Posted by – October 7, 2011
The purpose of this article is never meant to be undermining the benefit of government grants. In fact, as small business owners, entrepreneurs should always be aware of government grants available to their companies. That said, except for some specifically allocated funding for government subsidized innovative projects, government grants in Ontario usually come in small amount, and could hardly be count on in terms of facilitating business growth.
Private funding is now available for small businesses in Ontario
A great alternative to traditional funding options for small businesses is available. Many private investors are now offering financial opportunities to small businesses with great potential. Funding of such is often referred as venture capital. The transaction is straight forward, venture capitalists basically purchase part of the company based on a strong goodwill forecast, and the company seek fast growth opportunities with the extra capital invested.
The benefits of private equity vs traditional ways of funding are:
- amount is large enough to fund the business with the desired expansion
- no collateral is required
- no complicated approval process such as bank loan applications
- investors are usually experienced business professionals where the company could get valuable advice from
There are companies and individuals where small business owners can turn to for private funding opportunities. For business owners in Ontario, check out pitchyourbusiness.ca for opportunities to meet a group of venture capitalists in Toronto.
Posted by – October 5, 2011
In the latest survey conducted by Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the small business confidence index in Canada has finally gained some traction and increased by one point in September. This marks small business owners gained some confidence after losing much of it in the previous month.
Detail analysis of the Business Barometer
Amongst the provinces, the most economically developed provinces, named Ontario and Quebec had the lowest confidence most likely because consumer sentiments in these financial centres are more affected by a volatile financial market. On the other hand, Alberta and Saskatchewan showed the highest confidence.
Amongst industries, Health and education services showed the highest confidence level, followed by natural resources, personal services and arts, recreation and information. Hospitality, retail and construction sectors seem more sensitive to the slowing economy and showed the lowest confidence level.
“Perfect buying opportunity” for many businesses
The economy booms and recesses in cycles, and the current environment with low interest rate and cheap rentals in many areas could be the perfect opportunity for many small business to expand. Central bank officials and many commercial bank analysts see the current economy slow down as transitory and will recover in the next year. Business expansion now would be the perfect timing to get ready for the next round of boom in Canadian economy.
There many government grants available to stimulate small business developments, and if your business is ready for expansion, check our venture capitalist pitching sessions at www.pitchyourbusiness.ca
Posted by – September 28, 2011
Venture capital has been a popular way of funding small businesses, especially start-ups since the early 1990s. Most small business owners today rely on venture capital from private investors when executing business expansion, because it is usually not easy for small Read the rest of this article
Posted by – September 22, 2011
Many investors started to think about capital investment in small to medium enterprises than in the stock market. The stock market has been sliding worldwide all summer long this year, and does not seem to be recovering soon due to some major fiscal issues in the US and Europe. And the bond market does not provide a satisfactory yield either. With the US 10-year bond yield below 2% today, there is very little room for price increase and not much incentives for holding the bond to maturity.
Capital investment has higher potential
With that said, capital investments into smaller business have higher potential returns. That’s because although we are having fiscal and financial problems across the world. The general economic condition is comparatively better than previous years. Most small businesses are very lightly affected by the financial markets. However, small businesses are in general more risky than large enterprises, and it is important that an investor makes the right choice.
Choose an industry that you are familiar with
As reported by many analysts, it is very reasonable to believe that some industries, such as health care, are going to expand faster than others. But that by no means tells us all companies in that industry are going to enjoy the same growth. If you are investing in an industry that you are not entirely familiar with, chances are that you cannot practice precise analysis of the company value. Therefore as an investor, one should always look at companies in industries that he understands.
Shop around before making a decision
When it comes to capital investment, each small business is unique. All attributes, such as company value, director’s personality, marketing dedication, etc. are different for each of them. Therefore, it is essential to view more company profiles before setting a target of the type of company you want to put your money in. And that is often easily said than done, because there does not exist a market for small businesses to display themselves side by side for easy comparison. But there are alternatives ways such as a business pitch events. Currently there are a series of small business investment events held at pitchyourbusiness.ca. If you are considering capital investment, contact the Winflow Financial Group today and see what you can take part in businesses with high growth potential.
Posted by – September 6, 2011
Canadian small business owners are being hit hard by rising costs. But rather than raise their prices they are willing to take the less profitable approach and absorb the increases. This is a good tactic to use for the long term say experts and getting, and keeping, a loyal customer is a top priority.
For more on this story visit the Vancouver Sun.
Posted by – September 1, 2011
Image courtesy of Marco Bellucci
When it comes to your investment pitch, you need to plan ahead. You’ll have prepared your company plan and practiced how to pitch your business, but have you planned for the questions that might be fired in your direction? This can cause a potential stumbling block but knowing what to expect can leave you one step ahead.
Question 1) What’s your business all about?
This is the most common question from investors, and it sounds easy to answer. But there are still a lot of people that talk for a long time, about every aspect of the company. Remember, that it’s not always about the question but the way it’s being said. When an investor asks what you company is about, they want it in a short, precise, attention grabbing moment. Sell your business to them as if they were waiting for a train and it just started pulling into the station.
Question 2) Your Investment pitch is good, but do you have any customers?
When completing your investment pitch it’s always good to include the customers you already have. This shows that something is working and with a bigger push, there will be more people interested. If you have references, use them. Anything that shows your company has potential will give you a better chance of receiving new business funding.
Question 3) What’s stopping a bigger company stealing your idea?
There is always competition, so avoid answering this question with ‘no one can’. But what can you say? A larger company will have more staff, more money, and years of experience. The only answers you have are that you can move quicker, that other companies have too much to deal with already. Read the rest of this article
Posted by – August 31, 2011
If you’re trying to find angel investors, it’s unlikely that they will fall in your lap. They don’t have name tags and they won’t slip a calling card in your pocket when you’re not looking. You have to go after them, and do it in a ruthless fashion. But when you know how, you’ll be able to find them no matter what city you’re in.
Some people are better than others when it comes to networking, but we all have friends, right? When you need to find angel investors ask every last friend you have if they know someone. The message will soon spread and before you know it someone somewhere will get your message. Read the rest of this article
Posted by – August 31, 2011
During your investment pitch the chances are you will make some mistakes. This is normal and errors such as dropping your pen will be largely ignored. But there are other glaring problems that need to be addressed. The only problem is, you probably don’t know you’re making them.
Overselling Your Investment Pitch
You may think you’ve made it big when you pitch your business to investors. But the truth is you’re not even close. Some small business owners are overly confident when they believe their business to be in a great position. But be warned, investors can see through this. Read the rest of this article
Posted by – August 30, 2011
Image courtesy of zzzack
Small business funds are the life source of a startup company. They not only help you progress as an organization, but as a small business owner. These funds though, can be hard to come by and while you can try pitching your business to investors, you can also look to government grants.
The first approach to finding small business funds is the government grant. But before you rush to your nearest government office, you’ll need to consider a few requirements.
- Make sure you’re eligible, which sounds obvious, but true. A wide selection of applications get turned down simply because company owners don’t read the criteria.
- Keep your finances in order. When going through the application process, authorities will need to make sure your finances are professionally maintained. This means invoices, receipts and any documents to support your application.
- Have enough time. Many small business owners don’t understand that government grants can take time to complete. Give yourself roughly three to four weeks.
- Seek professional help. You may find that completing the application process is getting in the way of other tasks. By getting professional help you can complete a good government grant application, and work at the same time. Read the rest of this article
Posted by – August 29, 2011
Image courtesy of NightRStar
Elevator pitches are an important part of business. If you’ve ever found yourself in a position to use one, you’ll know that it’s harder than reading a few tips from an article online. In the moment, you think back to the advice you were given. But it’s an error and you can’t help but think that the person your pitching your business to is getting bored. They’re shuffling their feet, looking to the corner of the room and nodding without thinking. Can you get them back?
So you’re beginning to bore the potential investor as you pitch your business? This is because elevator pitches are supposed to be sexy, not a string of memorized business lines. Imagine putting yourself in the investor’s shoes. Would you want to listen to this speech?
Elevator pitches can happen anywhere, in an office, at a party, down the road. So it’s good to have the ability to think on your feet. But this doesn’t mean turning into a robot. Relax, tell the potential investors about statistics but make your business opportunity sound like the best thing they’ve ever heard.
While you might just be getting the investors’ attention back, there is still some work to be done. A large majority of people will fail at this moment, but not you. This is because you turn the negatives in to positives and highlight the key objectives. If your company had no problems then you’d already be rich and famous, so during the elevator pitch tell the investor how you plan to overcome the issues. Read the rest of this article