Note: This post first appeared on April 2017. We’re re-posting it here with updated links, to help your small business keep on top of the latest from your provincial government.
There are many rules when it comes to your employees’ working conditions, ranging from work hours, overtime and meal breaks to Sunday closings, whistleblower protection, and mandatory retirement. Of course, minimum wage and minimum daily wage requirements, statutory holidays, equal pay policies and severance pay also apply.
All employers have to comply with these legal employment standards. These employment standards differ by province and by industry. Be aware of your required standards as an employer so you can any difficulties during CRA’s employer visits, and to avoid any legal issues.
Attention Canadian entrepreneurs: Have you ever dreamed of pitching your small business idea to the Dragons on Dragons’ Den? Good news: you can now apply to be part of Season 18 of Dragons’ Den in 2023! Auditions are happening both in-person and virtually through Zoom. The in-person auditions will take place in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, and Toronto. Visit their website for more info! Good luck!
All of us have ideas each and every day; probably hundreds of them. Most of us can come up with several business ideas in a single day. However, not all of these business ideas will be business opportunities. Unsuccessful entrepreneurs usually think that a business idea and a business opportunity are the same. Successful entrepreneurs know the difference.
What’s the difference between a business idea and a business opportunity?
An idea becomes a business opportunity when the idea passes some level of screening — how many people will buy? Will the business be profitable? Do you have the money to get this business up and running? In other words, a business idea is an opportunity only if it has a way to make a desirable profit for the owners, investors and shareholders.
Research on the number of business proposals pitched to angel or venture capital investors shows that only 2 to 4% of business ideas presented actually get funded by them. So, for every 100 great new business ideas we might come up with, less than four of those ideas are likely to be business opportunities – at least the type of high growth opportunity most angel and venture capitalist investors are looking for.
At GoForth Institute, we believe that one of the main reasons for the high rate of small business failure is directly due to the entrepreneur’s inability to tell a good idea from a good business opportunity. Even though an idea is the starting point for a new business, not every idea is an opportunity to start a business that will actually make you some money.
How can you tell if a business idea is worth pursuing?
To us, a good business opportunity must pass our VPMF Test — value, problem-solving, money-making and fit test.
Does your business idea pass the VPMF test? Ask yourself these four questions to see if you’re on the right track:
Does the product or service must add significant value to a customer or end user?
Does the product or service must solve a significant problem or pain or satisfy a significant want or need?
Does the product or service must have money-making characteristics?
Does the business idea should be a good fit with your necessary entrepreneurial resources: personal, network and financial?
If you answered yes to these questions, your business idea might be worth exploring! Investing in small business training will help you further refine your idea to give yourself the best chance of success. Good luck!
Cost of goods sold, also known as COGS, means one of two things depending on your business. For retail/wholesale businesses, it’s the price that your business paid to get the products that you’ll sell to your customers. For manufacturing businesses, it’s the cost of the raw materials, labour and supplies.
Understanding your business’ cost of goods sold will help you better understand your profits, and where you might be able to improve efficiencies.
How to calculate cost of goods sold
Most small businesses use the following formula to calculate their COGS expense:
Value of goods inventory at the beginning of the period
Value of any goods purchased for resale during the period
Value of goods inventory at the end of the period
The cost of goods sold during the period
And there you have it! Calculating your cost of goods sold is another tool you can use to help your small business succeed.