Download GoForth Institute’s free small business resources

free canadian small business resources

At GoForth Institute, we take pride in staying on top of the latest developments. In 2018, we refreshed our course content in response to sea changes in business and in society. We’ve also updated our comprehensive Entrepreneur Library, featuring a wide variety of articles on topics from customer experience, to finding the break-even point, to social entrepreneurship, to Lean Start-up – and more!

Comprehensive free small business resources for Canadians

Check out our updated Entrepreneur Library today – and while you’re at it, enjoy our other free small business resources: Getting Started Guides, checklists, business calculators, essential links, and templates!

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Creating a strong value proposition

creating a strong value proposition

What makes your business unique and desirable to your target market? If you’re not sure, you won’t be able to tell your customer why they should do business with you. You need a value proposition.

A value proposition is a concise statement that outlines how your products or services deliver value to your customers, and what makes your business unique. It 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.

Value proposition examples

The more specific you can make your value proposition, the better. Avoid making generic claims that can apply to any business. Strong value propositions deliver clear promises to the customer, like increased revenue, decreased costs, improved health, greater efficiency, or fewer errors. These are the clearly identifiable things that will actually benefit your customers, and the reasons they’ll be drawn to your business.

Examples of effective value propositions are Wal-Mart’s “Everyday low prices,” Slack’s “Make work life simpler, more pleasant and more productive,” and Shopify’s “One platform with all the ecommerce and point of sale features you need to start, run, and grow your business.” These demonstrate the value and benefits these companies promise to offer.

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. really looking for.

The VPC is a visual method that helps us to systematically understand what customers want, and to create products and services that perfectly match their needs. It collects information about customer needs and requirements which allows for a more effective design of your products and services. This should lead to sales and profitability and much less time wasted on developing ideas that customers may not care for.

Anyone can think of good and creative business ideas, but it’s a good idea 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.

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The “non-formal education sector” is taking hold with entrepreneurs

Technology – and the ease of access to technology – is changing the way people approach small business training.

We’re entrepreneurs too, so we know all the hurdles small business owners are up against: Lack of time; need for income; friends and family; and the little thing called being a small business owner. We’ve spent a long time and surveyed a lot of small business owners to develop our unique and comprehensive small business training program. Entrepreneurs told us they wanted small business education that was fast, comprehensive and affordable. To us, online learning ticks all those boxes.

Online learning is fast

Our online small business training courses are delivered via streaming HD web video – in just 10 hours total. This means entrepreneurs can study at their own pace, around work and business issues. Because the internet is fluid, online learning modules can be updated more frequently than traditional paper- or classroom-based models. It also responds quickly to the needs and feedback of the community it serves.

Online learning is comprehensive

We teach GoForth’s 100 Essential Small Business Skills™ – yes, all of them – in our 10 hours of web video small business courses. Students can also download supplementary materials, email instructors and watch each module more than once. How does this relate to your last experience of classroom training?

Online learning is affordable

To give you an idea, GoForth Institute’s small business online learning program is just $295, way more than the traditional classroom-based model. Not bad when you consider the convenience aspect is also higher than classroom training – and convenience is something people often pay a premium for.

As you can see, online learning is an educational model that holds many important advantages over classroom training – advantages that entrepreneurs have told us they want. However, some still equate education with the traditional bricks-and-mortar classroom training or with universities and colleges. We feel this is becoming an outdated way of thinking. Online learning is no longer the venue for fly-by-night, get-rich-quick schemes. The new “non-formal education” sector is incorporating new technologies and adapting quickly to make education more accessible to more people.

Further Reading:

Can entrepreneurs benefit from online learning?

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Read Dr. Leslie Roberts’ interview with Mompreneur magazine

A few days ago, we told you of Dr. Leslie Roberts’ interview with Mompreneur magazine. You can read the interview right here – find out how Dr. Roberts started GoForth Institute to offer comprehensive and affordable Canadian small business training, and learn why small business education is so important.

Thanks again, Mompreneur!

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The unique challenges faced by women in entrepreneurship

This month at GoForth Institute, we’re highlighting women in small business. With good reason, too – women own or manage 40% of Canada’s businesses and are starting small businesses at a record rate. However, with every type of entrepreneurship comes a unique set of challenges, and female entrepreneurs are no different.

What are the major challenges faced by women entrepreneurs?

A woman who starts a small business faces many of the same challenges encountered by any entrepreneur:

  • Access to quality small business training
  • The need for support services
  • Access to capital
  • Long-term business coaching
  • Staying current in their small business industry
  • Managing growth
  • Finding mentors

However, women who start small businesses also face a host of challenges unique to female entrepreneurs. Women are typically the primary caregivers of children and still tend to earn less than men, meaning that women starting a small business have even more to think about.

Giving women entrepreneurs the tools for small business success

At GoForth Institute, we’re entrepreneurs too. This means we’re committed to giving all entrepreneurs the tools they need to make sure the small business they’ve started has the best chances for success. We offer leading small business online learning programs, which are great for many women-owned small businesses – like home-based businesses. Women who have become self-employed or who have busy work/life schedules need only spare 10 hours in total to get comprehensive small business training from entrepreneurs who’ve been through the same things themselves!

The Canadian government is also making strides in supporting women in business, with initiatives such as business loans for female entrepreneurs and women-only networking events. Of course, businesses themselves love to support female entrepreneurs – check out the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards as an example.

If you’re a woman in business, what unique challenges have you faced? Let us know!

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