Blog Archive (2013)

  • Key Resources Highlight (Part 5 of 5): Legal Assistance

    Dec 12, 2013

    Each week will cover a new aspect of starting and running a business including business plans, marketing and legal assistance. The resources that will be listed and discussed here are aimed at helping businesses from all industries. However, if you still need more precise information make sure to explore our industry specific Accelerator Guides to find a fit for your small business ideas!  

  • Small Business Profile 2013

    Nov 11, 2013

    Small Business Profile 2013 is the latest updated version published annually by the British Columbia provincial government to answer some common questions about the role of small business in British Columbia through an examination of trends in growth. Key indicators examined in this report include the number of businesses, employment and earnings, contribution to the economy, industry distribution, regional details, and the role of small business exporters.

  • Key Resources Highlight (Part 4 of 5): Marketing

    Oct 10, 2013

    Sometimes, in business and in life, we get distracted from the big picture and focus too much on the details. This can be a challenge whether you are starting or already have a small business. With that in mind our five part series on business startups highlights some of the tools and resources found in our Key Resources section of the website. Each week will cover a new aspect of starting and running a business including business plans, marketing and legal assistance.

  • Events for Small Business Month 2013

    Oct 10, 2013

    Another year has passed and Small Business Month (also known as October) is here again! There's so much going on this month to celebrate our entrepreneurs and small businesses  that we wanted to a minute to highlight a few events you might want to check out.

  • Key Resources Highlight (Part 3 of 5): Management and Human Resources

    Oct 10, 2013

    A successful business is all about proper management! On our Key Resources: Management and Human Resources page you'll find resources on the management of people and human resources, including how to assess yourself and discover what areas you excel in and where you might need a little help.

  • Key Resources Highlight (Part 2 of 5): Funding and Financing

    Sep 9, 2013

    You already have a great idea and all you need now is the financial resources to develop it, right? Figuring out how to get funding and financing for your business can seem incredibly daunting. However, there are numerous grants, funding and financing opportunities available in BC and Canada that are designed to help overcome the financial challenges of starting a new business.

  • Key Resources Highlight (Part 1 of 5): Business Plans

    Sep 9, 2013

    Sometimes, in business and in life, we get distracted from the big picture and focus too much on the details. This can be a challenge whether you are beginning or currently have a small business. With that in mind we decided to do a five part series highlighting some of the tools and resources found in our Key Resources section of the website. Each week will cover a new aspect of starting and running a business including business plans, marketing and legal assistance.

  • Resource Highlight: MOOCs for Entrepreneurs

    Aug 8, 2013

    Many people would like to go back to school, but for a variety of reasons (time, money, etc…) they are unable to. This is the same for small business owners or entrepreneurs who may wish to brush up on some aspect of starting or running their business or who have never had an opportunity to take classes on business. That’s where a relatively recent phenomenon, the MOOC, comes in.  

  • Resource Highlight: Finding Free Images Online

    Aug 8, 2013

    There seems to be a growing emphasis on the importance of including visuals with your online content. These visuals can take the form of infographics, videos or photographs and are often used to add context or additional information to the accompanying text. Infographics and videos often require significant amounts of behind the scenes work and are most effective when they have been created for a specific purpose or organization. Photographs are a little different in that they generally serve to enhance the content message and are easier to generate than a video or infographic.

  • Check out the SBA “Tools for Doing Business” Page

    Aug 8, 2013

    Looking for ways to expand the online presence of your business? Here at the SBA we are constantly on the lookout for free or low cost web tools that might be useful to your business. To date, we have compiled a list of over 75 mainly free tools that are usually simple to learn, easy to use and have the potential to significantly enhance the way you do business.

  • Managing Your Email Effectively (Part 2 of 2)

    Aug 8, 2013

    Last week in the first of our two part series “Managing your Email Effectively” we offered a list of simple tips and tricks designed to help manage and perhaps the number of emails you receive any day. However, we are well aware that even by following all of the suggestions we gave that the emails in your inbox will not magically disappear. This second section is focused on tools and apps that can help manage and organize your inbox, hopefully saving you time and reducing stress.  

  • Managing Your Email Effectively (Part 1 of 2)

    Jul 7, 2013

    Email has become an integral part of our day to day lives, both personally and in business. However, most of us are now inundated by the non-stop emails that fill our inboxes.

  • Small Business Access to Financing Report Summary

    Jul 7, 2013

    The Small Business Access to Financing: Request and Approval Rates, Interest Rates and Collateral Requirements (2000-10) report by Daniel Seens was just released by Industry Canada. This report brought together and analyzed the results of two surveys: the Survey on Financing of Small and Medium Enterprises and the Credit Conditions Survey.

  • Industry Overview: Craft Breweries & Microbreweries

    Jul 7, 2013

    Craft breweries and microbreweries produce beer in limited quantities when compared to large breweries (generally under 10,000 barrels per year) and usually distribute their beer within a limited geographic region. Craft breweries often specialize in specific styles of beer, and focus on providing customers a superior product, using traditional brewing techniques. Certain craft breweries sell beer directly on their premises, and are called brewpubs. Craft breweries are known to develop clever marketing strategies with limited budgets in order to connect with their target markets.

  • Cool Tools: Managing your Social Media Accounts

    Jul 7, 2013

    We are big fans of social media and its many attributes here at the SBA, but lately we have been reading about the large amounts of time businesses and entrepreneurs are spending to maintain their social presence.As such, we decided to do a survey of some of the tools available that are designed to manage social media and hopefully make the work more efficient and effective. Hootsuite

  • Overview of the Start-Up Visa Program

    Jun 6, 2013

    There is a new Canadian visa program targeting foreign entrepreneurs that has been in the news frequently in recent weeks. Earlier this year the federal government announced the “Start-Up Visa Program” as part of the Economic Action Plan 2012.

  • Learning Initiatives for Rural and Northern BC: 2013 - Apply Now!

    Jun 6, 2013

    Learning Initiatives for Rural and Northern BC (LIRN BC) is a collaborative approach to building on the capacities of rural, remote and Northern British Columbian communities. And we are delighted to be partering with this great initiative! The LIRN process encourages local government, provincial, federal, First Nations, non-government organizations (community-based, regional and provincial) and businesses to work together to plan, deliver and evaluate a locally relevant learning initiative.

  • Resource Highlight: Presenting to Investors

    May 5, 2013

    Does your business or start-up idea require capital to move forward but you don’t have much experience or are not comfortable giving presentations? Don't worry, you are not alone! There are many occasions when you will be called upon to make a pitch to investors, potential partners and customers in order to promote and advance your small business and brand.

  • Industry Overview: Restaurants

    May 5, 2013

    Restaurants are found in both rural and urban communities and are consistently a popular start-up idea. As such, we want to provide you with a current industry overview, trends and challenges as well as provide some research resources for those interested in opening a restaurant.

  • Resource Highlight: Free or Low Cost Webinars for Small Businesses

    May 5, 2013

    There are lots of resources available to entrepreneurs who want to expand their knowledge on topics relating to small and medium sized businesses. However, not everyone has the time, money or desire to register for a traditional class. This week we have compiled a list of online webinars relating to small business that are free or very low cost. While some may be formatted more like a college course and take weeks to complete, many are just an hour in length.

  • Resource Highlight: Hiring Students and Young People

    May 5, 2013

    There are numerous initiatives to encourage Canadian employers to hire students and young people as well as provide mentoring services to young entrepreneurs. These programs have numerous benefits for both BC businesses and BC's young people and students. In this blog, we will highlight three such programs that BC entrepreneurs and businesses can become involved with:  

  • Guest Post: Cut Overhead by Reducing Power Usage

    May 5, 2013

    Whether you work alone or have an office full of employees, monthly utility bills can comprise a significant portion of your company's expenditures. But just because your initial budget may have accounted for several hundred dollars a month (or far more) of electricity usage doesn't mean that you're obliged to keep up that quota. By chipping away at your monthly bill through simple measures, you will free up more money for all of your business's other needs.

  • How to do Business Research: The Basics

    Apr 4, 2013

    It can be daunting to begin business research for your start up idea. There is so much information out there, how do you know where to start and what to look for?

  • New models for financing: Slow money

    Mar 3, 2013

    One trend that you can expect to see growing in 2013 is Slow Money; an investment strategy inspired by the tenets of the Slow Food Movement and founded by Woody Tasch in 2009. Slow money claims to bring funds “back to earth” by encouraging small-scale investments in local farms and food producers.This is an exciting trend for small scale businesses in the agriculture sector as it has the potential to remove some significant financing barriers.

  • Hot Industry Trends

    Feb 2, 2013

    Starting a business is always risky, but being an entrepreneur also has the potential for great rewards. Keeping tabs on industry trends can help you strike while the iron is hot. Here are the 11 best business opportunities for this year published by We’ve given you the rundown of their list below, along with links to the SBA’s own industry accelerator guides.  Check out the original article for even more information.

  • The newcomer’s introduction to starting a business in British Columbia

    Feb 2, 2013

    Starting a business can be a complicated process and is often different in different places. Newcomers or non-Canadians wishing to start a business in Canada have some extra considerations before getting started. In this blog post we will share some great resources and support services to help the entrepreneurial immigrant start a business in British Columbia. 

  • The Evolving Workplace (Part 2 of 2): Is a Co-working Space Right for You?

    Feb 2, 2013

    Today workspace options are more flexible and varied than ever before. Of course, there is the traditional office and the virtual work environment, but now, for those of you who want a bit of both, there is the shared office or co-working space. Co-work or collaborative work spaces are on the rise. Let's take a look at what exactly a co-working space means and what the draws are for entrepreneurs. Then we'll explore where you can find co-work spaces in BC.

  • Going Green: Small Steps for Your Business

    Jan 1, 2013

    There are lots of actions you can take, for little or no cost, that can save your small business money and be good for the environment too! We’ll start off with some small and simple changes that you can think about implementing today. 

  • Becoming a Better Business Leader

    Jan 1, 2013

    Whether you’re managing an office or starting your own business, good leadership is an essential ingredient of business success. But what makes a good leader? According to John Baker, president of the organizational and leadership development firm READY Thinking, “Leadership is accomplishing things that reach beyond solitary abilities by acting — and getting others to act — with a maturity that surpasses limited self-interest.”

  • Get Inspired

    Jan 1, 2013

    Happy New Year from everyone here at the SBA! The beginning of a new year is always a time of thoughtful reflection. It's also a time for setting goals. One of our new year's resolutions is to incorporate more inspiration and motivation into our lives. Below we've listed some of our favorite inspirational thoughts. Check out our new SBA Pinterest board for even more quotes to get you inspired for 2013.