October 2013

A recurring theme in consultations and surveys of business owners conducted in my various roles with such organizations as the Small Business Roundtable of BC is that business owners don't know what they don't know.

In light of this, I have compiled some key resources that I feel all business owners should know about.

Small Business BC

While catchy headlines are obvious for traditional media, consider whether you can create them for social media as well.

Brevity is the key: When creating a headline for a traditional media pitch, brevity is key. Aim for 4-6 words, and the formula adjective noun verb noun. Example: “Prince William Weds Catherine.”

There is no guarantee that the outlet will publish the headline as you send it, but I find that blogs who are copying sections of text or news releases will use them and also add in keywords for their site’s attractiveness. From the example above: “Prince William Weds Catherine at Westminster Abbey, London, April 2011”

Earlier this week, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) revealed an infographic on how small business is big business in Canada.

The infographic celebrates BDC Small Business Week from October 20 to 26 and shares some powerful statistics for small business owners: for example, more than 98% of business have fewer than 100 employees, immigrants are nearly twice as likely to start a business, and one third of small businesses in Canada are led by women.

The infographic also identified three potential areas for future growth:

As a mentor and strategic advisor to many entrepreneurs, male and female, I’ve seen each grapple with common business growth issues: access to capital, knowledge/skills gaps and time management, but note distinct differences in how they perceive and tackle them. For simplicity, we’ll focus on the three big ‘Ds’:

Chaos is what happens when you do not have a definitive path with a course of action to follow. Reactions to every circumstance are impulsive; responses are spontaneous and lead to quick conclusions. Instead of looking for a solution the chaotic businesses choose to stay in the problem.

How do I stop chaos?

Chaos loves clutter, excessive materials, damaged and antiquated equipment as well as a sloppy work environment. The more chaos is allowed to control your environment, the more disorder, scarcity and unpredictability will be created.

Where to start managing your office?

Every entrepreneur understands that our mindset plays a large part when it comes to creating a successful venture and leaving a mark on the world.

To find out what accomplished business leaders consider as important traits for success, I approached seven female entrepreneurs from different industries with one common thread – they are re-defining stereotypes and norms we are used to.

Here is what they believe is critical to excel as an entrepreneur in their industries:

Patience and Positivity