Small Business Resources for Newcomers

small-business-owners-for-newcomer-blogMore and more new Canadians are seeking information on starting up a new business, whether it’s a micro-business, a small to medium enterprise or starting a business utilizing their foreign education credentials.

We often meet with individuals who may have limited English language proficiency or who are looking to have their professional credentials recognized in the Canadian economy. There are many resources available to newcomers, both online and here at the Halton Region Small Business Centre to help navigate the Canadian business landscape. Here are some highlights of what resources are available online.

Canada Business Ontario has a wealth of small business resources for all Canadians as well as specific information that is helpful for newcomers to navigate small business information in Canada. A significant feature of this website is that information is available in 14 various languages, to aid in the translation of terms and regulations. This information is available in: Arabic , Chinese (simplified)Chinese (traditional),  Farsi,   ItalianKoreanPolish, PortuguesePunjabiRussianSpanishTagalog , and Urdu. In addition to this, there is information and contact information pertaining to the following:

  • Legal work status in Canada
  • An interactive Job bank
  • Working in Ontario – an integrated search tool
  • Global experience Ontario – foreign trained (non-healthcare) professionals
  • HealthForceOntario – Internationally educated health professionals
  • Getting started in business – business planning
  • Regulations
  • Legal questions
  • Taxation
  • Hiring employees
  • Workplace safety
  • Employment standards
  • Importing and exporting

This website is a great starting point.  Additionally, individuals or business owners can meet with a consultant at the Halton Region Small Business Centre to discuss business topics and gain advice on how to move forward.

One of the goals of the centre is to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and provide the right tools to achieve success.  For more information about resources, services, business events and seminars, contact us by calling 1-866-442-5866, dial 311. You can visit us online at www.halton.ca/smallbusiness, by email at smallbusiness@halton.ca or in person at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville. You can also follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook.

 

 

Posted in Halton Small Business Centre, Small Business Advice, Tips and Advice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sole Proprietorship and General Partnership

female-entrepreneur

What business structure is ideal for your business?  The majority of businesses are sole proprietorship (a business owned by one person) or general partnership (a business owned by two or more individuals).  What are some advantages and disadvantages of setting up this type of structure?

Advantages:

  • Simple and least expensive to set up – You can run a business under your own name and if so, you are not required to register the business name with the Ontario Government. If you decide you want to operate under a business name, it must be registered with the Ontario Government and the fee is $60.00. You register online at serviceontario.ca.

Continue reading

Posted in business planning, Halton Small Business Centre, Small Business Advice, Tips and Advice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Music is Valuable to Your Business – and More Affordable than You Think

socan_tag_h_eng_4cHave you ever been in a grocery store and heard background music playing overhead? You may not have thought about it, but being in a big-box store, or superstore, without music can be an unsettling experience after so many years of background music being so common. If you can’t remember a grocery store experience, think of the last time you went to a dance studio or fitness class without music? I would guess that it’s never happened.

Music can be an important part of the retail shopping experience. The mood set by music can impact customers’ happiness and willing to spend money. In the case of a dance studio, music is an essential component of the business.

With all the value t music adds to business, it is surprising how many new business owners don’t know they have to pay for the music they play. Usually at this moment, adding “a music licence” to an entrepreneur’s list of start-up requirements causes a little bit of panic, but the good news is that complying with the rules is more affordable than you think. Continue reading

Posted in Small Business Advice, Tips and Advice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Online Business Resources @ the Halton Small Business Centre

ToolboxMore and more people are contacting Halton Region, looking for information on starting a new business, whether it’s a small micro-business or a small to medium enterprise.

Before meeting with a business consultant, people can access a wealth of information on the Halton Small Business Centre website The information available on the website ranges from defining your business idea, to exporting your first product.  There are checklists and templates to get you started and help you through the planning and development stages, as well as guides and publications from trusted sources. Here are some highlights of what online resources are available:

Checklists and Templates 

  • Developing Your Idea Questions and Answers (Q&A)
  • Starting a Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership Checklist
  • Starting a Corporation Checklist
  • Industry Specific Licences and Regulations
  • Business Planning Template
  • Financials – Start-up Costs, Cash Flow and Balance Sheets
  • Partnership Agreement Template
  • Networking Groups

Continue reading

Posted in business planning, Halton Small Business Centre, Small Business Advice, Tips and Advice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What happens if your business plan doesn’t work?

Time to Evaluate card in hands of businessman

You spent several months planning your business. But since implementation, you’ve noticed that you are not getting the results you had hoped. What do you do?   Consider that plans don’t always come together. If this happens you need to be decisive and take action immediately.   First of all, you need to investigate why your plan doesn’t seem to be working. Here are five factors to consider:

  1. Seasonality can play a very big role in the success of your plan. If you look at the different seasons and consider buying patterns of people, you can see how it’s possible to generate sales.  Most people realize January and February are very slow sale months in the retail sector. But, January and February could be very good months for personal trainers and diet centres.  When looking at your plan, make sure you consider whether seasons plays a role in sales.

Continue reading

Posted in business planning, Small Business Advice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Business After 5

On Wednesday, August 10, the Halton Region Small Business Centre hosted our annual Business After 5 networking event and tradeshow.

Halton Region’s Business After 5 is special because it is one of the few Chamber of Commerce networking events where members of all four local chambers: Burlington Halton Hills, Milton, and Oakville, get to come together for one large coordinated event.

We hope that our guests enjoyed the evening and have been successful at making new business connections.

One of the goals of the Small Business Enterprise Centre is to empower small and medium-sized businesses and provide the right tools and mindset to achieve success.  For more information about resources, services, business events and seminars, contact us by dialing 311, 1-866-442-5866, online at halton.ca/smallbusiness, by email at smallbusiness@halton.ca or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville. You can also follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook.

Posted in Halton Small Business Centre, Small Business Advice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Entrepreneurship Programs for Youth

Teenage friends spending time together

Youth and entrepreneurship development are a major focus for the provincial government and the Halton Region Small Business Centre (SBEC) provides information and resources for young entrepreneurs in the Region.

Currently, there are three youth programs that provide skills development, training and financial assistance that are available at SBEC:

  • Starter Company

The Starter Company Program provides business skills training and development for youth between the ages of 18 to 29. The program helps with understanding and training in business plan development and operations. If successful, the program offers an opportunity to apply for a grant of $5,000. Individuals who are interested must attend an information session as a first step.

  • Summer Company (for students)

The Summer Company Program is for high school and post-secondary students between the ages of 15 to 29 who would like to experience entrepreneurship first-hand rather than work in a traditional summer job.  Students receive  12 hours of training and skills development.  In addition to training and meetings with business mentors, participants can access up to $1,500 in grant funding for startup costs, as well as an opportunity to receive an additional $1,500 award for successful completion of program requirements at the end of summer operations.  Applications are open in January each year.

  • Futurpreneur Canada

Futurpreneur Canada (formerly CYBF) provides unsecured small business loans for youth between 18 and 34 years of age. In addition to the financial supports, Futurpreneur also provides two years of mentoring to help young entrepreneurs during the introductory stage of business development.  The Small Business Centre is a community partner for this national program. Information sessions are held monthly at SBEC.

For more information on youth entrepreneurship programs in Halton Region visit halton.ca/youthbiz  or, contact SBEC at 905-825-6000, ext. 7900 or dial 311.

Posted in Economic Development, Halton Small Business Centre, Small Business Advice, Summer Company, Tips and Advice, Uncategorized, Youth Entrepreneur Program | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment