Are you looking for small business resources for startups? Running a small business is difficult especially during COVID as there are additional challenges. This week on our Live, we hosted Brooke from Business Development Bank of Canada to share small business resources for startups.
What resources are available for small businesses?
Mental Health Resources:
Running a business from home while having other family members around due to COVID might create additional challenges for business owners, including worsening mental health. Business owners who are having problems focusing on their work due to environmental or mental challenges can find free resources on BDC’s website.
There are great virtual assistance services that can help you automate some administrative tasks. Using these tools can provide you more time you can allocate to high priority task.
Optimizing hiring decisions:
Running a small business might require urgent help which might push business owners to hire candidates who might not be the best fit for positions. Whether it’s not having sufficient applications or time pressure, hiring a candidate who might not be competent for the role might bring lower your investment into your business in the long run. Team members are investments instead of costs to your business and hiring the wrong candidate might lead you to rehire after some time period, lowering your productivity during the process. It’s important for business owners to acknowledge what the position needs and find a candidate that best fits the criteria to maximize the investment in their business. Writing down the job requirements is a good practice to convert your opinions into hiring criteria that can standardize the hiring process. If you want to find tips about how to make hiring decisions, check out BDC’s resources here.
Be transparent about what you offer:
There are multiple considerations when making a hiring decision. In addition to a salary, work benefits, working from home and flex-time are other parts of the compensation business owners might consider providing employees. To ensure transparency, having such discussions during the hiring process can help business owners to hire the best fit for their business. In addition to compensation, hiring candidates that fit the corporate culture is as important to ensure a well-functioning team.
Seek out consulting:
Consultants might be great resources to small business owners in identifying their challenges and creating a business plan. BDC has a consultant team that not only helps small businesses but also teaches business owners how to execute the decisions on their own. With a fixed price, this resource might be extremely helpful to businesses in getting started. Some consulting plans they currently offer are online sales and marketing.
In addition to consulting, coaching can also help business owners form a path for their business. BDC has two types of coaching available to businesses across Canada which are for starting up and scaling a business. A great part of these programs is that they are low-cost and possibly free depending on eligibility.
Free Resources of BDC:
If you are a start-up looking for resources, we strongly suggest you check out BDC’s website. As the bank for small businesses, BDC offers free e-books, e-courses, templates for processes and low-to-no-cost tools that can help businesses get started.
Know when to seek funding:
Seeking funding in the as earliest stages as possible is the best strategy to prepare a business. Once the business has a product or service idea, speaking to a professional about available funding can help business owners to understand possible costs and how to structure their business. Although BDC doesn’t offer bank accounts, they guide businesses to ask the right questions and form a business plan accordingly. By assessing the details and projections of your business, they measure business risk which can tailor business strategy further.
The earlier business owners approach banks to discuss funding, the less risky the project is going to occur to banks as there is an extended time to negotiate and understand the terms. Thus, seeking funding at earlier stages can also improve the chances of getting funding.
Leveraging good debt:
As a start-up, you might want to avoid being in debt to lower your financial risk. However, business debt can help you scale your business through investing in assets and resources. If the business has a positive net cash flow, having debt might become a tool to leverage assets and cash flow further. Some business owners might be averse to taking on debt and prefer to cash in their savings, however, such behaviour might be considered a higher risk decision than seeking out loans to further invest in the business.
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