Small business blog posts we liked this week

By Samantha Garner | November 3, 2018

tech business

Whether fall is taking a chilly turn where you are, or you’re still enjoying outdoor time, take a few minutes to cozy up with these small business blog posts we liked this week:

Did you read any interesting business blog posts or articles you’d like to share? Let us know!

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

What is the Value Proposition Canvas?

By Samantha Garner | October 27, 2018

value proposition canvas

Value proposition is simply a statement we use in business to summarize an expectation of value – why a consumer (or business if your customers are other businesses) should buy your product or service. It’s a promise of value to be delivered. A value proposition is a promise by a company to a customer or segment of the market. It’s an easy-to-understand reason why a customer should purchase a product or service from you. A value proposition should be a clear statement that explains how a product solves a pain point, communicates the specifics of its added benefit and states the reason why it’s better than similar products on the market. The ideal value proposition is concise and appeals to a customer’s strongest decision-making drivers.

About the Value Proposition Canvas

Strategyzer.com and Swiss business management theorist Alexander Osterwalder developed the Value Proposition Canvas to help business owners create the perfect value proposition. The Value Proposition Canvas (VPC) is intended to guide development of products and services customers are really looking for. The VPC is about creating a fit (or value) between what you’re selling and what customers are wanting.

The Value Proposition Canvas helps us to systematically understand what customers want and to create products and services that perfectly match their needs. It collects customer information about their needs and requirements which allows a more effective design of your products and services, and ultimately your business model. Eventually, this should lead to sales and profitability and much less time wasted on developing ideas that customers may not be interested in.

Anyone can think of good and creative business ideas, but the idea here is to design value for your customers on paper first. By using the Value Proposition Canvas, you identify customer needs, and products and services to meet those needs, in a visual and structured way.

Want to learn more? Check out our industry-leading online small business course!

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How to spot franchise fraud

By Samantha Garner | October 20, 2018

franchise-fraud

Franchising can be a relatively low-risk pathway into entrepreneurship – they get support and direction from the franchisor, and follow the structures laid out by the franchisor. However, sometimes, a franchise opportunity can seem too good to be true. Not all franchises are created equal, and you can’t necessarily buy into any franchise and wait for your riches to roll in.

How to spot a franchise scam

If you spot the following franchise scam warning signs, look elsewhere:

  • Overdressed salesperson trying to pitch a fast sale
  • Pressure for franchisees to sign gag orders
  • Insistence on cash transactions only
  • Exaggerated earnings
  • Promising a proven business model or proprietary technology that doesn’t exist
  • Promising training that never materializes
  • Forcing franchisees to spend money on so-called improvements
  • Failure to provide disclosure

How do you avoid franchise fraud?

To help you avoid franchise scam, you can choose to work only with a franchisor who is a member of the Canadian Franchise Association. Do your research. Be thorough, double-check everything, and get advice from trusted colleagues or professional advisors. And listen to your instincts!

Buying into a franchise can be a proven and relatively secure pathway to entrepreneurship, but it’s an investment in your future that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Want to learn all the ins and outs of franchising in Canada? Check out our industry-leading small business training video program.

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GoForth Founder & President Leslie McGeough on Startup Canada Podcast

By Samantha Garner | October 13, 2018

GoForth StartUp Canada Podcast

GoForth’s President and Founder Dr Leslie McGeough was proud to be featured in a recent Startup Canada Podcast episode. Host Rivers Corbett talks to Leslie about her journey from academia to entrepreneurship and how she’s working to educate entrepreneurs around the world.

Here are some highlights:

“I spent fifteen years in the trenches teaching and researching. During that period I came aware of a real need in Canada for a solution to deliver small business training across the nation.”

“In my research I found that access to small business training was one of the key factors associated to sustainability and longevity, that would make the difference between success and failure.”

“I just listened, that’s what good entrepreneurs do. You have to be prepared to pivot when you have to pivot.”

You can listen to Leslie’s interview here.

Thanks for having us, Startup Canada!

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How to research your customers

By Samantha Garner | October 6, 2018

business customers

Who will you be selling to? Selling to everyone is highly discouraged, since everyone has different wants and needs. Instead, it’s best to decide on target markets – groups of customers who share similar characteristics that you can market to more effectively. It’ll save you time and money, reduce headaches from trying to please large amounts of people with different needs, and it can make the difference between a successful business and falling flat right out of the gate.

Gathering market research data is a crucial step in the business planning process. Market research is used to determine consumer opinions, industry trends and competitor stats.  It’s used to gauge consumer interest in new products and service offerings and to establish a list of prospective customers. There are a number of ways to go about collecting this data, but we’ve developed a free, step-by-step guide on how to use one of them – CANSIM.

Check out GoForth’s free guide to navigating Statistics Canada’s CANSIM database, and start the process of understanding your ideal customers today!

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