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Becoming An Entrepreneur

Top Banking Tips For Entrepreneurs

Getting funding, taking control, staying afloat

 

These top banking tips for Alberta's entrepreneurs cover how to finance your dream business, government programs, taking control in the formative years and tips and tricks for growing your business.

 

Canadians love being their own boss. According to Stats Canada, over 100,000 new small businesses are created in Canada every year.

However, no one said it would be easy. According to an Industry Canada study, almost a third of small businesses last only two years.

 

So how do you get your business off the ground and thriving?

 

Getting started - how to finance your dream of owning a business

The first step is to create a solid business plan with financial projections. Once you’ve developed it, there are several places you can turn to for start-up financing:

 

Government grants and loans

 

In the Canada Small Business Financing Program, the government shares the risk with the lender, so loans are easier to approve. They can be put toward business equipment and commercial property.

 

Grants, loans and training are available to certain Alberta businesses including clean technologies; women-owned businesses; rural businesses and tech-based products. See details at canadabusiness.ca.

 

Venture capitalists and angel investors

 

Most venture capitalists are looking to invest in areas with high growth potential. They’ll want equity in your business in return for funding and expect a healthy return.

 

Angel investors are individuals looking to invest in promising businesses in fields they have experience or interest in. You also give up equity to angels but they tend to want to help manage and grow your business, using their knowledge and contacts.

 

The National Angel Capital Organization, Canadian Angel Investment Network and Angel One are organizations that help introduce entrepreneurs and angel investors.

 

Crowdfunding

 

A growing number of websites help entrepreneurs raise funds. Similar to Kickstarter, these websites allow entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas to potential investors.

 

Sites like Indiegogo and FundRazr allow entrepreneurs to raise funds through advance sales of their products or by offering equity, common shares or rewards. The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada is a good resource to find the best site for you.

 

Banks and credit unions

 

The more traditional routes for borrowing money when launching a business are still financial institutions. They allow you to keep your equity, though funds have to be repaid.

 

As a Credit Union, First Calgary has teams that get to know your business and help with the funding you need right now. Our commercial term loans help start up your business while our commercial overdrafts and lines of credit help you manage your cash flow.

 

Taking control

Here are some tips to help your business flourish in those tricky first couple of years.

 

  • Look at where you want to be in two years’ time and create a comprehensive business plan with details on how you intend to achieve it.
  • Develop a convincing Unique Selling Proposition. Once you have an irresistible reason for people to buy from you, marketing and sales become a lot easier.
  • Keep a close eye on your spending. Just because you can write off your expenses doesn’t make them free. Use credit cards sparingly and only to help with short-term cash flow. Pay them off in full as soon as you can.
  • Build an emergency fund that covers you for three months. Put a third of your income towards taxes, 20% towards savings and the rest on living expenses.
  • Invest in marketing and consider hiring an expert as there are many benefits to digital marketing, particularly when it comes to targeting your audience on social media. As soon as profits come in, start using some of them to increase sales.
  • In the first two years be focused only on what needs to be done, and do it quickly.

The best thing to do is to find a banking partner that helps take the stress out of business banking. First Calgary offers a wide range of services to its commercial members. We help you get paid quicker with speedy electronic payments, cheque depositing from your office and the latest merchant services for card payments.

 

Growing your business 

Here are some ways to get bigger without going bust:

 

  • Reinvest your profits in improving infrastructure and customer service, better equipment and streamlined processes.
  • Invest in training to improve performance and help reduce turnover, which is costly.
  • Grow your team - hire people to fill the gaps in areas you don’t have expertise, especially technical skills that help operations run smoother. 
  • Outsource your least favourite tasks, like balancing books or payroll. First Calgary has a strategic partnership with ADP Canada to offer you business solutions like payroll management, time and labour management and human resources tools.  

We can also help you get the funds you need to grow:

 

 Commercial term loans for capital investments

 Lines of credit for flexible access to funds

 Dedicated business credit cards

 Administration funds to help you grow your business

 Construction loans to build or renovate

 Equipment loans or leasing options

 Commercial mortgages and overdrafts

 

Let's chat about how we can help you start, maintain and grow your business.

 

Book an appointment   call 1.866.923.4778