Canada’s small businesses are making an outstanding contribution…
October is Small Business Month in Canada! But we should really be celebrating the occasion year-round, 365 days a year. Why? Consider these two key stats, from a June 2016 report by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada–Small Business Branch, that show the vital importance of small business to the Canadian economy: (1) There were 1.17 million employer businesses in Canada at the end of 2015; (2) Of these, 1.14 million – or 97.9 per cent – were small businesses, which employed more than 8.2 million individuals in Canada, which represents 70.5 per cent of the total private labour force!
This is the reason why it’s so important for everyone to continue to encourage, promote and invest in entrepreneurs and this month we will put the spotlight on small business, this important sector.
Over the past few years, Money$tyle has provided tips on starting a small business, highlighting TD’s LGBTQ2+ small business owners in our Official Partner of Big Dreams Campaign (where they become an integral part of our marketing initiatives) and last year spotlighting the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneurship program in collaboration with several founding partners, including TD and the province of Ontario. (As a board member, I’m pleased to report that this program has been successful to date.)
This year, I would like to provide a few tips for those who are thinking about starting a small business or want to grow their current business. There are lots of tools and resources available to you on numerous websites. However, here are some tips from TD’s team of expert small business advisors to consider:
Working for yourself can bring many rewards, such as freedom, flexibility and the chance to follow your dreams. But it can also bring new challenges. However, with some smart business planning, you can put the odds of success in your favour. Consider: do you want to start from the ground up? Purchase an existing business? Purchase a franchise? There are pros and cons to each!
Cash flow, finances and investments
The right cash flow strategies can go a long way to helping your business succeed. For example, invoice immediately after you deliver goods or services, use your business credit card to pay suppliers and earn rewards while taking advantage of the payment grace period, and put your excess cash to use and invest it for your business.
Growing your business
Speaking of investing in your business: put a plan in place to anticipate growth to minimize risks and surprises. Put your profits to work!
Having access to sufficient capital and credit is key to small business success, whether you want to manage your cash flow, purchase new equipment or acquire new premises.
Succession planning and retirement
As a business owner, you’ve worked hard to build your business and may now be looking forward to the day when you can step away and enjoy your retirement. Whatever you decide to do with your business – sell it, or pass it on to someone else – in order to maximize its value and ensure a smooth transition, you’ll need to develop a business succession plan. The sooner you can start the process, the better position you’ll be in when it’s time to step away or retire.
Everyone’s needs are different, so speak to a Small Business Advisor.
Finally, building on the success of “2 Guys With Knives” (who we profiled in our November/December 2016 issue and are included in this year’s TD’s Official Partner of Big Dreams campaign), we will highlight more LGBTQ2+ small business customers, including Graziella Nogueira who owns Cobrafer Construction Ltd in Vancouver, BC because we believe our community represents an integral part of TD’s customer base.”I want my banker to be my partner; someone I can trust to provide the right advice and resources I need to help grow my business,” Graziella says. (Graziella is pictured above)
We want to be your partner in your journey to make your dreams a reality!
To get help on starting your own business, or to get your business ready for the next level, visit https://www.tdcanadatrust.com/products-services/small-business/smallbusiness-index.jsp.
AL RAMSAY is TD’s national manager, LGBTQ2+ Business Development, and leads a team of expert advisors across Canada dedicated to serving the LGBTQ2+ community. For more information or to book a meeting, he can be reached at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @AlRamsay_TD.