All Things Business
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A sales forecast is essential for managing a business of any size. Accurately forecasting your sales and building a sales plan can help you to avoid
unforeseen cash flow problems and manage your production, staff and financing needs more effectively.
How to Create a Sales Forcast
Plan Your Growth
When your company grows fast, you may not have enough cash to deal with day-to-day operations. Your cash flow is your lifeline. After all, you must pay your bills, payroll, suppliers and other financial obligations daily. It's a bit of a paradox, but companies are often crushed by their own growth.
Step by Step Growth Plan
Negotiating is an inevitable part of doing business. You negotiate with suppliers, distributors and customers. Negotiations can take on a positive light. Remember: You are not battling with the person across the table. You are building a relationship and perhaps the start of a great partnership.
Managing Customer Care
Customer care involves implementing systems to maximize your customers' satisfaction with your business. This guide provides ways to use customer experience, feedback & loyalty programs to retain existing customers that will help increase your sales and tips on how to handle complaints.
Customer Care Guide
Knowing Your Customers' Needs
Knowing and understanding customer needs is at the centre of every successful business, whether it sells directly to individuals or other businesses. Once you have this knowledge, you can use it to persuade potential and existing customers that buying from you is in their best interests.
What You Need to Know
Identify & Sell More to Your Valuable Customers
Every business finds that some customers are more valuable than others. This can be for various reasons, from the size of their purchases to the relative ease of managing their account. This guide helps you identify which of your customers are the most valuable and tips for attracting new high-value customers.
Identify & Sell - Guide & Tips
BC Registry Changes
BC Registry is changing! The BC Registries and Online Services launched a phased modernization initiative to keep pace with technology and the increasing demand for online services. The vision is to create a more secure, user-friendly experience and to make it easier and faster to start and do business in BC.
BC Registries Changes & Updates
How to Cut Inventory Costs
Optimizing inventory levels is a challenge. It’s not easy to balance customer demand with the right inventory level. Managing inventory starts with the right information, including data for high-value items, inventory turns, carrying costs, and suppliers offering the most attractive logistics and financial terms.
A B C's of Inventory Costs
Finding the Right Supplier
Effective purchasing focuses on what your business needs and what you want to achieve. The right products or services and a good price are not the only factors to consider.
For example, if you want to cut down the time it takes you to serve your customers, suppliers that offer you quick, reliable delivery will rate higher than those that compete on price alone.
Tips to help Find the Right Supplier
Effective Sales Techniques
Does your business go through feast or famine when it comes to sales? If the answer is yes, you're not alone. Many businesses are vulnerable to dramatic swings in sales. Yet
often simple changes to the way they manage their sales can reduce or even solve the problem.
5 Effective Sales Techniques
Customer Experience: The Consumer's Point of View
Delivering a positive customer experience is more important than ever. It is a key component of the overall marketing mix, yet many don’t follow through or consider this critical step in the success of their marketing efforts. The groundwork of good (or bad) customer experience is the same regardless of the sector.
The Consumer's Point of View
Closing & Following Up the Sale
If the sales appointment has gone well and the client is interested, signing the order may almost be a formality. However, there are times when the client is still unsure, or they may be nervous about signing a big order. This is understandable, given that they may not have used your product or service before. In this situation, the use of certain closing techniques may help them decide.
Tips for Closing & Following Up
Buying Smarter For Your Store
What’s the best way to buy? The way that lets you give customers what they want, sell out your stock without running short, score the widest margins possible, and collect
enough sales and inventory information to do it all again the following year. Here are some ideas to help you brainstorm better ways to buy.
7 Ways to Buy Smarter
How to Increase Your Working Capital
Working capital is the backbone of any business, so learning how to maintain or generate more cash in your company is vital to success. It's basically the cash you need to operate, or your current assets minus your current liabilities. Without enough working capital, you could lose your flexibility and credibility with financial institutions, suppliers and customers.
4 Ways to Increase Your Working Capital
Reorganizing Your Finances
Whether you're facing rapid growth, dealing with seasonal sales fluctuations or looking for additional capital to finance a new project, refinancing may be an option.
Put simply, refinancing enables you to restructure your debts to obtain better payment conditions, and can benefit successful companies as much as those in difficulty.
When & Why of Reorganizing Your Finances
Obtaining Financing in Difficult Times
Bankers and entrepreneurs have different perspectives and different interests. These differences are ingrained, but good times can create a comfort level that obscures them. Now in times of tighter credit and a slower economy, these different interests are thrown into sharp relief.
Help Your Banker Help You
A business expense is a cost you incur for the sole purpose of earning business income. You must back up business expense claims with a sales invoice, agreement of purchase and sale, a receipt, or some other voucher that supports the expenditure. So, if you pay cash for any business expenses, be sure to get receipts or other vouchers. Receipts should include the vendor's name and the date.
Types of Operating Expenses
How to Get a Better Deal at the Bank
Many people feel intimidated when approaching a bank for the first time. However, remember that you are the customer and the bank is there to serve your needs. So, when you set out to look for a bank, keep in mind that it is up to them to show you that they want your business.
7 Tips to Help You Get a Better Deal
Increase Your Chance of Getting Refinancing
Financial institutions will carefully assess the risk of dealing with your company before suggesting refinancing solutions. Before you venture out and choose your lender, be sure
you clearly understand their expectations.
5 Things to Consider
Financing Operational Efficiency Improvements
Improving your company’s operational efficiency is an important way to reduce costs and increase your productivity in a competitive environment. This may involve purchasing new technology or equipment, expanding your facilities, reorganizing your layout or solving production problems.
Guide to Financing Operation Efficiency
Financing for Innovation
Innovation can mean different things to different businesses. It might involve commercializing a new product, research and development (R&D) or an in-house project such as improving a process. In all cases, however, innovation requires financing.
5 Avenues to Innovation Funding
One way to analyze your financial health and identify how it might be improved is by looking closely at your financial ratios. Ratios are used to make comparisons between different aspects of a company's performance or how the company stacks up within a particular industry or region. They reveal very basic information such as whether you have accumulated too much debt, stockpiled too much inventory or are not collecting receivables fast enough.
4 Types of Ratios
Determining Your Accounting Needs
A professional accountant should be able to provide a retailer with specialized knowledge,
expertise and skills to improve the organization of their financials, implement or maintain
sound management of records, help the business claim everything that it can when tax
season rolls around, and act as a financial advisor when it's necessary or beneficial to the
6 Things to Consider When Searching for an Accountant
Bookkeeping & Accounting
Bookkeeping and accounting are part of running any business. Whether you hire an
accountant or are comfortable doing it yourself, keeping your books in order will help keep
track of required records.
What You Need to Do
Budgeting & Forecasting
Effectively managing your business' finances is critical to your long-term success. Good budgeting and financial forecasting skills can help you control your business' financial
Learn More Here
Approaching the Bank for a Loan
Approaching a bank or other private lenders for a loan can be a complex process, but knowing what bankers are looking for can help you successfully secure financing.
What a Loan Proposal Should Contain
Alternatives to Bankruptcy
If you feel that your financial situation is out of control, there are four steps towards financial stability that you can take today. You may find that you can resolve the problem yourself through a little (or a lot) of hard work, or you may find that the best course of action is to seek the advice of a professional.
4 Steps You Can Take Today
7 Tips for Building Your Cash Flow
When business conditions are tough, it's essential to stay on top of your company's finances and
boost your cash generation. Check out the list of seven ways you can find more cash in your business.
7 Ways to Find More Cash
10 Key Steps in Selling a Business
Selling a business can be a complex and grueling process. Selling a business for its maximum value involves many
different stages that involve plenty of twists and turns full of unexpected challenges.
See the list here.
10 Common Mistakes Sellers Make
We have compiled a list of the ten most common mistakes sellers make when selling their business. You can book an appointment with you local Community Futures office to be sure you are ready to sell!
Don't make these mistakes when selling your business.
When Should You Sell?
Determining the right time to sell your business can be difficult, especially in an uncertain
economy. It is important to identify areas for improvement and outline any changes or
opportunities that will help facilitate a maximum value at the optimal time.
4 Things to Consider Before You Sell
Factors Affecting the Value of Your Business
As a business owner, if you plan to sell your business at any point in the immediate or long-term future, a professional business valuation should be the first link in the chain of events. If a business is overvalued, it will not sell.
If a business is undervalued, the seller will not realize a full return on his/her investment.
What Affects Your Business Value?
One of the most popular questions many business owners have is whether they should sell
their assets or their shares. Most sellers would prefer to sell shares, and most buyers would
prefer to buy assets so how do people get around this dilemma?
Qualifying the Buyer
Qualifying a buyer can be difficult and requires a specific method and approach. Once a buyer
contacts you, you must respond by asking them to fill out confidentiality or Nondisclosure
Agreement (NDA). This will not only protect you but will also weed out the “tire kickers.”
Questions to Ask the Buyer
Check out the list of nine things you should know before signing a purchase agreement and six things to do after you sign.
Before & After the Purchasing Agreement
Selling Your Business - Negotiations
Once you have a fix on the major terms of your deal, you can begin to negotiate the significant aspects of the sale. Try not to get too hung up on any particular price. If you feel that the other party won't budge, you can go back and change
some of the terms you've tentatively agreed on to make them more favourable to you.
Preparing Your Business for Sale
It is never too early to start planning for the sale of your business. In fact, you should always be preparing your business for sale, even when it is not on the market.
Ensuring that your business is in robust health before inviting potential buyers to consider purchasing it can improve pricing and reduce the time to complete a transaction.
What to Inlcude in Your Business Profile
Checklist for Selling Your Business
If you are considering exiting your business, there is much to do. This checklist can be page one of your succession plan—a quick outline of 19 things to do while you prepare to exit your business.
Checklist - Selling Your Business
Business Acquisition Checklist
Are you considering buying a business? We have compiled a checklist of the many questions you should ask and things you need to know before purchasing. Make this purchase the business deal of your dreams.
Business acquisition Checklist
Questions to Ask, Before Buying a Business
The key to successfully purchasing a business is to investigate thoroughly before committing yourself. Be sure you understand the company's sales, costs, profits, and liabilities. We've created a list of questions to help you start your investigation.
Ask Before Your Buy!
Buyer's Expectations & Types
Most commonly, a buyer is looking for the ability to earn a good living and the freedom that comes with owning a business. Alternatively, the buyer
might be an investor, profitability and rate of return will be key elements in the decision.
Check out the 5 types of buyers here.
Buyer's Expectation & The Five Buyer Types
Buying a Franchise
The right franchise can give you a head start. Instead of setting up a business from scratch, you use a proven business idea. Typically, you trade under the business's brand name, offering you the franchise, and they give you help and support.
Check out the advantages and disadvantages of owning a franchise.
Should I Buy a Franchise?
Buying Shares or Assets
Once you have a good sense of the nature and operations of the business, it's time to consider whether you should buy the assets of the business or the shares of the corporation (if incorporated). Each of these approaches has advantages and disadvantages for the buyer.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Valuing a Business
There are four main methods of determining the value of a business: the Asset Method, the Earnings Method,
the Rule of Thumb method and the Industry Comparison Method. We have provided details of each method to help you better understand which method will best suit your needs.
Which method is right for you?
Once you've got a fix on what the major terms of your deal are going to be, you can begin to negotiate on what's probably the most important aspect of the sale: the price.
Whether you are the buyer or the seller, there are many possibilities if you are willing to be flexible.
Price Negotiation: Consider This
The Legal Process
Once you have decided whether to purchase shares or assets, the next step is to have your lawyer prepare an agreement or a letter of intent. There are two different types of letters of intent, binding and non-binding.
Check out the differences here.
Details of a Letter of Intent
Are You An Entrepreneur?
Fill out this self-assessment quiz to find out what traits you have that will help you succeed as an
entrepreneur and which ones might cause you some challenges down the road.
If some of your scores are low, don’t despair. It is beneficial to identify the areas you need to work on so you can build your skill base.
Download the Quiz Today!
Should I Start or Buy a Business?
Becoming a business owner is an exciting step for any entrepreneur. Although there are many ways of becoming a business owner, new start‐ups and buying existing
businesses are the two most common entry methods. There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches.
Starting VS Buying
Feasibility Checklist for Starting-Up
Wondering if your business idea is a business opportunity?
Use the Feasibility Checklist to evaluate a completely new business idea or an opportunity to grow your existing business. Sometimes the most crucial problem we
face is determining the feasibility of an idea.
How to Research Your Market
A market research plan can help you make better business decisions. It helps you determine whether or not there's a viable market for your products, and it will help you tweak your products to fit customer needs and desires. We have included a checklist to start your Market Research.
Market Research Checklist
Assessing the Challenges of Starting a Business
What worries you most about starting your own business? Some of your big challenges may be pretty much as you expect, but you will likely be in for some surprises too.
All businesses have to confront challenges to prosper and grow. Check out the top five challenges experienced by new businesses.
Start Up Challenge List
Assembling Your Support Team
Many new entrepreneurs make the mistake of waiting to talk to or even find professional advisors until after they start their business. Instead, speak to advisors early when starting your business and get their advice.
To get started, check out the list of what you will need and who can offer it.
Start Assembling Your Team
Choosing the Right Business Structure
Having the right business structure can bring many advantages like saving money, avoiding potential personal legal liability, and selling your business down the road. We have put together a list of advantages and disadvantages for each option. Do you know where your business idea fits?
What's Your Structure?
Registering Your Business & Other Start Up Matters
Registering your business is a multi-step process. For example, you will need to submit the business name for approval, register the business with BC Registry Services, and register with CRA, and so on. We have put together the steps for registering your business and a few other tips to get you started.
Registering Your Business & More
Being a Good Credit Risk
As a new business, you may not have a credit history. However, to decide whether to offer a startup company a loan, a bank will often look at the owner's personal credit history. Research shows that how you handle your loans in the past is the best way to predict how you will handle them in the future.
Learn More About Credit History
Financing Your New Business
When developing a business plan, you will need to create cash flow projections and financial statements. Having an accurate snapshot of how your company is doing financially is key to being able to manage effectively. These tools will keep you informed of your company's financial status.
Financial Management Guide