Whether you’re just starting out, growing, or at capacity, there are a ton of business resources you should be using.
While a lot of these are free, we do mention a couple with small fees that are absolutely worth the investment.
Find A Local Business Centre
Many cities across Ontario (and Canada) have local centres dedicated to helping business thrive and grow. While some offer their services for a small fee, you can still use many helpful resources for free. Here are some examples:
The Markham Small Business Centre has some amazing business resources available at your fingertips.
They offer free counselling for things like Business planning, start-up procedures, regulations, and more. They also offer seminars and workshops covering everything from management to legal and financial consideration.
The Sandbox Centre is a wonderful community of business leaders all working to help one another. They have a membership program that helps you build connections and offers training & development opportunities.
With your membership you can also use their beautiful facility in the heart of Barrie’s downtown core. Amenities include meeting spaces, private chat booths, digital content creation studios, and more.
We think a membership is more than worth the price of admission, however, you can always keep an eye on their social media page and event calendar for free sessions.
Join Your Local Chamber
For us, joining a chamber of commerce is a no-brainer and being part of the local business community brings you a variety of benefits:
Joining your local chamber gives you access to valuable resources, discounts and more that help you save money.
Not only do you gain access to a slew of resources, chambers also allow you to connect with other business leaders from your area and beyond.
Chambers help local businesses market their products and increase visibility, credibility, and can boost overall sales.
If you want to learn more about other chambers and gain insight into local issues, news, and events, you should also check out the weekly ChamberLearn podcast.
Use A CRM
Ensuring you’re nurturing your current relationships is the key to any successful business. One of the best ways you can do this is by using some form of Customer Relationship Management software.
Not only will it help strengthen relationships with current customers, but a CRM saves you real money. After all, more administration time means less time for everything else.
Salesforce and Freshsales are good places to start, but TechRader has compiled a useful list of the best CRM software for small businesses.
Utilize Free Marketing Advice
All the resources in the world won’t help you if your products or services aren’t being seen by the right people.
From search engine optimization to purposeful ad targeting, marketing is a complicated world. It’s also something you need to make sure you’re doing right.
Utilizing free resources like the ones found in Siva Creative’s blogs is a good first step in bettering your knowledge of how to properly sell to the right audience.
Apply For Tax Refunds and Benefits
Are you leaving money on the table?
The Canadian government provides a large number of federal tax credits that can mean more money flowing back into your business. Some of these incentives include:
- Film or video production tax credit
- Journalism labour tax credit
- Foreign business income tax credit
- Foreign non-business income tax credit
- Logging tax credit
- Qualifying environment trust tax credit
- And more
Another tax incentive you should definitely be aware of is the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) investment tax credit. This incentive supports businesses that are helping push sectors into the future.
SR&ED is a complex subject and many are unsure exactly what qualifies or how to start the process. Luckily, Maxim Innovation takes out the guesswork.
We’re experts in all things SR&ED tax credits, and we’ll make sure you’re getting every last dime you deserve.