The following are the documents you should complete in order of importance

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What Should I Spend Money On?

Money: while you cannot underestimate its power you must acknowledge what a strong hold it has on your company and your decisions. If you run out of cash, you are out of business. It can negatively affect your work/life balance by controlling you. It can also positively affect your way of life if you become successful. Knowing how to manage you money is just as important as making it as this next model will show you.

WHY THIS MODEL?: Every penny you save increases the chance of success, so watch the dollars from the beginning.

What To Do Today

Every single day seems to be jam packed full of things to do for a small business owner. Most small business owners are responsible for cleaning the bathroom, checking the books, and performing all of the sales. What to start with? How to plan a day? This model will help you categorize and prioritize what you have to get done in a day and is good for every small business owner who feels like there just isn't enough time in the day.

WHY THIS MODEL?: At the beginning, you need to prioritize your time to ensure your business strategy and goals are being met.

Short Term Goals

Setting short term goals is a good idea as a business owner if you need to motivate yourself and your team. Short term goals lead to achieving long term goals. Instead of looking at the overwhelming final project, you're breaking it down into small steps that seem less daunting. Each small win brings you that much closer to your vision and that much closer to running a successful business.

WHY THIS MODEL?: Now that momentum has started, keep it going.

Action Plan

Move forward. That's the key and the difference between successful entrepreneurs and unsuccessful ones. An entrepreneur should be strategic, but should also be focused on tasks. Doing this at the same time can be very difficult. This module will help you organize your strategy and execute it.

WHY THIS MODEL?: Plan how you will strategically move forward.

Competitive Analysis

If you are reading this now, then you are probably a business owner who has been in the business for a while and needs to reassess your competition. You could be trying to brand your product and need to gather foundational information in order to make a good decision. Finally you might be just entering the market and want to determine whether your business has a chance to succeed. It is important not to get blindsided by competition you were not prepared for. For instance, music stores did not account for online music downloads and quickly lost their share of the market due to this. Use the following model to manage your risk and determine your business' advantage by analyzing your competitors.

WHY THIS MODEL?:First thing to do when thinking about how to handle the competition, is to figure out what they are doing.

Dealing with Competition

If you are just starting up a business and going after an existing market or are a company trying to penetrate an existing market with a new solution, you will need to understand how to deal with your competition. Learn how to maintain a positive relationship with a competing company through the various stages of your business' growth such as when your business is insignificant, when it starts gaining market share and when it appears on everyone else's radar. Your competition is any business whose sales you could potentially take away. This model will help prepare you for meeting your competition either through customers, suppliers, industrial relations or in person.

WHY THIS MODEL?: As soon as you start your business you will have to face competition.


The government impacts business tremendously. One regulation or new license requirement can dramatically change how a business operates. Make sure that you know about the key pieces up front about stucturing your business, overview of tax time, and things that you just can't do. See the following webpage for all your updated answers for the Canadian government:

WHY THIS MODEL?: You need to understand the regulations at the start or you won't be in business for long.


There are many different types of tax that an entrepreneur has to understand. Mostly they don't have time for sorting through all of the tax details - so this module highlights the Canadian tax deductions that all small business owners should know about and how to record them. As long as you start collecting this information upfront, you can ensure that when tax season comes along, that you are prepared and able to minimize how much you owe.

WHY THIS MODEL?: Once you open your business, you have to start thinking about the administrative parts.


Any company that is bringing goods into the country or shipping out of the country has to be worried about customs. There is a lot of extra paperwork and costs involved, including the amount of time that needs to be invested in learning. Here are the key components and venues to move forward all in one spot:

WHY THIS MODEL?: If you are importing or exporting, you will have to understand customs from the beginning.

Cash Flow

Cash is king especially when it comes to small businesses that rarely have the credit line or bailout investors lined up to help them when times are rough. Maintaining a good cash flow management process means tracking how much cash is moving in and out of the business. It can be as simple as watching your bank account balance to being as complicated as figuring out a 12-month projection. Cash flow management is important as there comes a time in everyone's business when they are close to the red line. Without a good understanding of the cash flow situation, it is difficult for a company to make decisions about investments and committing to partners, suppliers, and customers. Use the following model as a basic concept surrounding cash management planning.

WHY THIS MODEL?: Keep on top of your cash early on so that you can look at your options early if it looks like you might get into trouble in the future.

Minute Marketing Plan

For businesses, marketing and success go hand in hand. If you have a quality product or service you should be marketing it. If your next door neighbour doesn't know you have your own business then you aren't marketing. It's a one time deal either; you need to continuously market your company and products but never lose sight of the fact that a marketing plan is supposed to make you money. A common misconception is that you are throwing money away. You should always be thinking about your return on investment for every marketing dollar. In other words for every dollar you spend you should at least match it in profit (not revenue). Many forget to monitor the return, which could result in a loss if the kind of marketing you are doing is not successful. Catch this sooner than later to minimize your losses.

WHY THIS MODEL?: Figure out the best way for you to market your product/service.


People do business with people they know. If someone doesn't know that your business exists or what your business does, they will not buy from you. So how do you make sure that the right potential customers hear about you? Wait for word of mouth? Absolutely not! You need to actively promote yourself and your business. Where do you start? This model is for a new business who wants to get the word out about what they do, or an existing business that realizes that they don't have as many new potential customers as they'd like. It is time to focus on visibility in your company.

WHY THIS MODEL:?When planning your marketing you should focus on making sure your customers know that you exist.


People do business with people they trust. How does this happen? Reduce your customer's risk. If they believe that you are capable of doing what you say you can, then you have reduced their risk in choosing you. This is especially important for a new business who doesn't have the extensive customer list, company history, or the infrastructure. Build credibility by the other means that you have at your finger tips, and sales will increase.

WHY THIS MODEL?: When planning your marketing you should focus on making sure your customers trust you.


People do business with people they like. When someone has a choice between doing business with you or with the competition, make sure they chose you. Even in business to business relationships, it is how much the decision maker at the company likes you that often secures a sale. As a new business owner, this module can help to make sure that you are doing the right things to improve your relationships with your customers.

WHY THIS MODEL?: When planning your marketing you should focus on making sure your customers like you.

Standing Up For Yourself

If you don't stand up for you business, no one else will. The first step is standing up for yourself. Business is business. Most people you do business with will like you and vice versa, but it is important to have things in writing, don't give too much away, and in general make sure that your business stays true to your values. This module is good for anyone first starting out who is overly generous, hasn't been in business before, or just is worried about being taken advantage of.

WHY THIS MODEL?: In sales, you have to make sure that your business' best interests are protected.

Finding My first Customer

The first sale is often the hardest because it is just that: your first. Each business should cater to a different customer and offer different benefits. Even if you have a proven sales track record in the past you're going to need to customize your pitch and sales tactics for a new target audience and new product. This takes time to learn and adjust effectively. Use the following model as a simple guide to assess the compatibility between your business and your target market.

WHY THIS MODEL?: Getting the first sale when you start your business is one of the largest milestones that needs to be overcome when committing to starting your company.


Negotiation occurs when two or more parties come to terms on an agreement. The agreement often results in compromise with some give and take from both parties until they are satisfied with the arrangement. Likely, the two parties have conflicting goals and a compromise is necessary for both of them to benefit. The best way to look at negotiation is to settle on an agreement where both parties are significantly better than without an agreement. Everyone can benefit from learning how to negotiate. Business owners specifically will benefit from gaining negotiation skills as they will be dealing with customers, suppliers, employees and partners. Whether or not you make money, and how much money you make is largely related to negotiating. In fact, in many instances you don't close the sale without good negotiation skills. For an entrepreneur, you will be negotiating costs with your employees and suppliers and price with your customers. No business can run without negotiating power.

WHY THIS MODEL?: Negotiating is required in sales at all stages of business.

Full Offering

In this manual you will evaluate your business' full offering, which is a mix of both products and services that you can give to a customer. It is extremely rare that an offering consists of 100 per cent product or 100 per cent service. Most products and services naturally blend together; however, even if they don't the best small business offerings give both tangible and intangible benefits to the customer. Products are, of course, tangible. This could be anything from a stuffed animal to a paperclip. The key is to add valuable services to the product. For example, WebKinz allows children to register their stuffed animals online. They can then play WebKinz games and name their stuffed animals. The online service actually makes the physical product better. Services are intangible but just like products the best services mix the tangible and the intangible. An example would be getting a back massage and then receiving a stick of the incense you smelled during the massage to later remind you of the relaxation that you experienced. A hand written thank you card could give the same effect. The mix of the intangible with the tangible can make a very strong impact and is important because a product or service alone can easily be duplicated. It is the combination of many things that will create a full offering to your customer and will make your company unique. In fact, the more your offering fills your customer's needs, the less likely it is for your customer to go to a competitor.

WHY THIS MODEL?: Figure out what you product/service should look like from the beginning to make sure that you are providing enough value that people will buy it.

Networking for a Difference

Networking is a great marketing tool that helps to establish or solidify business relationships. However, simply attending every networking event possible is not going to do you any good if you don't have a strategy behind it. Your strategy will save you time and money by cutting down on how many networking events you attend but making the most out of the ones you do go to.

WHY THIS MODEL?: Networking can be for more than just customers. Use it for all contacts that you are looking for.

Find Good Suppliers & Partners

Strategic suppliers and business partners support your business and often make it possible to grow faster, easier, and better than doing it alone. In addition, they have the same goals as you, ensure that your customer is happy. When your customers are happy, your suppliers / partners business will also grow. They are part of your team. So it is important to get some good people on your side and this module will help you find them.

WHY THIS MODEL?: Good people to work with are important from the very beginning.

Getting a Mentor

You may be asking why you would need a mentor but the answer is simple. A mentor can save you time by explaining how to do things quickly as they have already encountered the same experiences. They can save you from pitfalls by managing your expectations and giving you proactive plans on how to avoid them. They can help you succeed by finding you customers and contacts. They can give you motivation as you won't want to disappoint them. And the list goes on. Mentors are very valuable to an entrepreneur who is just starting out.

WHY THIS MODEL?: Get a mentor at the very beginning.

Getting the Most out of a Mentor

You already know the benefits to having a mentor including learning from their mistakes, leveraging their contacts and motivating yourself by being accountable to them. If you have found a willing mentor, you have won half the battle. The other half is learning how to make the most out of your relationship.

WHY THIS MODEL?: Now that you have a mentor - get the most out of them to test your business idea off of them.

Time Management

If you are always busy, but never seem to move forward. This module makes you take a look at your day, all the work you do, and it helps you restructure your daily tasks to become more efficient. Time management skills will help you get more done in a day.

WHY THIS MODEL?: Time is money, especially at the start when everything has to be done at the same time.