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  Tuesday, April 21st   

Home News Career Corner

Have an entrepreneurial streak?

Ashling McWilliam for local2 sault ste. marie
May 3rd, 2012 at 8:43pm

This article is a column or editorial.
The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of LOCAL2.

bright ideaWe’ve all wondered at some point or another how it would feel to be our own boss. Calling all the shots……………scheduling ourselves…..making the final decisions. But wait! If it’s so easy then why isn’t everyone self-employed? It probably has something to do with the long hours and the unlimited personal liability. Most of us have heard about these financial risks, however the majority of entrepreneurs I have spoken with say the same thing, “If only I’d followed my gut 10 years ago! I’d be retired in the Bahamas by now!”

Aside from lamenting on their later-in- life-than-desired-success, most new business owners also express the importance of writing a strong business plan. This business plan will showcase your product or service and explain in writing how you plan to make a profit. It should include market data and tests to show the service or product will sell, the essential skills that will drive profits, estimates for start-up costs, projections for sales and profits, a break-even analysis and long-term goals for the company.

If you are having trouble creating a business plan there are many online sources available. Check out bplans.com for some sample plans and business calculators. Another great resource is the Community Development Corporation. This organization is dedicated to helping small and medium–sized businesses access services and capital. One program in particular, The Ontario Self Employment Benefit Program (OSEB) is designed to provide various types of entrepreneurial support. Services provided include skills development, ongoing technical advice, business plan preparation and financial support. Skills development will be tailored to client needs and may include advice on accounting, marketing, use of computers, and other small business services. The first step to accessing this program is a visit to the Sault Community Career Centre, to access the support of one of our Employment Counselors. He or she will meet with you to better understand your needs and then help you to access the services available under this program. Then a completed referral package will be forwarded from the employment counsellor to the CDC Ontario Self Employment Benefit staff.

PASSPORT TO UNITY LOGOAnother thought to keep in mind for small business promotion and sales are festivals and tradeshows. One such event is our Passport to Unity festival, which is taking place this Weekend (May 4th, 5th and 6th) If you haven’t already registered as a vendor for the main event on Sunday, please come and see what you’re missing! Newcomers and long-time residents of Sault Ste. Marie have the opportunity to showcase their entrepreneurship as food vendors or art & craft vendors. After participating in the festival, various newcomers to Sault Ste. Marie have realized their business potential. Passport to Unity provided them with the competitive edge and opportunity to showcase their products, thereby encouraging them to start their own small businesses. As a beekeeper, my father and his fellow beekeeper friends could be found selling their home-made honey at these sorts of events. Usually low cost admission fees with a high volume of people in attendance, resulting in profits for you!


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