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Bruce Croxon is a digital pioneer and owner of several successful small businesses, including one that sold for 180-million dollars. He currently helms Round13, a company dedicated to incubating and investing in start-ups. He’s also an investor on CBC Dragons’ Den. He’s partnered with Sage to help provide advice and expertise on getting small businesses off the ground.
If a small business owner has a great idea and a good quality product, there’s no reason why he or she can’t compete with the bigger players in the industry. This shouldn’t be a problem if the company can engage its audience and provide them with goods or services they need.
However, startups are at a disadvantage in comparison to their larger counterparts in one major way: They have less money out of the gate. The bigger the corporation, the more revenue it’s taking in and the higher the investments. That being said, there are a number of financial choices a small business owner can make to ensure the company is efficient - saving money and bringing more in. This way, they can expand their offerings and find success.
So what do these companies need?
In terms of taking in money from investors, they first need to obtain some early leads from friends and family. As Round 13 Capital co-founder Bruce Croxon explained, there isn’t always a lot of capital available in Canada. So, if owners want to obtain what’s available to them, one of the first things investors look for is the support of the people who know the entrepreneur best.
“If you can use that network to at least get some traction, and just start to show something,” Croxon said, that would attract and comfort would-be investors.
2. Solid accounting software
Half of the battle is recording the money flow, but doing so manually or through an Excel sheet can lead to mistakes or omissions. As such, to be productive, small business owners are going to want to fall back on accounting software. Plus, used right, this can show leaders where they’re losing money and what ventures have proven most successful to then make the right changes to business strategy.
3. Look to the alternatives
This rings true both in regard to saving money and taking in more from customers and investors. If a company owner can step out of the box and consider ways to cut costs, such as not providing lunch to employees everyday or going with older, but still efficient, models for desktops, they can recoup the costs later.
Bruce Croxon suggested that banks might not always come through for small business owners, and noted that resources such as the government or even a reality show like “Dragons’ Den” might be better.
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