6 Tips for Your First Year in Business

1. Develop a great business plan: A business needs a plan to succeed. You need to work out the crucial elements to your business: finances, marketing, management, and strategy. Getting everything organized before you get your business going can increase your  odds for success.

2. Market your business: Successful business owners use marketing professionals who understand the industry and know which channels will effectively reach their  target audience. You must also  use advertising through online marketing, social media and other digital resources.

3. Know your customers: Your first customers are key to the success of your business. They help legitimize your idea and show a market for your products and services. Getting paid is equally important. Use tools that help you know who your best customers are.  Who pays you on time, and who takes longer will help you grow.

4. Monitor your competition: Every business has competition. Keep a close eye on your competitors to help manage changes in your marketing strategy and pricing structure. Watching what your competitors are doing can help you to be successful. With a full understanding of the other players in a market,  you can stay a step ahead.

5. Supplier relationships: Your vendor relationships are key. Know who gives you the best payment terms, and those with the best service and support. These relationships will help carry you through your first year, and help to inform your spending, on everything from inventory, and equipment, to professional services.

6. Seek professional help: Develop a relationship with a financial professional for advice and strategic insight. Working closely with trusted business advisors throughout the year enables them to better understand your business needs as a whole and get you the best results.

For help with government funding for your business and to achieve your goals please contact the National Business Finance Centre at:


Succeeding in Business 2016: 5 Keys

What does Business Success mean to you? How can we measure business success in 2016?

The first key is to clearly define your targets, and keep checking your progress against those targets as 2016 goes on.


To achieve success, you must know what success is. Define it. Set yourself goals, and set a reasonable timeline to accomplish them. Some examples of success in business other than profit, could include increasing customer satisfaction, increasing market share, increasing brand awareness, or implementing environmentally friendly business practices.


When planning for the futur, we must first look to the past. Refer to your business plan. What has changed? What needs to change? Look for opportunities and challenges that have come up.

Make a plan that answers the what, when and how, of your opportunities and solutions, then put it somewhere you can easily see. Your plan will help keep you focused while you’re busy running your business day to day.


Assess your company’s performance for the month and year. What where your goals? What did you accomplish?

Did you achieve the items on your list of goals? If not, what changes do you need to make to achieve your goals? Ask yourself whether your plan for 2016 has the right blend of ambition and reality. When you ask yourself the right questions, you will be ready for the right answers.


You must check in regularly with your customers and clients. Valuable insights can be gained by listening to their opinions of how you could improve their experience. They may also offer insight on the general view of your business.

Staying in touch demonstrates you care, which reinforces customer loyalty. You can encourage client engagement various ways. A quick and easy competitions or rewards and some follow up throughout the year can make a big difference.


Good leadership is all about communicating and inspiring your team. You can keep staff motivated by sharing your vision for the future, and emphasizing the role you see them playing in it. An engaged team will see better results, and is your greatest asset.

You can create a learning culture by encouraging staff to broaden their horizons and by offering as many opportunities for growth as you can. Sharing your plan will lead to goals for the team. A sense of achievement is an excellent motivator for any team, so measure and encourage progress towards these goals. Don’t neglect to celebrate successes and achievements, no matter how small.
Being organized and focused on your success for 2016 will allow you to achieve your goals and grow your business in the way your envision.

For help with government funding for your business and to achieve your goals please contact the National Business Finance Centre at:


Top 4 Start-Up Financing Sources in 2016

The biggest challenge that any entrepreneur faces today with their start-up is finding a way to bring their ideas to life with cash flow. Any brilliant business venture needs to be backed by enough capital. That funding is used for anything, from paying down expenses, to drive expansion, recruit talent, payoff loans and establish your presence in the market.

Funding is available from different sources, but all of them differ from each other in ways that may meet your needs. Below are the top 4 funding options in 2016 to consider for your start up:

Government Grants and Loans for Small Businesses

Today there are many different small business grants and Loans for your start ups that you can use to drive cash flow. But when it comes to government grants, keep in mind that there are criteria that need to be met and some of the approval processes are particular in nature. Grants can target niche businesses, be location based or product specific.

Available Grants for your startup could include:

-Young Entrepreneurship
-Social and Economic Development
-Process Research and Product Development

NGO Financing

In addition of government grants, there is a large number of non-governmental funding available to entrepreneurs. Some, NGO’s may give you a specific amount of funding needed, will other NGO’s will only finance a percentage of what your business needs.

NGO’s are available at the local, provincial or federal level. The application process is similar to government grants and are available for many different business niches

Crowd Funding

Crowd funding is the newest method to raise capital for your business. If you are unaware of what crowd funding is, it a group contribution from a collection of people not attached to the financial sector.

There are many crowd funding platforms online. It’s a great way that allows you to take pre-orders or receive awards while donating. The negatives of crowd funding is that your idea is available to everyone who can copy and deliver to market faster than you can, the pro is that you can test market validity of your product, during the donation phase.

Private Sector and Personal Assets

The oldest method on the list is to either go to a lender using financial institution or funding the project through your personal assets. Most financial institutions will need to see you have starting capital before they lend you money. You will also need financial forecasts and a positive credit score statement. Further more you can use your assets to get the financing needed by using them as collateral.

Getting a loan against personal assets is a particularly good option for business owners who do not have enough capital to start up their business, further they do not to fill out forms or meet certain criteria’s that other funding options require. The process is usually quick and user friendly.

If any of these funding methods meet your needs, we can help you match up with your funding needs. The National Business Finance Centre can help you make the right choice. Contact us at 1-888-707-3222.

Financial assistance for the Industrial Waste Technology Centre (CTRI)

New Financial Assistance announced for CTRI, located in Rooyn-Noranda who focuses on technological innovation and development connected with deriving value from industrial waste and agricultural sectors.

During the visit to the organization’s premises, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister Responsible for CED, the, announced financial support that will help support the activities of the Industrial Waste Technology Centre.

This financial assistance amount came in over $600,000. It is awarded in the form of a non-repayable contribution under CED’s Quebec Economic Development Program. Created in 2000 by the Cégep of Abitibi-Témiscamingue, the CTRI is a college centre for technology transfer that operates primarily in the innovation sector.

CED is one of the six regional development agencies under the responsibility of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

Quick facts

  • The CTRI has developed expertise in the fields of forestry and agricultural biomass, among others, deriving value from industrial sludges (paper manufacturers and municipalities), energy sources or fuels (pellets), industrial minerals and, most recently, in developing new capabilities in rehabilitating and re-vegetating mine sites and treating contaminated water.
  • The funding awarded will enable the CTRI to support the performance of enterprises through its activities with SMEs in the region. The project’s aim is to purchase, install and start up a waste-washing circuit in the semi-industrial multi-purpose plant already in place.
  • The CTRI provides its clients (private enterprises or community organizations) with the following products and services: applied research activities, technology development, technical support, customized training, and technology diffusion and transfer activities.

Government of Ontario Invests in Aylmer Indoor Shrimp Farm

November 27th 2015 AYLMER, Ontario

– The city of tobacco built near the shore of one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, will soon be home to an unlikely crop – salt water shrimp.

Planet shrimp is a new agro-business in the region, that rose from the rubble of the faltering tobacco industry. The president of the company promises that it will soon become one of the largest corporate operations of shrimp in the world with an initial harvest of about 225,000 kg per year.

“We hope to have a nice, sustainable, shrimp right on your tables” by June next year, said President Marvyn Budd.

The first phase of the project cost “several million” dollars, and the plan is to invest over $ 40 million over time until the aquatic farm is fully developed, he said.

If a former tobacco factory seems a strange place to grow a series of huge tanks of saltwater shrimp, Budd said the adjustment has become a logical choice as he conducted research for a site plan to produce prawns within national origin.

The space is there: in its heyday in the 1960s, Imperial Tobacco factory processed millions of tons of leaves under eight hectares of roof.

“It has been a great partnership. I could not be happier,” said Budd, a business developer.

The novelty of the growth of shrimp, inside, and away from the ocean, was not lost on the participants of the announcements.

Aylmer Mayor Greg Currie said when he mentioned the announcement to his 83-year-old father of the island Prince Edward Island, “he said,” You better talk to your mother because there is something wrong with your head. “I’m very excited for. . . to tell him what will happen to my community, to our community. ”

Minister of Agriculture of Ontario Jeff Leal was on hand to announce a provincial investment of $ 237,000.

“This is a wonderful, wonderful project for this community… This is the kind of project that will make Ontario grow”.

The money will be used to build a closed loop, bio-secure environment that the company promises will be “virtually eliminate” the possibility of the disease from entering the installation. The water will be recirculated through filters every 90 minutes, Budd said.

The Canadian market for shrimp is growing, thanks in part to a growing Asian population. But Budd said drivers also include a demand for locally produced foods raised on a diet of local ingredients. “I think that demographic change is (clients) who want a healthy product.”

Mark Tytel, director of marketing for export Packers Co., said his company imports more than two million tons each year in Canada, all frozen after leaving the outer ground basins in Southeast Asia.

“We were never able to bring fresh shrimp. We just could not.”

This shrimp farm – Company Tytel is an investor in the plant and will also be the distributor of shrimp – allow Canadians to enjoy fresh local shrimp for the first time.

The goal is to make sure that it is certified high and sustainable harvested.

“At the end of the day, it will produce a better, cleaner shrimp,” said Tytel.

Dave Mennill, Mayor of Township of Malahide, proclaimed “a great day” for food innovation and employment in the region. He said he is very pleased that the sprawling installation is nearly filled with tenants again. “It was a huge shock when Imperial Tobacco was out of Aylmer.”

The grant was one of six grants to local food innovation announced recently for this area.

Manitoba Government Provides Loan to Support Loewen Windows

October 19th, 2015 – STEINBACH, MB

A $7-million Government loan will help to create more than 100 jobs at Loewen Windows and support Manitoba’s thriving manufacturing sector, Jobs and the Economy Minister Kevin Chief announced here today.

“As Canada’s largest wood window builders, Loewen Windows has an international reach, but it knows its biggest impact is creating good jobs here in Steinbach,” said Minister Chief. “We want to help and this loan means it can hire more than 100 new people right here in its hometown.”

Loewen Windows is located in Steinbach and employs more than 500 people. The company brings opportunities to the province through its efforts to compete in the North American and global manufacturing markets, the minister noted.

“This funding helps more Manitobans become part of our dedicated, highly trained workforce. It will help us grow our customer base, and deliver the highest quality of products and customer service,” said Al Babiuk, president and chief executive officer, Loewen Windows. “The loan and training assistance combine with the company’s own investment to help achieve our strategic plan.”

In addition to the government business loan, there will also be up to $1,366,000 in training assistance provided to Loewen Windows, Minister Chief said. This assistance will be part of a $6.5-million company investment that will increase the skills of its workers and contribute to strengthening Manitoba’s workforce, he added.

Funding from the Manitoba government will add to the company’s commitment to a five-year strategic plan that involves creating up to 180 jobs. Existing staff will also be trained in areas such as new equipment and technology use, and process and quality improvement.

“More than 500 people already make their living at Loewen Windows and we want to make sure they have the skills they need to stay competitive in one of Canada’s fastest growing economies,” said Minister Chief. “This training investment will help employees continue to produce some of Canada’s best windows while they earn a good living for themselves and their families‎.”

Western Canadian Tech Firms Score Major Government Funding


ePACT, an online emergency network, was selected in the second competitive round of the Western Innovation Initiative to receive nearly $1 million in funding.

Launched in 2013, WINN (Western Innovation Initiative)is a five-year initiative providing $100 million in repayable contributions to Western Canada based companies who are developing cutting edge technologies and services.

In 2014, $21 million was awarded to 27 companies across BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In this second year, 21 companies were successful applicants, with Vancouver’s ePACT being one of seven enterprises in BC. ePACT will receive $920,152 to support expansion of the network across North America.

“WINN once again demonstrates our Government’s commitment to protecting jobs and ensuring the Canadian economy remains strong for years to come,” said the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification

“We are proud to have the Government of Canada recognize ePACT as an innovator, and support our company with WINN,” said Christine Sommers, CEO of ePACT.

ePACT provides services for families to store critical information in case of emergencies online. This information is shared with individuals and organizations who can support or aide them in a crisis..

Other companies funded include Cantega Technologies ($1.2 million), IntelliView Technologies ($500,000), and Eight Technologies ($1.4 million).


2014 Funding Programs – Government Grants & Loans


Ottawa, Ontario May 1st, 2014

Summer is almost upon us and many small businesses owners are looking to maximize their businesses growth for the coming year. Government Grants and Government secured Loans are two of the tools available to Canadian Businesses to help them to take advantage of the various business opportunities that will present themselves in the coming months.

Depending on the industry that a business operates in, the summer months can be a busy or quiet time. Regardless of wether a business has a seasonal high, or low in terms of activity at this time of year, it remains an optimal time to pursue funding for the year’s continued and new ventures.

New programs are often introduced in January of every year. Many of the funding programs that have been announced over the previous year will come into effect at the beginning of a calendar year. A lesser known fact is that many government grants and government loans programs have a fixed annual budget that resets in sync with the calendar year.

These two facts combine to present a unique opportunity for Canadian business owners:

This is the best time of year to invest in your business with Government Grants and Government Loans.

Program funding may be available for the following business endeavours:

  • Starting a new business
  • Expanding an existing business
  • Investing in capital expenditures (equipment etc.)
  • Making improvements to existing company facilities (lease hold improvements)
  • Purchasing real-estate for business purposes
  • Investing in skills training for staff
  • Employment and hiring subsidies for new workers
  • Agricultural subsidies
  • Manufacturing subsidies
  • Assistance for export related business endeavours
  • Tax credits and direct subsidies for business research (product or processes)
  • Various other purposes

In order to make sure that a business qualifies, the business need simply follow the following rule to success with government funding:

Apply Early. Apply Often.

Business owners and individuals who are starting a new business that wish to take advantage of the most up to date information are encouraged to contact The National Business Finance Centre directly at: 1-888-707-3222.

The recommendation remains the same for summer as for spring:

Canadian Businesses that want to succeed in an increasingly competitive international and local market place need to take advantage of all the opportunities available to them. This can often mean accessing that latest Government Grants and Loans for Canadian Business.

Government of Canada invests in Colibri Technologies Inc.

Toronto, Ontario

May 8th, 2013

Acting on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, Joe Daniel, Member of Parliament for Don Valley East, announced that the firm Colibri Technologies Inc. will be receiving financial assistance.

“Our Government continues to focus on innovation, small business and growth,” said MP Daniel.

Colibri Technology Inc. is dedicated to developing technologies that will improve patient quality of life, reduce healthcare costs and enable better treatment options.
The Innovation medical technology, Colibri Technologies Inc. will be granted financial assistance in the form of up to $900,000.

The company will use the financial assistance to purchase instruments that produce the higher quality real-time images needed for minimally invasive procedures.

“Calibri’s mission is to provide technologies that will make minimally invasive procedures safer, faster and more affordable,” said Brian Courtney, CEO of Colibri Technologies Inc.
The project will expect to create up to 17 full time jobs in the Toronto area, with an additional 130 jobs by 2016.

“With support for companies like Colibri Technologies, we boost private sector investment to create jobs and meet the growing demand for high-quality, affordable healthcare solutions in Canada and international markets.”

Government of Canada invests in MMS Laser

Victoriaville, Quebec

May 8th, 2013

Acting on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and
Communities, Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Jacques Gourde, Member of Parliament for Lotbiniere-Chutes-de-la-Chaudiere, announced that the firm MMS Laser will be granted financial.

“The Government of Canada believes that economic diversification is the key to the future for Quebec communities who rely on the forestry. That is why it is supporting the establishment of MMS Laser, whose arrival will help grow the economy and create jobs,” said Mr. Gourde.

The firm MMS Laser was founded in the year 2012. The firm specializes in the design and manufacture of metal parts. MMS Laser uses processes as laser cutting, folding, stitch welding and metal machining for its customers.

The Government of Canada will be investing in MMS Laser in the form of a $500,000 repayable contribution.
The firm will use the financial assistance in order to purchase production equipment and to complete its start-up activities.

“The Government of Canada remains focused on four priorities, as outlined by the Prime Minister, the Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and of course, their personal financial security,” concluded MP Gourde.