can’t be dissuaded by “That’s not how it’s done” or “That won’t work” – they try anyway.

Write down all your business-related ideas

Don’t worry about how good, bad or strange your ideas might be. The key here is to set your mind free to develop a stockpile of ideas that might one day develop into something new or useful. Perfectionists, practice makes perfect here!

Practice!

Spending time each day in quiet contemplation may seem challenging or even counterproductive at first, but the more you practice, the easier it’ll be to draw upon your creativity when you need it. Try to “free associate” as much as possible.

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types of canadian entrepeneurs

All about the six types of entrepreneurs

There are many kinds of entrepreneurs in Canada, but these are six of the more common types. Which one (or combination of several) are you?

Home-based Entrepreneur

Home-based entrepreneurs are usually self-employed, working by themselves or with only a few employees. As the name suggests, their businesses are based out of their own home or in a home office. These entrepreneurs love flexibility and autonomy, and having the freedom to do things like arrange a child’s dentist appointment or take the family dog for a walk at lunchtime. These companies typically don’t have a storefront, street advertising signs or customer parking.

Examples of home-based businesses: Bookkeepers, event planners, and freelance writers

Online Store and Marketplace Entrepreneur

Online or e-commerce entrepreneurs run their business online. They use IT and communication technologies to support their business activities. Their businesses can provide a service or sell a product through a website.

Examples of internet-based businesses: Etsy, eBay, and travel bloggers

Lifestyle Freedom Entrepreneur

Lifestyle entrepreneurs create a business to further personal goals instead of make a lot of money. These entrepreneurs may pursue a cash-generating hobby during their spare time or create a business around one of their interests. Their businesses simply help their founders support a lifestyle they enjoy. These businesses can be run full- or part-time. Lifestyle freedom entrepreneurs are usually not concerned about high growth, and usually have only a few employees.

Examples of lifestyle businesses: Starting a home-based business to be closer to family, or building a coaching business off an existing photography skill

Mountain Climber Entrepreneur

Mountain climber entrepreneurs usually run large companies employing somewhere between 20 and 500 people. These companies are often very fast-paced and experience high growth rates. These ventures often develop and produce the latest technologies and innovations. Most start-up activity involving high potential entrepreneurs is technology and internet related. Access to funding is often easier for high potential companies.

Examples of mountain climber businesses: Quickly growing technology companies and large internet technology businesses

Venture Capitalist

Venture capitalists invest in ventures, through managerial and technical expertise as well as with actual money. Venture capitalists are very selective about which companies to invest in, and as much as 98% of firms seeking funds are rejected. Aside from individual angels and venture capitalists, venture capital firms also exist.

Social Entrepreneur

A social entrepreneur measures success by the impact that he or she has on society. Highly passionate, the greater good of the community is their primary interest and they create a business to provide solutions to social issues. These entrepreneurs are also called non-profit or philanthropist entrepreneurs. Funding for social entrepreneurship typically comes from non-profit organizations, foundations, governments and non-governmental organizations.

Examples of social entrepreneur businesses: KickStart International, or a business that tutors at-risk children.

Want to learn more about how these entrepreneurs can succeed in small business in Canada? Check out our online HD video Canadian entrepreneurship training!

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small business location

Try our 30-question small business location checklist

So you’ve found what appears to be the perfect location for your small business. Not so fast. First, ask yourself these 30 important questions to make sure it’s the ideal location for you:

  1. Do the zoning requirements allow for my business type?
  2. What is the condition of the building – are any repairs or renovations required?
  3. Does the location’s layout fit my requirements?
  4. Is the location the appropriate size for my business? (Consider storage, office, workroom, manufacturing equipment sizes, etc.)
  5. Is the location suitable for my daily commute?
  6. Do I have access to all required utilities?
  7. Do the surrounding businesses bring favourable traffic to the location?
  8. When conducting community research, does my target market have access to this location? Is the location suitable for a substantial portion of my target market?
  9. Do the leasing, renting, or buying terms fit my requirements?
  10. How much will it cost, and how long will it take, to get my internet and phone up and running?
  11. Are my signs and outdoor advertisements visible to traffic?
  12. Is the labour force in the area suitable for my staff requirements? Are wage scales similar to or lower than other location options?
  13. What is the local Chamber of Commerce activity like?
  14. Does the location meet my accessibility requirements?
  15. Is parking available and affordable for customers and staff?
  16. Is public transportation available?
  17. Is the location consistent with the image I’ve communicated through branding and marketing?
  18. What lifestyle factors, schools, and community activities are present?
  19. Am I close enough to suppliers and manufacturers?
  20. Can deliveries be made to this location?
  21. Are the costs of transporting goods and shipping to and from this location similar to or lower than other location options?
  22. Are competitors located nearby?
  23. If competitors are nearby, am I confident in my ability to compete?
  24. Is the crime rate in the area tolerable for my business, and are security services available?
  25. What times of the day and week will provide the most traffic at this location? Am I able to operate in the evening and is there adequate exterior lighting to attract evening customers?
  26. What will my insurance cost at this type of location?
  27. Later on, will this location be able to accommodate growth of my business?
  28. How do rental costs and lease agreement terms compare to other location options? Break this down to cost per square foot and compare to your revenue per square foot.
  29. How long is the lease and does this fit with my requirements?
  30. Does the current lighting meet my needs? Are window displays available? Are shelving units or wall displays provided or am I allowed to install them?
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