Atlantic Chamber & GoForth Institute partner to deliver Canada’s leading small business training to entrepreneurs in the Atlantic region

By Samantha Garner | October 26, 2019

GoForth With the Chamber

GoForth Institute and Atlantic Chamber of Commerce (ACC) are proud to announce GoForth with the Chamber, our partnership program that delivers small business education to entrepreneurs through the Chamber network in Atlantic Canada.

With fewer than 50% of small businesses surviving, helping business succeed is critical—particularly in Atlantic Canada where 98% of business are small with less than 100 employees, yet provide 75% of the region’s employment. GoForth with the Chamber improves entrepreneurs’ odds of business success because it’s fast, comprehensive, affordable and convenient.

Since 2009, more than 10,000 entrepreneurs have used this program to build their small business skills and 90% were still in business two years later—that’s 20% better than the national average. Clients also saw great results, reporting successes such as: 100% participant completion, increased confidence in business skills, and positive community metrics as a result of our training.

ACC is the largest accredited business organization of influence in Atlantic Canada, and partners with its members and other organizations to influence, educate, advocate, and promote initiatives that contribute to sustainable economic growth for business in the region. ACC represents more than 16,000 businesses through its network of 93 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, and 26 corporate partners in Atlantic Canada.

GoForth with the Chamber is a unique partnership program being offered to members of Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade throughout Atlantic Canada—it provides industry-leading, innovative small business education to entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada. This partnership is committed to the business success and economic health of the region.

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Deductions for home-based businesses in Canada

By Samantha Garner | October 19, 2019

home business tax deductions canada

Running a small business from home involves many considerations – but the good news is you may be able to make home-based business tax deductions.

How to make tax deductions for your home-based small business

To qualify, your home must be the principal place of your business – that means more than 50% of your income-producing activities are performed there. That, or your home office must be exclusively used for your business, and used regularly for meetings with clients or customers.

Self-employed business owners, employees, and commissioned sales employees can also make deductions.

To find your business-use-of-home deduction, calculate how much of your home you use for business. If you have a home office, you can usually take the area of your work space and divide it by the total area of your home.

A portion of household expenses that relate to your business directly — like internet, phone, utilities, and cleaning materials — can also be deducted. You may also claim house insurance, property taxes, or rent.

If you operate a part-time business out of your home, expenses must be adjusted accordingly by calculating the hours the work space is used per day, divided by 24 hours. This provides a calculated portion of your total home expenses.

For more information, including what in-the-home expenses you can and cannot deduct, check out CRA’s guidelines for work-space-in-the-home expenses.

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Free downloadable one-page business plan template

By Samantha Garner | October 12, 2019

free business plan template

A business plan is the design and construction plan for a great small business. If you wanted to build a house, you wouldn’t walk over to an empty lot and just start nailing boards together. You’d follow a blueprint that tells everyone what the finished product should look like and how to build the home. Essentially, a business plan serves the same purpose.

What does a business plan contain?

A business plan contains sections such as: Marketing Plan, Startup Expenses and Capitalization, Management and Organization, Products and Services, and Operational Plan.

A business plan is usually developed around the answers to three common questions:

  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to be?
  • How are we going to get there?

And is usually written for one or more of these five reasons:

  • To test the feasibility of your business idea and work out any bugs on paper first.
  • To develop strategies ahead of time for marketing, finance, operation and human resources, instead of when you’re in the fast-paced start-up stage.
  • To get funding, such as a bank loan.
  • To attract investors.
  • To have a roadmap to follow for at least the first year in business.

Download our free business plan template

A great deal of time and effort should be spent planning before your new company’s products and services ever reach the market. You need a good foundation and planning before you invest all your time and money.

To get started, check out our free One-Page Business Plan – happy planning!

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How can you find a great location for your business?

By Samantha Garner | October 5, 2019

small-business-locationFinding the best location for your small business is a very important task, and there are a lot of things that go into it. From accessibility, to nearby competition, to parking, and more – your location can and will impact your daily business life.

Free downloadable location checklist

To help you organize your search and narrow it down to the best options, we’ve created two free guides: The Location Checklist and the Location Analysis Grid. You can use these two free PDF documents to help you track location questions such as:

  • Does the location’s layout fit my requirements?
  • How much will it cost, and how long will it take, to get my internet and phone up and running?
  • What will my insurance cost at this type of location?
  • What lifestyle factors, schools, and community activities are present?
  • Later on, will this location be able to accommodate growth of my business?

These questions just scratch the surface of what goes into choosing the best location. Download our free Location Checklist and Location Analysis Grid for an organized, prioritized location search for your small business.

Have fun!

 

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Creativity and entrepreneurship

By Samantha Garner | September 28, 2019

Creativity and entrepreneurship

When you think of creativity, do you think of artists or musicians or writers?

It’s true that people following artistic pursuits are creative – but every entrepreneur can be creative too!

Creativity and entrepreneurship

At GoForth, we define creativity as the ability to view the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated things, and to find solutions.

Creativity can be expressed as 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.

Why is creativity important for entrepreneurs?

Let’s look at a couple of entrepreneurs who used creativity to change the world as they knew it.

In 1941 engineer George de Mestral returned from a hunting trip with his dog. He noticed the burrs that kept sticking to his clothes and his dog’s fur. Like a good engineer, he examined these burrs under a microscope. When he saw the hundreds of “hooks” that caught on anything with a loop, such as animal fur, he became inspired. He saw the possibility of binding two materials reversibly in a simple fashion. Velcro was born from the application of this concept in a new way.

In 1974, Art Fry was in church when he came up with the perfect use for a friend’s new adhesive. Fry sang in his church choir, using slips of paper to mark the pages of his hymnal. But when the book was opened these bookmarks often moved around or slipped out. One day, it occurred to him that his friend’s adhesive could be a great bookmark. If it could be coated on paper, it could hold a piece of paper in place without damaging the surface. And Post-It Notes were born!

Both inventors in these examples merged previously distinct forms to create a new combinations which had tremendous commercial application — they used their creativity to see everyday things in new and useful ways. 

Want to learn how to be more creative? Check out our blog post with ways to kick-start creativity.

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