How to find your entrepreneurial purpose

small_business_locationEducator and author Joanna Macy once spoke at a conference about three directions in which to look for your own purpose. We think these can apply to entrepreneurship too.

Take a look at each of these three directions and see how they apply to your goals and vision as a small business owner. How does it differ from the purpose of your business itself?

1) Work With Your Passion

Would you run your business for free? We’re not saying you should, but it’s a good indicator of how much you enjoy what you do. Approximately 15% of new business ideas are related to the entrepreneur’s hobby. Makes sense, right? If you start your small business around something you love doing and have passion for, chances are good that you’ll stay interested and engaged in the day-to-day tasks. You’re also more likely to stick with it if the going gets tough.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that your favourite hobby will automatically become a great small business. You may know a lot about your hobby, but it’s much different when it becomes a business. Make sure you do lots of research about the viability of your small business idea before you jump in.

2) Work With Your Pain

No, this doesn’t mean going to work even if you have a broken arm. Like passion, working with your pain can mean creating a small business around your desire to make the world a better place.

Social entrepreneurs, also known as philanthropist or non-profit entrepreneurs, measure success by the impact that they have on society. Highly passionate, the greater good of the community is their primary interest, and they create a business to provide solutions to social issues. The results can be very rewarding.

3) Work With What’s At Hand

Entrepreneurship doesn’t have to mean instant success, staggering riches, or flashy fame. Starting a small business with what’s at hand can be impactful and satisfying. How can you use your small business to respond to vital, yet everyday needs in your community? Some small businesses that fit this category are tutoring, meal delivery, home daycare, and that organic bakery your neighbours are demanding.

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The difference between sales and cash

small_business_negotiationNot keeping an eye on your cash needs is one of the quickest routes to business failure. So how can you improve your chances of small business success? Start by getting to know the relationship between sales and cash.

Just what is the difference between sales and cash?

Your flower shop has sold a bouquet of daisies to a customer, or your roofing business has just replaced some damaged shingles on a customer’s roof. You’ve sold your product or service to your customer, thereby entering into an exchange with that customer. The customer pays you or your business for this exchange, usually in the form of a cash, debit card, or credit card payment. A sale has been made.

Sounds simple, right? The reality is different. In any business transaction there can be a timing issue. You may not get the customer’s payment for the product or service – in other words, the cash – immediately, resulting in a cash crisis. A cash crisis happens when a business is lacking sufficient cash in the bank to pay bills, salaries, loan payments and so on. So even though you’ve made a sale, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have cash.

As you can see, the difference between a sale and cash in hand can easily spell success for a small business, or something that’s quite the opposite. Next week we’ll show you how to manage your cash flow in order to ensure you’re never caught unawares when it comes to your cash.

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Fundica is the smart choice for small business funding

Why spend time and money calling around for financing for your business? Wouldn’t it be easier to be matched with the best funding sources at the click of a mouse? Canadian entrepreneurs now have a way to find and filter opportunities on their terms. Fundica is an online tool that matches entrepreneurs with smart, comprehensive and up-to-date funding – and it’s free.

Fundica has changed the way Canadian businesses find funding with their proprietary search tool and software that matches Canadian entrepreneurs with grants, tax credits, loans and equity. It filters by exact location, company size, sector and many other criteria, to make sure small business owners are getting the exact kind of funding partner they’re looking for. Fundica’s database covers over 90% of the government and institutional private sector direct funding programs/products available to Canadian businesses. Pretty cool, if you ask us.

Fundica was founded by a team of funding experts in 2010, after years of experience helping entrepreneurs find financing from public and private sources. The people behind Fundica are computer science, tax, finance and funding professionals who have collectively raised over $75 million of government and private funding, and have over 50 years combined experience in funding Canadian businesses. All this hard work means that they have strong working relationships with and an in-depth understanding of public and private funding sources.

For more information or to get started, visit Fundica’s website.

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All about diversifying your small business

In GoForth’s October newsletter, we’re talking about small business diversification. No matter how successful you are now, diversifying your small business is an important factor in sustained success. Diversification helps you increase your sales through a combination of new products and new markets. It helps keep you protected against market slowdowns or sales plateaus.

Five ways to diversify your small business

Small business diversification can be a scary concept to consider initially. It requires focus, determination and – like anything in business – lots of research. Here are five avenues into small business diversification:

  • Engage your existing customers.
  • Engage new customers.
  • Take stock of your company’s strengths or core competencies. 
  • Take stock of your competitors.
  • Think ahead and look for emerging trends.

Read more about these five ways to diversify your business – as well as the contributions of Tommy Douglas and the growth of WWOOF – in our October newsletter, out now!

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