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: