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Modules

Build a Better Business Program module list:

Module 1 - BusinessStart Up

Module 1 - BusinessStart Up

SHOULD YOU START A BUSINESS?

You are here today because you have either recently started or are considering starting your own business. Congratulations! It is an exciting time! Being a business owner comes with a lot of freedom and potential rewards, but it also comes with a significant amount of risk. While your earning potential is unlimited, you will be giving up the security of a steady pay cheque.

This program is designed to help you make a decision about starting a business (if you have not already), give you the best possible start if you do, and provide insights into areas that are commonly overlooked.

At some point in this program, you will decide one of three things:

  1. Yes! I cannot wait! Let us get started!
  2. No, not now! Now is not the right time, but I am going to do some more planning and think I would like to start a business in the future.
  3. No, not ever! I do not think running a business is for me.
    All of these are perfectly good answers. The more you learn, the more you will start leaning towards one of the three options. We want you to start your journey with your eyes wide open!
2 lessons Beginner
Module 2 - Business Planning

Module 2 - Business Planning

INTRODUCTION

Creating a comprehensive, formal business plan is a large task on its own and there are many great resources already available online and through Community Futures to help you write one.

This module is more about planning your life so that you can run a business, than it is about planning the business itself. Having a business plan is important, but planning your life as you transition into being a business owner is equally important and often missed!

We are also going to review the parts of your business you need to really think through to create both an informal business plan and a formal business plan.

2 lessons Beginner
Module 3 - Credit and Financing

Module 3 - Credit and Financing

INTRODUCTION

Taking on debt when you start a business is something that should not be entered into lightly. If you do not have a source of regular income when you start your business, a business loan is certainly something to consider, even if you have access to savings or personal credit.

The objective of this module is to provide you with information so you know what to expect and what some of your options will be when looking for business financing.

2 lessons Beginner
Module 4 -  Pricing and Cash Flow

Module 4 - Pricing and Cash Flow

INTRODUCTION

Getting your price right is both a science and an art that definitely takes some finesse. Too high and you will not have enough customers. Too low and you will not be profitable.

Most business owners start too low…way too low! Increasing your price later is a lot harder than starting with a sustainable price, especially with your existing customers.

In the Pricing section of this module, we are going to focus on the science of pricing. The science involves factoring in all known details, including often forgotten costs, to find a realistic starting point for price.

2 lessons Beginner
Module 5 - Branding and Marketing

Module 5 - Branding and Marketing

INTRODUCTION

Branding and marketing work together but are often lumped together as the same thing. Sbmarketingtools.com sums up the difference nicely. “Branding is the story you tell and marketing is how you tell it.”

Marketing and advertising are also commonly lumped together. According to ama.org, advertising is a part of marketing. “Marketing is the process of identifying customer needs and determining how best to meet those needs. In contrast, advertising is the exercise of promoting a company and its products or services through paid channels.”

The American Marketing Association recommends that new businesses focus on identifying customer wants and needs first, developing a detailed marketing plan, before spending too much money on advertising.

Social media has created unprecedented access between companies and customers, making it easy for even the smallest companies to stay connected with their customers for little to no cost at all!

2 lessons Beginner
Module 6 - Human Resources

Module 6 - Human Resources

INTRODUCTION

Human Resources (HR) is the backbone for many businesses.

It is the human capital that can make or break a business as it involves the people who make up the workforce. HR is one of the areas new business owners may not give much thought to when they are starting out. If you do not have anyone working for you, there is probably not too much that will apply. However, for most new business owners, understanding the need for staff early on in their new business plan is important. Some may end up hiring people quickly.

This module will look at the basic aspects of HR, including what laws your business will need to follow, what policies are necessary almost right from the start, and other factors such as how much to pay people, how to manage performance issues and pitfalls to avoid along the way.

2 lessons Beginner
Module 7 - Legal and Insurance

Module 7 - Legal and Insurance

LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR INSURANCE

This module focuses on the following:

  • Insurance vendors
  • What are brokers, agents and direct writers?
  • Find an insurance representative
  • How to choose an agent or broker?
  • Business insurance coverage
2 lessons Beginner
Module 8 - Bookkeeping Basics

Module 8 - Bookkeeping Basics

INTRODUCTION

WHAT IS BOOKKEEPING?
At its most basic, bookkeeping is simply recording the income and expenses for your business.

WHY IS BOOKKEEPING SO IMPORTANT FOR PROFITABILITY?
In general, people (all people), overestimate their income (personal or business) and underestimate their expenses (again, personal or business).

When you have a job, the stakes are not that high. Worst case scenario, you have to live lean for a couple weeks until your next pay cheque comes in. When you have a business, you no longer have the benefit of a steady pay cheque! One of the most common mistakes business owners make is not transitioning mentally from employee to business owner.

2 lessons Beginner
Module 9 - Financial Statements

Module 9 - Financial Statements

INTRODUCTION

There are three main types of financial statements (reports). We addressed the Cash Flow Statement in other parts of this program. The other two main ones are called the Income Statement, which is sometimes called a Profit and Loss Statement, and the Balance Sheet. It is hard to truly understand your financial situation without looking at all three of these statements since each statement provides different information and no one statement provides all of the information.

In this module you will also learn how to create a Combined financial statement, which combines important information together into one statement so you can understand how your business is really doing and where all the cash went.

If you do not have a good record keeping system and you are not updating your bookkeeping every month, it will be very hard to create any financial statements. Financial statements are tools every business should be using to make decisions. In the build-measure-learn method, financial statements are an important part of the ‘Measure’ category.

2 lessons Beginner
Module 10 - Taxes and Other Fees

Module 10 - Taxes and Other Fees

INTRODUCTION

If you do not already have a good understanding of all things taxes (most do not), this module is going to be overwhelming. Do not try to remember everything. There is a lot of information in your workbooks and Community Futures business advisors are available to help. The more information you have, at least in a general sense, the better quality decisions you will be able to make for your business.
In this module we are going to cover:

  • Personal income tax basics
  • Corporate income tax basics
  • Why it is good to pay income tax
  • Payroll
  • Workers’ Compensation Benefits
  • PST
  • GST
  • How to stay on top of it all!
  • Levies, environmental fees and additional taxes, and
  • Special Considerations for Indigenous Business Owners
2 lessons Beginner