5 essentials for small business success

Planning to launch a small business? Make Community Futures Okanagan/Similkameen your first stop

If you’ve dreamed of hanging out your shingle on a business of your own, you’re not alone.

According to Small Business BC, as of December 2015, there were 388,500 small businesses (less than 50 employees), and 79 per cent of them had less than five employees. Together these business employed over one million people.

For the best chance at success, prospective business owners must do their homework, and that’s where the local experts at Community Futures Development Corporation of Okanagan-Similkameen come in, supporting small business and economic development through business training, business loans and more.

1. Business plan? I know what I want to do … why do I need it?

“Business planning provides a roadmap for success that addresses the many moving parts that come with owning a business,” explains Community Futures’ Nicole Clark.

For example, fully understanding your financial position will help you make the best decisions, whether you’re looking at spending less or expanding. What laws and regulations affect your business? Who is your “Ideal Client” and why is that important?

2. What are some of the basics that make for a successful business?

In addition to mastering the basics with the popular Business Plan Development Program, Community Futures offers hands-on workshops in bookkeeping, social media, website building, human resource management, succession planning and more.

3. Succession planning? But I’m focused on my business today …

“Succession planning helps you make decisions that let you craft the best exit from your business,” Clark says. “Whether you’re planning to sell in five years or pass it down to your children, having a plan today will help you create your business of tomorrow.

4. I’m in a traditional industry … I don’t need to worry about social media, right?

Wrong. Social media is a mainstay in marketing. It’s important to learn where your Ideal Client is hanging out on social media so you can build a relationship with them. “Social proof is also a big part of today’s buyer journey. People want to know a company is living up to its promise through great reviews and recommendations from their own online community,” Clark says.

Get social media savvy with Community Futures’ Social Media for Entrepreneurs class.

5. Do I still need a professional website?

“Canadians are among the most active eCommerce consumers, with statistics indicating 76 to 80 per cent of us shop online,” Clark says, noting that excluding travel, eMarketer estimates almost $39 billion will be spent online by Canadian consumers in 2017 and sales are expected to reach $44 billion in 2018. A professional website is critical to gaining access to those dollars.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Postcard art and stories from between the lakes

Art, music and storytelling in Penticton on the darkest night of the year

Busy day for Penticton Search and Rescue

PENSAR was called to three separate incidents Sunday, Dec. 16

West takes bronze at World Junior A Championship

BCHL’ers help Team Canada West to victory over Czech Republic

Three Days Grace roars into Penticton

Band delivers high energy show at the SOEC

Canada West loses to U.S. in semifinal

West still has chance to win bronze

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Canucks score 3 power-play goals in 4-2 win over Oilers

Vancouver sniper Boeser has 6 goals in last 5 games

Book Talk: Series stand outs

Novels in a great series can stand on their own

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

CSRD Wants help figuring out antique survey equipment

The piece of equipment was used by Peter Jennings to map out the North Fork Wild near Craigellachie

Kelowna Gospel Mission celebrates Grandpa Lloyd’s success

In a video it shares how an outreach worker helped get Lloyd off the streets

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

Most Read