Small businesses shouldn’t settle: business coach
Local businesses learn to maximize their profits
MUSKOKA - Not settling is key to creating a more profitable business, a Nova Scotia business coach told small business owners in Muskoka on Thursday.
Tim Alison, co-founder of Happy Entrepreneur Consulting, spoke to about 35 local business owners about how to make their businesses more profitable during a one-day Bridges to Better Business event, hosted by the Muskoka Small Business Centre at the Gravenhurst Opera House.
“First and foremost I want entrepreneurs to start thinking about the rewards they deserve to be getting from their business,” Alison said.
“In my opinion, the problem is too many small businesses are settling and they’re not making enough money, they’re not paying themselves enough to justify that investment of time.”
Throughout the day, area business owners heard from Alison and several Muskoka business owners, then were able to network with Alison and eight other local mentors through 20-minute speed mentoring sessions.
Alison said there are simple ways businesses can become more profitable, “the problem is they’re not getting that advice from their local accountants and CAs.”
He tells business owners not to settle and to express their business in percentages.
“The dollars that you make every year go up and down like a yo-yo, they don’t tell us anything,” he said. “So you’ve got to express your expenses as a percentage of your total revenues and then compare your performance against companies that are making money.”
Dave Connell, managing business consultant for the Muskoka Small Business Centre, said about two thirds of those attending were there for the first time in the event’s 10-year history.
“The goal for this day is to provide a learning and networking opportunity for local established businesses,” Connell said.
Networking and effectively using social media were the biggest lessons for several businesses there.
Lynn Murden, a Baysville business owner, has been in business for 21 years and is looking at Facebook and Twitter as her next steps.
“I’m really behind in that aspect and I’m really realizing the value in it… it’s not necessarily as daunting as I think it is,” she said.
She also realized her website needs updating as her competitors get out ahead of her.
“It’s just time that I catch up a little bit,” she said.
Alison also told business owners not to lean on the state of the Canadian economy as an excuse.
“It’s possible for any business to make money. Don’t get caught in the trap of feeling like you’re a victim, times are tough and I can’t do it,” he said.
Sandra Morandin owns two businesses in Milford Bay and has been in business for more than 20 years.
“This is the most valuable seminar I have attended in a very, very long time,” she said.