Small business blog posts we liked this week

By Samantha Garner | September 30, 2017

Happy first weekend of fall to all of you! If the weather is getting cooler where you are, take some time to pour yourself a cup of coffee and read some great small business articles we liked this week.

Enjoy!

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

Giving back as a small business

By Samantha Garner | September 23, 2017

small-business-volunteering

Many Canadian small businesses proudly weave charity and volunteer work into the fabric of their businesses. To them, being a business owner means also being part of a local community. They believe it’s important to give back to that community whenever possible.

Does that sound like a good idea to you? Here are some ways you can get your small business involved in giving back.

Find the right organizations

Charities and causes that you can relate to and believe in are the best ones for you to spend your time and money on. Look for organizations that align with your company’s brand pillars. Consider charitable investments that are most in line with your company values and beliefs and make them a part of your corporate culture.

Donate money

Depending on the level of commitment you’re comfortable with, there’s an option that’s right for your business. Some small businesses sponsor sports teams, a community event, or a community project. Others make financial contributions on an ongoing basis. Donations don’t have to break the bank, either – organizations such as Kiva offer loans for entrepreneurs in need, and lenders can contribute as little as $25.

Donate time

If you’d rather donate your time, focus on your company’s strengths. If you’re an accounting firm, for example, you might help single parents or underprivileged families with filing taxes. A freelance web designer can help maintain the website of their local food bank. You can also host events, offer skills training, or simply spend a Saturday afternoon volunteering along with your employees.

Need even more convincing? A recent study showed that 91% of millennials would switch brand allegiances to one that’s associated with a cause.

So, there you go – it’s a win-win!

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

How to estimate small business sales

By Samantha Garner | September 16, 2017

business-customerEstimating sales is important, and helps you determine the overall achievability of your business idea. The better your sales forecast, the better able you’ll be to make those ever-important decisions about growth. Estimating sales lets organize market and financial data in a way that helps you determine what your profit might be.

One of the most important tasks of pre-venture planning is the sales forecast. It helps you ensure that your business is sustainable, so you can actually make a living as an entrepreneur.

Read more about the two methods for creating a sales forecast: the market share method and the daily capacity method.

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

How to identify a work-from-home scam

By Samantha Garner | September 9, 2017

legitimate work from home businessStarting a small business from home definitely has its perks, including time to run errands during the day, increased workspace flexibility, and money saved on transportation. So if you encounter a company that claims to give you the freedom to work from home, it can be tempting. However, not all home-based business programs are as good as they seem. Here are a few ways you can identify home-based business scams:

  • Read the terms and conditions on the company’s site very carefully. You may be asked to pay a small fee for the start-up DVD or instruction guide. Be sure you can return this material without incurring even more fees.
  • Look for money-back guarantees or free, no-obligation trials.
  • If you can discuss the program directly with a representative, then there’s a good chance it’s a legitimate home-based business opportunity. Be wary of people who are evasive about your questions, pressure you into signing up, or insist that you pay for more information.
  • Companies that insist you must spend exorbitant amounts of money in order to work for them are usually not reputable.
  • Research the company as thoroughly as you can. Do an online search of messageboards, member blogs, and review sites. Talk with people you know who may be involved with the program.
  • Be suspicious of sites that boast mind-blowing income promises. No business can promise you $25,000 a week for four hours of work. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your instinct!
  • Even if promises of great income seem realistic, many companies post the income expectations of their highest earners – not the average.

For more information, check out what our GoForth Expert Carla Young had to say about finding legitimate home-based business opportunities.

 

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

Types of business insurance

By Samantha Garner | September 2, 2017

small business owner

Insurance is very important for entrepreneurs. After all, you don’t want all your hard work to be ruined by fire, theft, or other types of risk. There are a few basic types of insurance that every business needs to have. These include:

  • Fire Insurance — You guessed it, to cover for any damage caused by fires. You should also look at coverage for storms, smoke damage, floods or any other disasters.
  • Theft Insurance/Burglary Protection — No matter what type of business it is that you run, you need to cover yourself from theft.
  • Liability Insurance — Should be obtained to cover your business for any type of injury sustained by anyone while on your premises.

Aside from these major types of insurance, there are loads of other types to help cover companies in more specific industries or situations. Review these carefully, considering which could possibly be a concern for your business:

  • Dishonesty Insurance — This will cover thefts that might occur by employees of your business. You should discuss insurance requirements for your business with a qualified and experienced insurance agent.
  • General Liability Insurance — Covers your business’ assets if your company is sued due to injury or property damage.
  • Business Interruption or Loss of Income Insurance — Protects you from any losses due to a temporary interruption or shutdown of the business.
  • Professional Liability Insurance — Important for those providing a service like consulting or coaching.
  • Surety Insurance — Provides surety companies with 100% reinsurance capacity.
  • Fidelity Insurance — Protects from loss of securities, money or inventory resulting from crime.
  • Crime Insurance — Covers money losses due to counterfeit money orders or paper currency, credit card fraud, forgery or employee breach of trust.
  • Business Travel Insurance — Can cover medical expenses during travel, trip interruption/after departure insurance, flight and travel accident insurance, as well as baggage and personal effects insurance.
  • Business Premises Insurance — Covers for damage from a variety of causes to your business premises.
  • Credit Insurance/Accounts Receivable Insurance — Protects against the non-payment of outstanding accounts receivable balances, and losses from currency inconvertibility or transfer risk.
  • Business-use Vehicle Insurance — Covers motor vehicle accidents involving any company vehicles.
  • Disability or Accident and Sickness Insurance — Covers disability, accidents or sicknesses of company employees or owners.
  • Workers’ Compensation — Required if you have employees or contracted workers.
  • Key Person Insurance — Required if there’s a key person or people within your business. The insurance is used to help cover the replacement of knowledge and expertise of the key person/people in the event of death. This allows the company to keep running and avoid dissolution.
  • Partnership Insurance — Required in the case of a partnership to protect partners from the demise of another partner.
  • Health Insurance — May be necessary if you’re not covered by a spouse’s plan.
  • Identity Theft — In order to protect yourself and your business from identity theft.
  • E-commerce Fraud — Necessary for companies that do business online. Includes protection over spammers, websites being hacked and online service functionality.
  • Product Liability Coverage — Important if you’re starting a food-related business.

 

Topics: Small Business Tips and Advice | No Comments »

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