Category Archives: Finance & Accounting

Everything to do with numbers that is outside of strategy, including bookkeeping and finding funding is under this category.

Alternative Revenue Streams for Your Small Business

Why would you want to develop some alternative revenue streams for your small business? For lots of reasons! Diversification and customer retention, for a start – customers who have a wide range of sevices and products from which to choose are happy customers!

Alternative Revenue Streams: Things to Consider

You can’t provide everything, so choose your alterative revenue streams wisely. You need to consider:

  1. Your core competencies
  2. Adjacencies to those competencies
  3. Your existing customers
  4. New customers
  5. Standard types of alternative revenue streams

Core Competency

How to decide what your core competency is? This is your bread & butter! A core compentecy is your competitive advantage, what you are known for! You should be better at your core competency than everyone else is. It’s probably the reason why you went into business.

Logical Adjacencies

Logical adjancenies are potential alternative revenue streams that are strategically aligned to your core competency. They steer what you offer in a defined direction. Some different ways to pivot when you do adjacencies is if they are a new product or service for your existing customers or if you are doing the same product or service for a new target market. Both are a natural step in growing your alternative revenue streams strategically.

Existing Customers

Strategies to develop alternative revenue streams that focus on the existing customer include:

  1. Increasing the average sale from a customer
  2. Increasing the frequency with which customers use your business
  3. Offering something new that customers also need
  4. Developing more effective retention strategies.

Keeping a customer is worth even more (and is much less expensive) than finding a new one!

New Customers

Strategies to develop alternative revenue streams that focus on new customers include:

  1. Targeting new markets
  2. Testing new offerings

Standard Alternative Revenue Streams

Standard alternative revenue streams include:

  1. New products, services, intellectual property, programs
  2. Events
  3. Memberships
  4. Intermediaries
  5. Residual income
  6. Sharing economy
  7. Government contracts
  8. Crowdfunding

Learn More About Alternative Revenue Streams

When it comes to alternative streams, the limit is really only the resources that you have available to implement them and oversee them. The general rule is that, regardless of how many revenue streams you have, 20% of your revenue streams should be producing 80% of your income, so focus on that 20%…but make them what you want! You can do one or more of them, blend them…have fun!

Watch the video to hear more about all of this.

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Credit Union Straight Talk with DUCA’s Keith Taylor

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a credit union and a bank? Are you curious about why you might choose one over the other?

Keith Taylor of DUCA Financial Services can tell you – and he does.

Why Join a Credit Union?

In this webinar you’ll learn about:

  1. What DUCA is and how a credit union is different from a bank
  2. The different programs that DUCA can offer as a credit union including the Profit-Sharing Program and Profits with Purpose.  There is also a Community Hero Mortgage with a profit donation program with in.
  3. What B-Corp certification is and why DUCA works to maintain it including ensuring that they are paying all employees a living wage (including benefits) and were the first to do so.
  4. What DUCA offers businesses from no or low-fee business banking and all of the other account options.
  5. Plus there is business lending with lines of credit, loans and mortgages  just like you would expect from a bank. But the added advantage for small business owners is the relationship that they have including having a designated Small Business Advisor for all business members.
  6. The DUCA Impact Lab – what if banking’s primary focus was on solving problems and creating opportunities for everyone and not on simply making a profit? 

Social enterprises like DUCA generate revenue, but aren’t in business solely to make profit – they also want to make a positive social impact. For businesses interested in supporting banking institutions with a social conscience while receiving full range services, a credit union like DUCA is the way to go.

To find out more, watch the webinar – let us know what you think!

Special thanks to Keith Taylor for guest hosting. Find out more about DUCA Financial Services

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Small Business Sales: How to Start Selling NOW!

Get a pen and pencil and take notes, because here’s the thing about small business sales: the quicker you start selling, the quicker you start making money!

Small Business Sales: Getting the Ball Rolling

Despite what you may have heard, you don’t need to wait for a website/business card/brocures/inventory/insert reason here to start selling. In fact, it’s in your best interest of your small business to start selling as soon as possible! In this webinar you’ll learn:

  1. Why the length of the average sales cycle means that you need that you need to start selling as soon as possible after opening your business.
  2. Why the reasons people give for why we they’re not selling aren’t usually the real reasons
  3. Why it’s a good thing to “fail fast”. Seriously!
  4. How you can quickly and cheaply create a web presence while you’re waiting for your website to be ready
  5. How to create your first batch of business cards/brochures, and why they don’t have to be perfect
  6. Why you don’t need inventory, or even a prototype, before you start selling
  7. How to quickly draft a serviceable client contract
  8. How to choose a business name and how long you should give yourself to do it
  9. Why your business doesn’t need to be a corporation before you start selling
  10. Why you need to talk about your business with other people – lots of other people!

Anything on that list in an action step that could get small business sales rolling within 2 weeks. What are you waiting for?

So, which step are you going to take for your business this week? Let us know in the video comments, on Twitter or Facebook, or email us at [email protected]. Don’t forget to come back and tell us how it goes!

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Writing a Business Plan to Get What You Want!

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. That’s why why writing a business plan is the best first step you can take toward making your dream of owning a successful small business a reality.

In this recording of our “Writing a Business Plan to Get What You Want!” you’ll webinar, you’ll learn about what you need to think about as you draft a business plan, including the sections you must include.

Decide For Whom You are Writing a Business Plan

Your plan will look very different depending on who will be reading it. Potential readers might include:

  1. Yourself
  2. A bank
  3. Potential investors
  4. Potential partners

If you’re writing a business plan for yourself, you’ll include different information than you will for anyone else. Similarly, a bank may want different information than a potential partner.

Write the Business Overview

The Business Overview is the section to include the following things:

  1. A description of The Opportunity
  2. A summary of why what you offer is a solution
  3. A desciption of your target market
  4. The unique aspect of your business that gives you a competitive advantage over other businesses in your niche
  5. A brief summary of how you plan to keep that advantage

The Business Overview paints a picture of your business at a point in time.

Write the Vision Section

In the Vision Section, paint a picture of how you see your business in the future. Include details about:

  1. Where you see your company in 3 – 5 years
  2. Your ultimate goal for your business
  3. A description of your exit strategy

The reader will appreciate that you have thought about the future.

Write the Marketing Research Section

Drafting this section is a very important part of writing a business plan. Consider including:

  1. Descriptions of the industry trends, consumer trends, and wider general trends (government, economic, technology) that may impact your products;
  2. Your business’ main competitors and their potential impact.

It’s worth taking time to do any necessary research to write this part of your plan.

Write the Sales Projections Section

The webinar recording goes into how to calculate the sales projections that you should include when writing a business a plan.

Write the Management Team Section

In this section, describe why you, as the owner, are the best person to launch your business, given your support team and contacts.

Write the Marketing and Sales Strategy

Discuss your plan to get the word out about products given factors such as:

  1. Price
  2. Location
  3. Size of area to be covered
  4. Marketing budget
  5. Projected sales

If you need help with this part of writing a business plan our Marketing Solver tool can get you started #ShamelessPersonalPlug

Write the Operations Section

The Operations section is a discussion of issues like processes and delivery. You might want to include details about:

  1. How you’ll track processes to ensure completion
  2. Who handles human resources issues like hiring, scheduling, etc.
  3. The processes in place to handle human resource issues

Nailing down processes is dry work, but necessary. Take the time to protect your employees and yourself and get them in place.

Write the Action Steps Section

Discuss the company’s goals. Break them down into three levels:

  1. Today’s Goals
  2. Short Term Goals
  3. Long Term Goals

Again, this shows that you’ve given thought to your company’s position at the moment and to the direction in which you’d like it to go.

Write the Financial Projections Section

Use this section to demonstrate that the business is financially viable and sustainable over the long-term.

The Last Part of Writing a Business Plan: The Executive Summary

Yes, you write this section last…but it’s the first thing reader sees! Make it compelling! It should make the reader want to keep reading. Are you ready to start writing a business plan?

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Succession Planning for Small Business

Succession planning is all about planning your exit strategy and maximizing the value that the small business owner receives for their effort (which often amounts to years and decades of work).

It also protects the small business owner, family, and the business from any risk.

Learn the process and your options in 20 minutes!

Contact the Expert
Mike Hook
[email protected]

Small Business Finance 101

What you don’t know when it comes to finance, can hurt you!
 
Understanding some basic finance models can help you make more objective decisions. This helps you avoid emotional decisions that often are the wrong decisions for your business.
 
The concepts that are walked through in this 30 minute video are;
 
1. Break Even Analysis
2. Basic Financial Ratios
3. Weighted Averages
4. Decision Making Trees
5. Net Present Value
 
By understanding the basics of these tools and when to consider using them, you have more tools in your toolbox as a small business owner.
 

 
Contact The Expert
[email protected]

Need more help on finance? Let us know what else you’d like to see at [email protected]

Crowdfunding in Canada

Crowdfunding is one of the new up and coming ways to finance your business. If we look at the international market place, there is $3-5 billion dollars that has been raised in crowdfunding efforts.
 
This is through over 300 portals internationally with 45 of them available to Canadians. Traditionally crowdfunding works by donation or reward.
 
The latest and greatest is that crowdfunding will soon be available in Canada to raise equity. This is going to make raising equity less expensive to do and easier to do.
 
Now is the time to prepare your business for this new opportunity. Learn how in this 20 minute video.
 

 
Contact the Expert
 
Mike Hook
e:  [email protected]
www.intrepidlaw.ca
@MikeHookLaw
 
 

Revenue Generation

Increasing our small business revenue generation is something that most entrepreneurs are concerned with. In this video we learn why all entrepreneurs need to make it the top priority and we walk through the 4 main things that we need to focus on to help our revenue grow.
 
1. Number of leads
2. Improve conversion rates
3. Increase the price of the average sale
4. Increase the number of sales per period
 
Plus we walk through all of the tools we have at our fingertips to help improve these 4 areas. Watch it now!
 

 
Contact the Expert
 
Gary Brown
FocalPoint Coaching
[email protected]
 
 

What’s Your Business Worth?

Business valuation is critical for all small business owners as there is a high probability that you will be needing to evaluate how much your business is worth due to needing a loan, going through a divorce, or selling your business either voluntarily or involuntarily.

 

When it comes down to it, the value of your business is the price that someone is actually willing to pay you for it. But if you are trying to put a dollar value on your business without this step or before this step, there are some things to consider;

 

1. Net tangible assets
2. Identifiable intangibles
3. Goodwill (transitioned and non transitioned)
4. Redundant assets

 

If you are selling your business, there are some great ways to increase the value of your small business. And there are some specific value drivers to be aware of.

 

If you are buying a business, there are some specific details you should be looking for and specific circumstances where you may buy a small business for a lesser amount.

 

Watch this video for all of the details.

 

 

Contact The Expert

 

Fabyelle Chevalier, CPA, CA
Manager – Financial Advisory Services
BDO Canada LLP
Direct: 705 726 6331 ext. 8523
[email protected]

 

Like the Presentation? Valuation Presentation

Analyzing Your Numbers

 
Financial management and understanding numbers is a daunting topic for many entrepreneurs. However, this is a vital skill when speaking with investors and bankers that will help your business grow and/or survive.
 
This video will give an outline of what numbers are important and some basic ratios to test on your business.
 
Some concepts that are very important are;
 
1. Reviewing your past performance and changing trends can spot problems early.
2. If you don’t have past performance you can also track against industry averages. This can be done based on the industry that you are in and the size of your business.
3. Financial ratios help you determine if there are problems in specific areas in your business.
– the quick ratio and acid test
– accounts payable and receivables turnover
– debt-equity ratios and interest payable
4. Creating a 1-page business performance dashboard helps you see all of the financial metrics in one spot.
 
 

 
Contact Your Experts
 
Fabyelle Chevalier, CPA, CA
Manager – Financial Advisory Services
BDO Canada LLP
Email: [email protected]
 
Gregg Miyasaki, CGA
Mid-Market Commercial Account Manager
BMO Bank of Montreal
Email: [email protected]
 
Like the PowerPoint? Analyzing Your Numbers
 

More Resources

 
If you are looking for places to find industry standards;
– Stats Canada: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/start-debut-eng.html
– Your financial institution
– Your accountant