Entrepreneurial inspiration from Steve Jobs

By Samantha Garner | October 24, 2020

steve jobs quote

Steve Jobs said many inspiring things throughout his career. Here’s one we thought you’d like.

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.”

Share this post:

Topics: Business Quotes, Entrepreneurial Inspiration, Small Business Tips and Advice | No Comments »

Ideas for virtual networking

By Samantha Garner | October 17, 2020

virtual online networking

This year’s pandemic has changed almost everything about doing business, not least of all networking. Once a mostly in-person social thing, more and more of us are having to find ways to make new connections without leaving home.

An entrepreneur’s network of personal and professional contacts is one of the key factors in success, particularly in the pre-startup period. Here are some ways you can network virtually during the pandemic.

Turn to your existing contacts

Many businesses have had to pivot and adapt since COVID-19 became a fact of life. This means that many of your existing contacts might love to hear from you. There might be a new business idea or a new connection to be made. You may be able to team up to virtually host an event for others. And it’s also just nice to be able to reconnect with someone you might not have spoken to for a while, especially when social events are no longer a viable option. After all, what is networking if not creating relationships?

Change your social media strategy

What social media channels are you using? Are they working for you, or against you? The pandemic is an ideal time to get more involved in social media. After all, many of your existing and potential customers are probably using social media more than ever. Get inspiration from those who have seen success (but don’t copy), or take training that incorporates the latest trends, news, and strategies – companies such as Later offer free webinars and videos full of good social media advice for small business owners.

Investigate virtual conferences

Many industry conferences have been cancelled due to the pandemic, but many have kept going in a virtual format. Some are specifically made for networking, while others are slightly altered versions of traditional programming. In any case, look for opportunities to chat with other attendees or engage on social media conversations around the event.

Reframe your networking perspective

Now that networking events no longer require event space, catering, and a huge budget, there are interesting opportunities available that you can take advantage of. Because everyone is accustomed to virtual events this year, you can extend your networking reach into different regions and even different countries. You may even be able to spearhead industry-specific networking events, whether it’s a small, informal information-sharing session between a handful of people, or a larger-scale, scheduled virtual event. Think of ways you can reach out and get to know people that you might not have been able to before.

Share this post:

Topics: Entrepreneurial Inspiration, Entrepreneurship News, GoForth Institute News | No Comments »

Small business blog posts we liked this week

By Samantha Garner | October 10, 2020

small business owner

Happy Thanksgiving long weekend to our fellow Canadians! We hope you can find some moments of relaxation and calm this weekend. Here are some interesting things you can read while you do so!

Share this post:

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

How are a business model and business plan different?

By Samantha Garner | October 3, 2020

10 high growth business ideas

Last week, we talked about the importance of a business model. But how is it different from a business plan?

First, let’s talk a bit more about the business model.

Business model

The business model is a blueprint for your business. It’s an outline, showing how you’re going to run your business, and how you’re going to make money.

There are five elements of a business model:

  • Business concept: A short description of an opportunity, including a description of your average customer; the benefit of your product or service to the customer; the product or service; and the way you’re going to get your product or service to the customer.
  • Value chain position: Your business’ position on the chain of activities through which products and services pass to get from you all the way to the end user.
  • Calculating customer value: An estimate of the value of the tangible benefits your customers will receive by purchasing your product or service.
  • Revenue sources and cost drivers: Identifying your sources of revenue, and activities that come at a cost.
  • Competitive advantage: The state when customers perceive your products or services to be superior to your competition.

Business plan

Where a business model is a blueprint, a business plan is a roadmap. A business plan is longer than a business model. It’s a formal, detailed document that includes a description of the business you want to run, your business goals, and the plan for reaching those goals.

A business plan contains sections like: 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?

It’s 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.

Why does your small business need both a business model and a business plan?

It’s easy to come up with business ideas, but just because you build a company, that doesn’t mean customers will come. 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!

Share this post:

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

Why is a business model important for a business?

By Samantha Garner | September 26, 2020

small business model

You’ve come up with a great small business idea and are ready to start a small business. You’re ready.

But, are you really?

Before you start your small business, you must create a business model.

A business model is a blueprint for small business success

Building a business is a lot like building a house. And who can build a house without blueprints? Creating a small business model means planning your business’ fundamentals. It helps you put make a realistic evaluation of the potential success of your business idea. A business model helps you to figure out things like:

  • Your business concept – what problem are you solving for whom
  • How you will create customer value
  • How your product or service will get to customers
  • How your business will stay competitive
  • All revenue and costs you can anticipate

How to create a business model

A proper business model takes time. You need the strongest foundation possible to increase your odds of small business success. Consider all possible areas of concern. There are many variables involved in entrepreneurship. For example, how exactly will your product make its way to your customers? What is the true value of the solution that your product or service offers? Is there even a market for what you’re offering?

Make sure your business model is thorough and covers all the bases. Once you have a business model that proves you have a viable business on your hands, you’re ready to write a more comprehensive business plan.

Taking your time creating your business model will ensure you don’t underestimate – or overestimate – anything. Proper planning takes time and effort, but you’ll see the return on that investment when your great business idea has become the great, successful small business you envisioned.

Share this post:

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

« Previous Entries Next Entries »