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Small Business Month: Grow your SMB

10 top articles to develop your small business operations and strategy.

small business month

October is Small Business Month, but "small" business can also mean big opportunity, with an even bigger impact on our country's economy.

Canada has over 1.1 million small businesses, with over 37,000 of those companies operating in Manitoba. That's a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners that are steering their own ships across every industry. They also account for 8.2 million Canadian employees who work alongside those business owners, and this means a tremendous portion of our population is dedicated to the growth and development of businesses that fall within the "small" category.

Here is a roundup of some of our top Business Hub articles from the past year that discuss the latest trends, hot topics and provide growth advice for small business.

How much is my company worth?

company value

At some point, every business owner needs to determine the value of their company.

Maybe you’ve launched a new tech startup and are taking on investors, or need capital to grow your established business. Perhaps your long-time business partner is thinking of leaving and you need to know what their shares are worth. Or maybe you’re thinking of selling and want to know how much you can get for the business you’ve worked so hard to build.

The process of completing a business valuation seems straightforward on paper, but in practice, it can be as much art as science — and a very emotionally charged experience.

Here are a few tips to get you started.

10 cash flow tips every entrepreneur should follow

cash flow tips

Of all of the skills that successful entrepreneurs need to master, there is perhaps none more important than cash flow management.

That’s because even companies that are operating smoothly by other measures can be pushed to the brink if they fail to manage their cash flow effectively. As a result, entrepreneurs must learn to master their cash flow management from day one, ensuring that their inflow always exceeds their outflow.

Here are 10 tips to help you stay on top of your cash flow.

6 tips for starting an online focus group

online focus groups

Focus groups have long been a mainstay of market research strategy, but recent technologies have taken what used to be an expensive, time-consuming process and made it more convenient, cost effective and in some cases, even more accurate. How can a small business run a focus group that fits within budget and timelines?

Here are some of the newer tools available that can help any SMB.

How to write a winning grant proposal

business funding

Looking for extra funds? There may be a grant out there — if you know how to craft the right proposal.

Whether you’re looking to support projects, events or R&D, there’s grant money out there — but getting your hands on it is another issue altogether. Writing a grant proposal can be a daunting proposition, but it gets easier the more you do it. Like beginning a regular exercise regime, the hardest part is just getting started. 

Here are a few tips to help navigate the process.

How to podcast for your small business

Small business podcasts

Despite this world of constant stimulation — like Snapchat, video chat and 4D movies — it’s remarkable that podcasting has become so popular. After all, it’s a cousin of the old-school radio talk show, featuring audio recordings only — no extra bells, whistles, videos, pop-up ads, infographics, social feeds or distractions. Could this format actually be a viable business promotion tool? You bet.

Yes, with such an "old-school" format, podcasts seem antiquated. But podcast listening is on the rise, and your SMB can get in on the action.

Learn how to start your own small business podcast.

How to choose the right Internet for your small business

small business internet manitoba

How do you choose the best Internet service for your small business? And how do you decide which Internet Service Provider (ISP) to go with?

Every business can have different needs, so the bounty of options can be daunting. Figuring out the right speed, payment plan, add-ons and service provider that will actually satisfy your boss, employees, HR and execs is a challenge. At the heart of it, your customers, suppliers and employees need a quick, reliable way of keeping in touch through your website, mobile apps, live chat and social media networks. Your goal is to find the solution that meets this demand.

Get the details on options, speeds, contracts and everything you need to make an informed decision for your business.

Is it time to add artificial intelligence into your SMB?

artificial intelligence small business

Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t some futuristic plot device of a science fiction novel — it’s here today and it can help your small business right now.

AI technology often involves analyzing huge volumes of information, predicting outcomes, suggesting best options, automating manual tasks and natural language processing. The result is automatic decision-making by machines that ‘learn’ over time based on past patterns of data and behaviour. AI software does all this with mind-boggling speed and accuracy that go way beyond human capability. Luckily, you don’t have to look very far for ways to apply this technology within your own small or medium-sized business (SMB).

Start with these artificial intelligence apps for your SMB.

How SMBs can fight back against ransomware

small business ransomware

Could your business be under attack? Ransomware is enjoying an unprecedented level of success, with the number of attacks increasing threefold from January to September 2016, according to security company Kaspersky Lab. That’s affecting one in every five businesses worldwide, with 62 new types of ransomware ‘families’ and literally thousands of variants appearing this year.

Here's how you can protect your SMB and fight back.

Drive leads with customer case studies

small business case studies

Memorable content starts with a great story…

Customer case studies have been around awhile, and for good reason — they work. Almost 90 per cent of consumers read online reviews, and stories straight from your customer can pack a punch. But not all case studies are created equal.

One of the most effective content marketing strategies is to spread the word through happy customers. And one way to do that is through telling a customer’s story, which you can then promote on your website and through social media channels, as well as through collateral given to your sales team.

Learn how to write your own memorable small business case studies.

10 Winnipeg startups you need to know

winnipeg startups

One of Winnipeg’s best features is that people here really pour themselves into what they love. Maybe being cooped up all winter long gets our creative juices flowing — or maybe we’re just downright more passionate about the things we love — but whatever the reason, there’s a ton of hidden talent in Winnipeg.

These high-growth businesses are making our province proud.

See all 10 startups.

 

Up Next: SMB tech is constantly evolving. Learn about the latest innovations.

Small Business Month: Is your SMB keeping up with this tech?

The Editors

The Editorial Team develops articles, company profiles and resources for the Business Hub to bring IT, tech and innovation stories to the Manitoba business community.

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