Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Myth-Busters of Startups

Some interesting myth-busting from the results of a bank survey released today:

One-third (32%) of Canadians who don’t own a business like the idea of being their own boss and one-fifth (20%) are thinking about starting up their own business within five years, according to the most recent RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook.

“Considering 12 per cent of Canadians are currently self-employed, seeing another 20 per cent interested in being their own boss is indeed significant,” said Mike Michell, national director, Small Business, RBC.
When it comes to starting a business, the top two challenges identified by those who don’t own a business are getting enough money to start or expand (28%) and finding clients (14%).

However, existing business owners say different. According to the latest RBC Small Business Survey, 66% of business owners said finding enough clients was a key challenge. Only 15% felt that getting enough money to start or expand their business was a key challenge.

The experience of existing business owners also contradicts the perception of 40% of Canadians who think it takes up to three years for a new business to start making money. In fact, 41% of business owners surveyed said it took less than a year for their business to break even.

Here is RBC's list of top business-building tips, as expressed by its survey of Canadian business owners:

Focus more time on networking – develop alliances, join industry associations, attend as many events and seminars as possible.

Aggressively solicit clients – spend more time marketing your business. Understand the clients’ needs and how your business will meet those needs.

Seek as much help or advice as possible – find a mentor or look to other business owners to draw on their experience.

Develop a comprehensive business plan and review it regularly, especially in growth phases.

Obtain financial advice early in your planning to secure financing in advance.

Know your competition well and research the market.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Best bosses, your next video, perfect pitch and Having It All

Here are some links to a few of the subjects I've been blogging about recently for PROFITguide, the online home of PROFIT Magazine.

Just click on any title to be instantly transported to the story.

Ten tasks great bosses love to do

* Do's and don’ts of your corporate video
Why and how you need to become more adept at using digital video as a communications and marketing channel.

* Serving up a perfect pitch
Entrepreneur Neil Raj's formula for winning firends and influencing investors
Karen Stewart's eight tips for the next entrepreneurial generation

You’ll find lots of other great resources at, including editor Ian Portsmouth’s Business Coach Podcast and Peer-to-Peer, the feature in which real-life entrepreneurs answer each other’s most nagging business questions. Check 'em out.