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What any small business owner needs to know

(NC) Whether you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur or have been running your own company for decades, there’s always room to level up your skills and improve your business. Here are some tips every owner needs to keep in mind:

Culture counts. While company culture may sound like a buzzword used by a fad-obsessed tech giant, don’t be so quick to brush it off. Culture is a major contributor to job satisfaction, which in turn leads to increased productivity and profit. Make sure your business encourages teamwork, rewards effort and has a mission your employees can believe in.

Learn the rules. There are many laws and guidelines for companies to follow that cover everything from filing taxes to sending emails. These rules can change, especially those that cover technology, so take steps to keep your business up to date and compliant. Don’t be afraid to hire a bookkeeper, lawyer or human resources consultant to help, as penalties can be hefty.

Lead by example. It can be hard to take the boss seriously when they have a “do as I say, not as I do” mindset. Practise the dedication and hard work you want your employees to put in, and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Clean your restaurant’s tables and jump in to cover a last-minute shift on a Saturday night.

Have a backup plan. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, and that’s okay. Knowing what you’ll do if Plan A fails is just as important as having a plan in the first place. For example, research what resources are available should you need a new loan or line of credit. One of your options could be the recently improved and expanded Canada Small Business Financing Program. You can now use the program to fund eligible practical costs like rent, payroll, franchise fees, permits, printed materials, cloud storage and more. You can talk to your lending institution or learn more at canada.ca/csbfp.

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