Tune-up your business during Small Business Month

October is the month when Canadians recognize the achievements of business owners.

October is the month when Canadians from coast-to-coast recognize the awesome achievements of this country’s nearly 3 million business owners.

As you well know, success for Canadian business owners doesn’t come easily: building a company that works well takes plenty of time, energy, money, patience, teamwork, perseverance, support, and no small amount of optimism. With so much to do, any help is appreciated.

Celebrate Small Business Month by committing to make your business even better.  Use these three tips to tune-up your business in the areas of sales, planning, and financing.

First tune-up: Talk to your customers

Your customers are the lifeblood of your company – the very reason you’re in business.

Make it a priority to strengthen your customer relationships this month. Reach out by email or phone to personally thank your customers for buying from you. And take the time to check in with your customers to find out how you can better serve them.

Consider asking your customers:

  • If they could change one thing about your company, what would it be?
  • What product or service would they like your business to offer?
  • What is the biggest challenge your business can help them solve – and how?

Show your customers you value their input by making the changes your customers want to see. Read up on strategies and tactics designed to increase sales and grow more profits by keeping your customers happy.

Second tune-up: Update your business plan

Has some time passed since you updated your business plan? Small Business Month is the perfect excuse to dust off that stale plan and breathe some new life into it.

Open your plan with an eye to these updates:

  • Refresh any goals and timelines to achieve them.
  • Revisit any financing strategies to make sure they align with your current business stage. For example, rather than start-up funding, you may need money to reinvest in aging equipment or to upgrade your computer systems.
  • Check your ambitions to expand the business into new territories or customer segments. You might already be doing that.
  • See if your hiring strategy should change – do you have enough people for your current goals, or should you plan to bring in more talent? You’ll need to budget for the latter.

If you’ve been putting off updating your business plan because you think it will take too much time, try this easy-to-use and interactive business planning tool to get it done.

Third tune-up: Get the cash you need for growth

You know what your customers want and you have a plan for growth.

The last part of your business tune-up involves checking that financing is in place. For example, you may discover you need access to $100,000 or more of additional funds in order to introduce a new product line that your customers clearly want, hire more employees, and tackle a new geographic territory.

Try the Scotiabank Compass for business tool for resources to help take your business to the next level. You’ll find videos, templates, helpful articles and interactive planning tools designed for businesses at all stages of development.

Next steps

  • Talk with other business owners to get more ideas to tune-up your business.
  • Set a timeline to implement any changes you’ve made – you can simply update your action agenda in your business plan.
  • Contact your Scotiabank Small Business Advisor to discuss your updated business plan so you can explore financing solutions to help support your goals.

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