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Susan Ward

Susan's Small Business: Canada Blog

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The Best Business Opportunities 2014

Saturday May 31, 2014

Are you thinking of starting a business but not sure what kind of business you would like to start? Or just wondering what small businesses are going to be hot this year?

Either way, you'll want to read The Best Business Opportunities 2014.

baker with his loaves of rustic bread

These are my picks for the best opportunities for people who want to start a small business now and are looking for a business that can be profitable for years rather than months.

And all of them are businesses that just about anybody can start.

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Explore More Business Ideas

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7 Ways to Make Sure You Get Paid

Friday May 30, 2014

Being self-employed seems like such a simple process, doesn't it?

You do a job for someone and you get paid for it.

But unfortunately the reality is that the second part of the equation for success doesn't necessarily automatically follow.

A hand holding a fan of Canadian money (bills)

From companies that habitually pay for work done months afterwards through individual customers who seem to be reluctant to pay at all, sometimes getting the money you're owed can be a job in itself.

If you've ever experienced the frustration of waiting too long for the money you're owed, you'll definitely want to read 7 Ways to Make Sure You Get Paid.

Share Your Tips: How Do You Ensure That You Get Paid?

All About Invoicing

Image © Rick Audet

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Match Your Business Plan to Your Purpose

Thursday May 29, 2014

When people ask me about writing a business plan, they're almost always thinking about a traditional, full-scale business plan such as my The Business Plan Outline. It's ideal for people who need to work through all the details to get a business up and running.

But it's not the only type of business plan available and it's certainly not the only type of business plan that a small business can or should use.

How to improve your negotiation skills.

The best business plan is the plan that's best suited to meeting the needs of your small business. Or, in other words, the one that fits the intended purpose of the plan.

What Type of Business Plan Do You Need? presents different types of business plans and matches them to different purposes to help you choose the most suitable kind of business plan for you.

Learn More About Business Plans

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5 Ways To Negotiate More Effectively

Wednesday May 28, 2014

Are you a habitual negotiator? If not, why not?

Negotiation can help you make sales and keep customers that might walk away otherwise - if you're good at it.

How to improve your negotiation skills.

Kelley Robertson shows you how to get started as a negotiator and improve your negotiation skills with 5 Ways To Negotiate More Effectively.

Learn More About Increasing Sales

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7 Inexpensive Business Ideas

Tuesday May 27, 2014

Want to start a business but don't have a lot of money to invest?

running golden retreiver dog

Then you'll want to have a look at these 7 Inexpensive Business Ideas, ideas for profitable businesses you can start inexpensively and quickly.

For even more ideas for businesses you may be able to start without making too much of an investment, visit the Small Business Ideas section of this website, where you'll find a huge collection of small business idea articles, or go directly to one of the articles listed below:

Explore More Business Ideas

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6 Traits You Need to Be Self-Employed

Monday May 26, 2014

In my "What motivated you to take the plunge and devote yourself to your own business full-time?" poll, the answer "losing my full-time/part-time job" is the most popular answer. (Vote in the poll if you'd like - it's still open.)

What you need to be an entrepreneur.

Having "been there and done that" as they say, I appreciate what a difficult transition that can be. Working for someone else is just completely different than working for yourself.

One of the problems I noticed immediately is that I suddenly had to be paying attention to all sorts of things that other people used to look after for me - from getting the money I was owed through coming up with my own retirement plan.

Eventually I learned that if I was going to be successfully self-employed, I was going to have to think and act differently. I had to develop what I call an "entrepreneurial mindset". 6 Traits You Need to Move From Being an Employee to Being Self-Employed explains what I mean.

What do you think are the most important characteristics of an entrepreneur? Add your opinion here.

Learn More About Starting a Small Business

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How to Do Payroll in Canada

Sunday May 25, 2014

Some Canadian small businesses shy away from hiring people because they think it's just too much of a hassle.

Learn how to do payroll in Canada.

But really, employer responsibilities such as doing payroll aren't that difficult; it's just a matter of knowing what to do and getting it done on time.

Learn exactly what you have to do to do payroll in Canada properly with this Guide to Canadian Payroll Deductions.

More on Being an Employer

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How to Get to Work at Home

Saturday May 24, 2014

Are you one of those people who dreams of working at home?

I used to be one of those people; I dreamed about working at home for years.

You can work at home.

And now I do!

And I can tell you that working at home is everything it's cracked up to be; more convenient, more productive and just plain more pleasant.

But I can also tell you that if you want to work at home, you're the one who's going to have to make it happen. Working at home is not something that other people are going to set up for you.

Read How to Get to Work at Home to learn how to make your dream of working at home a reality.

More Work At Home Articles You Might Like:

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8 Easy Ways to Get Your Small Business Into Ecommerce

Friday May 23, 2014

Fact: More people are shopping online than ever before. According to Forrester Research, in Canada alone, consumers spent $20 billion online in 2013, a number that's supposed to reach $34 billion by 2018.

Moved to web sign in store window.

Conclusion: If you're not giving people the opportunity to shop for your products and/or services online, you're missing out on potential profits.

So why doesn't your small business already have an online store?

If it's something that you've put off because you think it's difficult or time-consuming, it's time to think again; nowadays putting up an ecommerce website is practically as easy as a fingersnap.

Here are 8 Easy Ways to Get Your Small Business Into Ecommerce.

Learn More About Doing Business Online

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4 Sources of Micro Loans for Starting Your Canadian Small Business

Thursday May 22, 2014

Right now the Credit Unions of BC are promoting their Remarkable Micro Loan Program which offers BC residents 18 to 29 years old low interest micro loans of up to $5,000 for starting a Canadian small business.

Loans for starting a small business.

But BC Credit Unions are not the only places offering micro loans. Here are three more micro loan sources you may be able to tap into for starting your Canadian small business:

More on Small Business Grants and Loans

Image © Rick Audet

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