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4 Ways for Developing Your Small Biz Employees With Good Video Content

When we look around the business world, we see a variety of business owners. Some are clearly blessed with a background in their industry before they start their business. Others have business-related skills from other industries (or government grants for small businesses to get them started), and they can think on their feet and launch their enterprise. Whatever their level of experience is, they get through those first few bumps of launching a business. The best business owners can apply their business skills to new situations. They will hope that they can train their employees to act as they would in different scenarios as well. If you own a business, we hope you will enjoy these 4 ways to develop your employees through good video content:

1. Face a new set of challenges.
Being the leader means that you have a new set of challenges. Suddenly, you are challenged to get your employees to respond as you would in different situations. You could work with a video production firm to create a good training video, which would definitely help your employees understand your expectations.

2. Use videos to teach policies and procedures.
As your company grows, you will also find that you cannot possibly be at your business location all of the time. You cannot be available to advise what to do in every situation. This makes it imperative that your training content, especially employee learning videos, will teach employees what they should do. They may not always respond exactly as you would, but they can have a good idea of what you might do.

3. Make videos interesting and interactive.
Some employees will watch your training videos having already a wealth of experience to draw upon. They have been working for your company for a while. Others will be brand new or relatively new to the company. They will have less background experience from which to draw. Both types of employees will be in the viewing audience, and they will need to be entertained or informed by material that doesn’t put them to sleep.

4. Plan appropriate follow-up activities.
When an employee watches a video, it provides one context (or perhaps several in sequence) for how information or skills should be applied. Employees also need opportunities to apply what they’ve learned from a video on their own. You could do this by giving employees scenarios to work through in small groups, with a partner, or by themselves. The idea is to get them to take actions based on a scenario but with that new learning they just acquired.

Growing your enterprise with government grants for small businesses is pretty exciting, but it also means adding more employees. The more employees that are added, the farther you are away from the work that each individual does. This means, for example, that clients are interacting with people who aren’t you. Because you can’t clone yourself, you need great training tools. If you will use videos for employees to become better at their jobs, be sure to try some of those points discussed above, always with your personal take on the subject factored into the content. When you set expectations for employees, you should give them a chance to do their jobs. Hopefully, you’ve pointed them in the right direction!

6 things you need to do to ensure success in your small business

Starting up a successful small business talks dedication, hard work, and careful planning. If you’re just starting out on your business venture, you can probably use all the help you can get.

The following are six helpful tips on what you need to do in the early days of running your small business to maximize your chances of success:

Set detailed goals

If you’re wishy-washy and lack details when setting down goals, you’re probably going to achieve less. On the other hand, setting very clear goals will give you something specific to strive for. It will also make it easier to identify your successes and failure.

Minimize the overhead costs you have to cover to stay in business

Keeping your overhead down will make it more easy to start bringing in a profit as soon as possible. Look for any ways that you can bring down production costs and learn to be frugal. If you’re not bringing in the profits that you want, consider focusing on your overhead costs rather than bringing in more sales/clients in the early days.

Don’t quit your day job until you’re secure

A lot of small business owners are too eager to quit their day job and do so too soon. While you’ll undoubtedly be overwhelmingly busy if you’re managing both a full time job and a fledgling small business, you don’t want to jump the gun on giving up that regular pay check. Try not to quit your day job until your business is generating more than enough income to be sustainable and hopefully at least as much income as your original day job brings in.

Specialize by finding the right niche

You can minimize competition by niching down to a more specific product or service. Put some thought into which niches in your industry are likely to experience the most growth in the coming years.

Take advantage of any government programs that may assist you

Its in the government’s best interests to promote the growth of small businesses because more successful businesses means more tax revenue. You can take advantage of government grants for small businesses to acquire more capital. Capital is something that almost any young company finds itself regularly in need of, so look at this way to acquire capital that you won’t even have to pay back down the road.

Network

By getting to know others in related industries in your community, you can network to develop a support network and to search for new resources that will help you run your company. Attend local events or join your area’s Chamber of Commerce to find more networking opportunities.

How to Start a Small Business from Your Garage

Research has shown that most homeowners across the world use their garages as a place for clutter and storing stuff they don’t use regularly. However, utilizing the garage space for your small business idea is a brilliant and viable business move. The startup stage of a business doesn’t require too much space after all, and you don’t have a lot of overhead expenses to worry about. Here are guidelines on how to start a small business from your garage:

1) Location

It’s important to note that your home is in a residential area where you have several residential regulations and rules to be observed. Therefore, you ought to know your startup business’s location well before initiating the first ‘baby’ steps. Determine how you will be receiving the raw materials for manufacturing your product and how the final commodity will be leaving your home for the target market. If you live in a rural area, then things may be easier than for people who live in gated communities. You should consider contacting your zoning community with your business ideas to understand more about the business opportunities allowed in that area.

2) Your neighbors

There is a chance your neighbors might not be excited by your startup business idea as you are! If you production processes won’t be noisy and disturbing to the neighbors then you can mind your own business and ensure the garage door is closed at all times. You can carry out minor renovation projects on your garage to make sure you make it a comfortable working environment. If possible, you can also avoid heavy business traffic to your property.

3) Create space

Make certain there is enough space to accommodate your working area and inventory so as to avoid spillage to your basement. A lot of clutter or raw materials all over your basement will raise concerns and neighbors might file a complaint. If possible, you can keep the garage and the home separate by partitioning where necessary. Envision the entire production process in order to evaluate and determine the amount of space needed to produce the product. You can make markings using a sidewalk chalk so that you get a clearer picture of your production space after emptying the garage space.

4) Technology

Your garage organizational ideas will not be complete if you don’t get creative and incorporate the utilization of technology. For instance, you don’t have to create a space for a receptionist but alternatively, hire a message service to be answering your toll-free number calls before rerouting them to your mobile phone. Your potential and existing customers will be answered by a live person before they are put on hold for you. That is a good indicator that you are on the right track of technology and respect your customers.

Also, remember to use internet platforms like blogging and social media services. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter offer a big opportunity to give your clients reliable customer support at all times. Use legitimate software for printing labels and remember to purchase postage online. If you’re short of capital, it’s a good idea to seek government grants for small businesses from the State to facilitate such expansion plans.

5) Decide when to expand

If you can efficiently deliver by working with a small space, then you’ll do more with a bigger space. If you realize that you have achieved your sales goals, then it’s time to build a good team and expand your business into a commercial area or move to a new space that can allow you to produce more to satisfy your widening customer base.

Top 5 Canadian Government Grants For Start-ups

Entrepreneurship is the word of this age. Nowadays, standard 9 to 5 jobs are not enough and people are looking to embark their own creative journey. Thus start-up and small businesses are getting increasingly popular.

However, it is not always easy to maintain your own businesses. Amongst the many challenges you’ll face, one of the most crucial ones is funding. Not many people possess the means to finance their projects out of their own pocket, and getting bank loans can be a grueling effort. Fortunately, you can apply for government grants for small businesses to aid you in your venture.

What you can do
Getting grants is not an easy process. There is a lot of competition and the criteria for applying are usually stringent. Also grants vary from industry to industry and not all sectors get the same level of funding. However, here are 5 of the best grants the Canadian Government has to offer.

Advancing Water Technologies (AWT) Program
The AWT program is a $12 million program funded by FedDev Ontario. It supports projects relating to clean and innovative water technologies and alleviation of global water crisis. The grant provides funds upto 50% of your expenses to a maximum of $100,000. In case of further requirements, an application may be submitted to the committee. However, to be eligible to apply for this grant your company must have a minimum of two employees and have been operational for 2 years.

AgriInnovation Program (AIP): Industry-Led Research & Development
The AgriInnovation Program aims to provide research and innovation funding for agriculture and food-product based industries. Funding under this program can be divided into two categories – Agri-Science Cluster and Agri-Science Project.

The Agri-Science Cluster division focuses on projects at the national level that can target issues across multi-provincial channels. The funding for projects of this scale ranges from 50% to 75% of total costs.

The Agri-Science Project on the other hand concentrates on targeted issues, one at a time. It can provide funds amounting to 50 to 75% of project costs, with a maximum of $5 million.

TECTERRA Funding for Geomatics Companies

In the field of geomatics innovations, TECTERRA is the perfect place to apply for a grunt. TECTERRA was created specifically to support small businesses looking to develop geomatics technologies and it provides a wide range programs that aid in commercialization, support of businesses and career opportunities.

Canada Small Business Financing Program
The Canada Small Business Financing Act was signed with an aim to increase the availability of financing for small businesses. It helps in establishment, expansion or renovation of said organizations in order to help the citizens lead dignified leaves and grow the economy. Under this charter, the Canada Small Business Financing Program can provide up to $1 million in expenses for setting up or expanding your business.

Canada Media Fund: Experimental Stream
For digital media projects, the Canada Media Fund finances development, production and innovation of content that will be used in Canadian media or by the public. Amount available for funding depends on stream. A maximum of $300,000 to $1.2 million may be requested.

It is tough to mark your own way in the world and the Government of Canada recognizes that and aims to help develop businesses that would further develop the community. Thus, if you have a worthwhile project, federal grants like this can be the key to your success.

How Fitness-Related Small Businesses Can Improve The Chances Of Success

Motivated people want to take steps to care for their health. Motivation does not automatically convert to experience. So, in order to get into good shape, people will seek out boutique gyms — small gyms — designed to cater to people seeking small group or one-on-one training. This type of small business can be very successful as long as a few wise steps are taken. A few of the steps to increase success might seem like “little things”, but they have huge effects on clients.

Make the Interior Look Inviting

Equipment is important for working out. A small fitness studio really does need dumbbells, medicine balls, yoga mats, and other such items. Government grants for small businesses do need to look more than just functional. The interior has to look inviting to the public. Placing photographs of famous fit people on the wall assists with turning the interior into a very positive place. So would adding a few nice plants. No one should laugh at the simple concept of adding plants. Anything that makes a small business’ — any small business’ — interior look inviting is going to encourage the patronage of customers.

Light Up the Interior

Cutting costs is important when launching any new small business. Utility costs should be kept under control. The cost controls do need to be maintained with prudence and common sense. A poorly lit interior looks more ominous than inviting. The proprietor of an establishment might look like he or she is trying to hard to cut costs with a dimly lit interior. People might wonder if the person running the business cuts corners elsewhere, which is not a good sentiment to infuse in potential customers.

Sublet the Studio

Government grants for small businesses may run into cash flow woes during their first few years in operation. When a business is new, sustaining a large number of consistent customers can be a bit tough. Subletting the studio out to other fitness professionals might help with improving cash flow. Five personal trainers paying $10 of their $60 per hour fee to the business owner definitely can be a decent source of cash. If all five have just two clients per week, the small business is pulling in $100 per week — $5,000 per year — without any extra costs or effort.

Don’t Fall into the Immediate Rush Phenomenon

The minute a new small business opens up, if interest exists in such a business in the neighborhood, a great many customers may visit the establishment. A new gym may attract a host of people finally doing something to lose weight. Owners of the business should realize the high volumes of customers will taper off to more normal levels over time. Budget the business accordingly as a result.

5 Important Things You Need to Start a Small Business

Creative entrepreneurs start up new businesses all the time. In fact, thousands of new companies open their doors each year. However, a sobering fact is that two-thirds of those companies will not survive for three years. The biggest challenge is lack of planning. Without careful forethought, a company can soon be facing unexpected problems that will put it out of business. The following tips have helped many to start and maintain a successful small business.

Business plan.

A business plan can be simple or complex, depending on the nature of the enterprise. Basically, it is a document that describes all aspects of the company, including mission statement, goals, vision, employees, funding, and various types of support, such as mentors and technical help. The plan is often used to secure business loans from a reputable lender and to explain the business to potential investors or a board of directors.

Budget.

Every company needs a budget that balances expenses with income. Although many figures at first may be estimated rather than exact, the accounting spreadsheet lays out the planned expenditures as well as the actual versus anticipated earnings and profit. Line items need to be established and adjusted periodically, typically on a quarterly basis, based on the company’s performance.

Marketing plan.

A government grants for small businesses marketing plan will guide the promotional and advertising efforts of the company to reach the target market. A marketing budget is set, along with the preferred media for reaching the desired customers. Outreach may include print, radio, television, Web, email, and social media. The company owner might participate in community activities and perhaps support or sponsor local sports teams and school projects to become a visible and respected member of the community.

Quality products.

Companies that want to be successful for the long haul should sell good quality products and services. Cheap wares will quickly alert customers that the business is not worth supporting, and the word will spread to others. It is important to find ways to market the unique or special aspect of the company’s product, whether it be low cost, convenience, healthy alternative, or lifestyle luxury.

Market niche.

Rather than market to the community at large, it is better to focus on prospective customers who are most likely to be interested in the product. For example, sports equipment may be used by people of all ages for a variety of reasons. But marketing sports gear to school-age athletes will attract that segment of the population in particular, especially if there are few similar companies in the area.

Starting a government grants for small businesses can be an exciting and fulfilling venture. Following tips like those above can increase the likelihood of a prosperous outcome.

How Small Businesses Can Expand Their Marketing Plans Without Increasing Their Spending

Small business marketing is actually an effort that can pay for itself. This is especially true for micro-businesses that have limited budgets and a dire need for aggressive promotions. With more consumers turning to the Internet for products, services and information, start-ups have the perfect opportunity to introduce themselves, establish themselves as industry experts, and push for positive purchasing decisions. There are even a number of clever ways to generate revenue from these efforts along the way.

Get Your Small Business Blog Up and Running

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Having an onsite blog has become an essential part of the optimisation process in many industries. High-competition keywords make it difficult for plumbers, drywall installers and other professionals in densely-populated fields to land spots on the first page of search results. By regularly creating blog posts that answer common questions pertaining to your niche, you won’t only rank better, but you’ll also be fostering conversions. Best of all, aside from the necessary investments of energy and effort, blogging is basically free. Most hosting services offer on-site blogging functionality with even their most basic hosting plans and web development options.

How to Make Your Blog a Profitable One

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Smart government grants for small businesses owners are using their blogs in a variety of ways to generate revenue for their future marketing efforts. For instance, these individuals are simultaneously uploading niche-specific content to video hosting platforms and then linking these posts back to their blogs, and vice-versa. With quality information, you can make your video channel a very popular one. When you do, you’ll have advertisers reaching out to you. Companies pay top dollar to popular video channels that are willing to run ads before their own content plays.

Another option is to link your blog to an affiliate product. This is a great strategy for micro-business owners with limited profits from their primary business endeavours. If you’re using a special type of equipment when providing services, see if you can’t market this equipment on-site, as an affiliate. You can post do-it-yourself tips for consumers who aren’t ready to convert and can talk about how your affiliate product helps you produce superior results. You can then use your affiliate monies to support your growing small business or you can consider this as a separate venture entirely.

Understanding The Rules of Affiliate Marketing

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Small business owners who want to pad their marketing budgets as affiliates must learn the rules of the affiliate programs that they’re participating in. Some companies allow their products to be promoted on the sites of other businesses, while others do not. If this is a budget-building tactic you want to use, you also have to learn how to craft content in a way that does not detract attention away from your primary business or cause consumers to view it negatively.

Take A Results-Oriented Approach to All Your Marketing Efforts

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If you aren’t diligently tracking your marketing campaigns, now is definitely the time to get started. This is the only way to know exactly how much you’re investing and just what these investments are doing for you. Your conversion rate is one of the top marketing metrics to track as this will show you which strategies are working the best. If you focus your energy and your marketing dollars solely on the efforts that are producing real results, none of your spending will be going to waste. With time, your blog, videos and affiliate sales will open the door to more expensive, yet better-performing, marketing strategies.

The Economic Importance Of Small Businesses


A small business can have a large impact on the economy at large. Each time a person decides to start a company, it creates a financial ripple effect in the community. Let’s take a closer look at why small businesses are so important to economic health.

They Create Jobs

Most importantly, small businesses create jobs for those who would otherwise be unemployed or are currently underemployed. According to data from the SBA, during the heart of the last major recession in 2009, companies with 20-499 employees created almost two-thirds of all new jobs. As or more important than the fact that they create jobs, they create jobs locally, which results in a direct economic impact in the community that the business serves.

The Spur Development in the Local Community

As a business grows, it will need to buy land for factories or office space. It will also need to hire workers who will need to buy homes or rent apartments close to where they work. They will also need to eat, will need roads to travel on and will want fun things to do on their days off. This means that property values increase, infrastructure spending increases because of a larger tax base and owners of bars, restaurants and shopping malls will see an increase in sales.

They Need Capital to Grow

The creation of a small business can mean good things for investors and other lenders. Those who invest early in the startup phase could make millions of dollars when the business is sold or eventually goes public. Lenders may also make a lot of money from interest and other fees paid to provide loans to businesses. However, businesses don’t necessarily need loans or equity investment to fund operations. Government grants for small businesses may help defray research and development costs or make it easier to pay employees or independent contractors.

Small Businesses Allow New Ideas to Flourish

A small business has less bureaucracy and fewer people who need to approve a new idea. Therefore, what may have taken months or years to develop at a larger company could be approved and in the marketplace in a few weeks. As there are fewer people at a smaller company, it may provide an individual with the chance to come up with and be recognized for his or her ideas, which can lead to greater career success.

While smaller companies may not have the resources that larger ones do, they are equally important from a economic standpoint. They create most of the new jobs, allow for implementation of new technology or other business ideas and can help create stronger communities for everyone to enjoy.

The Top Issues Faced By a Small Business


Getting a business up and running is a major achievement for most people with entrepreneurship mindset. However, maintaining one is a big challenge because every business has issues. Government grants for small businesses have been helpful in solving finance issues, but there are still some internal problems that affect these entities. However, we will look at the biggest issues in this post.

Cash Flow Challenges

The money problem is a major issue in every business regardless whether it is small or big. For a small business, the major problems include clients defaulting on payments, unsettled bills and unexpected outgoings. Luckily there are effective money management tools that can be useful in monitoring cash flow in the business. The tools consist of high-end applications capable of creating budgets, VAT and bill payments. Some of them can detect and alert the user on suspicious outgoings. Also, a small business that has cash problems can apply for government grants for small businesses.

Customer Identification and Retention

There is a business notion that a customer only requires a solution to a specific problem, and it is up to you to formulate a special selling strategy and present it clearly to them. This notion makes customer identification and retention difficult, especially if you are unable to identify what pleases them and their buying habits. Do research on your client base and identify the common characteristics of the best clients. After completing this, you can put more effort on getting more clients from the most profitable niche in the business.

Tiredness

The hours spent at work plus the constant pressure to meet targets can wear down even the strongest and most passionate employee in the business. When you spend long hours working without a break, physical and mental fatigue sets in. Unfortunately, fatigue can make both the business owner and the employees make unhealthy decisions. As a small business owner, you have to identify a healthy pace to keep the business running without compromising anything.

Over-relying on the founder

It’s common to find a small business that relies heavily on its owner. Without the owner, it cannot operate. A small venture that operates this way is a business with a deadline. This problem often occurs in situations where the owner is not willing to distribute responsibilities to other people within the business. Though it may be a security assurance to the owner, it is not good for a business that targets future expansion.

Employee Motivation

Motivating employees is crucial for a small business, especially if there is a huge pile of work to be done. Apart from wages, you need to consider other things employees want. Ensure they are happy always. You can achieve this by communicating and approachable to them. In a good company, the staff together with the management should have a good relationship where both parties are free to sit down round a coffee table and talk to each other.

Remember to check out our other posts on Government Grants For Small Business to learn more small business tips!

How to Get Funding For a Small Business

Small business funding helps fill the gap that exist between daily business operations and the lack of operating capital. Due to significant economic decline in the past several decades, however, it has become much harder to get the funding you need to keep running. Here are four steps to help you get approved for your next round of funding through the various financing tools available, ranging from traditional clear-cut options to more sophisticated government grants for small businesses.

Collect All the Information You Can

Different lenders will have slightly different requirements. You will need an updated credit history report, both from your personal and business finances. Financial statements that can clarify your personal and business status will be crucial documents for getting approved. Projected financial statements and cash flow for at least the entire year will give lenders a better idea of whether or not your business is creditworthy. Providing a complete set of information and documents will also help expedite the pre-approval process rather than have you wait for several weeks only to get rejected.

Choose the Right Lending Institution

Start off with traditional large banks. Expect to have a harder time securing a small business loan from large banks though as they tend to focus more on larger contracts that are apparently more profitable. It’s not to say that small business loans are not profitable or that it’s impossible to secure. Approach banks or private lending firms that you’ve worked with in the past or is currently using for your savings or debit account. Community banks and credit unions are also a viable option, but are usually difficult to be eligible for.

Consider Government Grants

This option is like free cash for your small business. Government grants for small businesses, however, is not an actual grant, despite what you hear on TV or from online advertisements. Still, approaching the government will give you access to programs that make it much simpler to get funding for a startup or small business. The U.S. Small Business Association provides a guarantee to banks and lending firms that a certain portion of the debt will be covered by the government in the case the business owner defaults on the debt owed. There is at least one Small Business Association branch in every state. Extensive help can also be provided by Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, and the Women’s Business Centers.

Pitch to Investors

Sometimes, you don’t need to march to your bank or lending firm to get funding for your small business. You can get the financial assistance you need by bringing investors on board. Have a clear presentation ready that will tell prospects what your company is all about, what the product/service is, projected cash flow, and other key parameters that will show prospects your business’ risk-reward features. Pitching is all about presentation, be sure to learn as much as you can online.

 

Be sure to visit Government Grants For Small Business and check out our other blog posts for more small business tips!