What is a minute book and why does my business need one?

What is a minute book and why does my business need one?

Have you incorporated your business? If your answer is yes, then our next question is: do you have a minute book? And if you can answer yes to that one, then our final question: is it up-to-date? Many of the business owners we at Smart Foundations work with can easily answer the first question but […]

Outsourcing adds capabilities without a lot of overhead

Outsourcing adds capabilities without a lot of overhead

As a small business owner, what do you do every year at tax time? Other than maybe panic, you likely call up your accountant to make sure that your taxes are filed on time. What you very likely don’t do is take the time to do them yourself nor do you have an employee dedicated […]

Have a seasonal business? Make it year-round profitable

Have a seasonal business? Make it year-round profitable

For most seasonal businesses, it’s all about the peak season. During those months, whatever months they may be, business booms, the days may be long and there’s more than enough work to go around. But what happens to that seasonal business when the off-season arrives? And that’s the challenge that many owners of seasonal businesses […]

What is a holding company and do I need one?

What is a holding company and do I need one?

As a small business owner, you should always be looking at how to take your growing business to the next level. Maybe you’ve already taken the steps to incorporate your company and now you’re wondering about whether you need to do something like create a holding company. Is this the right next step for you? […]

Research is what makes an effective business plan

Research is what makes an effective business plan

Every successful business must start with a business plan. That’s because a business plan is the blueprint that gives your company direction and focus. It basically acts as a roadmap for growth. However, business plans cannot be created out of thin air. They are based on research and facts, both of which drive the goals […]

What to do if you disagree with your CRA Notice of Assessment

What to do if you disagree with your CRA Notice of Assessment

Once your accountant completes and files your income taxes (because really, there’s no need for taxes to be a do-it-yourself kind of job), CRA will send you a notice of assessment. It will either confirm that your return was assessed as filed or will identify adjustments made by the CRA. If your business is one […]

Month-over-month reports don’t tell your business’s story

Month-over-month reports don’t tell your business’s story

A successful business owner needs to know what drives the business’s bottom line and must use the raw data input into QuickBooks (or other accounting software) to generate the essential reports needed to understand its business levers. But which reports give you the most valuable data? (Hint: It’s not the one you think it is.) […]

Your New Year’s resolution: Update your business plan

Your New Year’s resolution: Update your business plan

“How often should I update my business plan?” is a question we often hear. Unless of course, it’s “how do I write a business plan?” or “is it a problem that I don’t have a business plan?” If your question is either of those two, stop right now and read this article.  At the absolute […]

Three tips to grow your bottom line

Three tips to grow your bottom line

Knowing what drives your business’s bottom line is key to its financial health and wellbeing. By setting up QuickBooks correctly, the inputted raw data generates these much-needed reports, which are essential to understanding your business levers. But once you’ve analyzed the data and have a clear understanding of the products or services that lead the […]

How to fire an employee

How to fire an employee

Let’s be honest here, we’d much rather talk about hiring an employee than firing one. Talking about firing employees is an uncomfortable subject and one that most people try to skirt around rather than face head on. But, as a business owner, you may one day find yourself in a position of needing to fire […]

How to write a great case study

How to write a great case study

What’s the first thing a potential customer does before investing in a product or service? Research it! So give your customers the tools they need to choose your product or service by writing and publishing in-depth case studies. Case studies are real-life glimpses into your business and your relationship with your customers. They go well […]

Three effective marketing techniques that win customers

Three effective marketing techniques that win customers

The Internet has forever changed the way the world does business. And to be honest, a few of us here at Smart Foundations definitely show our age by mentioning that we remember a time when businesses started, grew and succeeded all without the aid of the Internet. Believe it or not, a long time ago […]

Why you need a business consultant

Why you need a business consultant

Let’s face it; running your own small business is hard work. As a small business owner, you’re likely being pulled in multiple directions daily and, as such, you pride yourself on being a highly-skilled multi-tasker. The success of your business depends on you not wasting time or money. But let’s also face it, as a […]

Top five questions to ask when hiring a bookkeeper

Top five questions to ask when hiring a bookkeeper

Having a good bookkeeper is essential for every small business. After all, business owners rarely go into business because they love dealing with the financial aspects and boring record-keeping duties of their business. But advertisements for bookkeeping services are everywhere, so how do you find a person that is the right fit for your business? […]

How to save face and not lose customers during a crisis

How to save face and not lose customers during a crisis

We can write about how to run a successful business all we want, but those tips are useless when a business has to deal with a crisis. Deal with it the right way and the business is likely to save face and retain customers; take the wrong approach and customers are more likely to run […]

The 5 most effective types of video marketing

The 5 most effective types of video marketing

Undoubtedly you’ve heard the rhetoric that a business needs to invest in video marketing in order to best be seen and heard amongst the online noise.  Frequently thrown around statements are: video creates a lasting impression; video catches attention in today’s short attention span society; and search engines (and customers) love video.  While all true, […]

Offering employee benefits is the right thing to do

Offering employee benefits is the right thing to do

As a small business owner, offering health and dental benefits should be high on your list of financial priorities. Why? Because it’s a crucial piece of any employee compensation package. Helps attract new hires. A benefit plan makes a business more attractive when recruiting because when any plan member, or their family member, needs health, […]

Hitting the business development sweet spot

Hitting the business development sweet spot

Scroll through our blog archive and you’ll find a number of posts related to networking and business development. (Like this one “Business development is about creating opportunities, not sales“ and this one “Networking-stop asking WIFM“) Why? Because successfully growing your business requires putting the time and effort into both. Business development is a slow relationship-building tactic […]

5 tips for better cash flow management

5 tips for better cash flow management

What’s the critical component to success for a small or mid-sized business?  Making a profit is the answer most people immediately jump to — because every business needs to be profitable to survive. But cash is king and not having a solid handle on cash flow is a leading cause of small business failure. Profit […]

Good partners put it in writing

Good partners put it in writing

Good fences make good neighbours and good partners need good shareholder agreements. Legally, if you want to get into business with a friend or relative, you can just go ahead and do so. A simple handshake, and maybe a trip to the bank to apply for some start-up cash, and you’re all set. (Although you […]

To err is human, having good accounting practices, divine.

To err is human, having good accounting practices, divine.

Here are the five most common accounting mistakes we see small business owners make. A successful small business needs more than a great idea, a sought-after product or service and good marketing. A small business owner needs good accounting practices. Accounting is so much more than simply addition and subtraction and owners who take it […]

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Recent posts from our blog

How to plan for seasonal variances in your cash flow

Have you noticed unexpected seasonal variances in your company’s cash flow? If your business is seasonally-based (a lawn care or snow removal company, for example), it’s normal for your cash flow to vary depending on the time of year. Unfortunately, many companies who shouldn’t be affected by the seasons still experience peaks and valleys in […]

Organizational growth and restructuring: Is your business ready to take the next steps?

Are you planning to take your business to the next level? Before you start growing your company, you need to ensure that your organizational structure is prepped for this major shift. Don’t just jump in head first – make sure you follow our key prep tips to keep your growth sustainable and successful.   3 […]

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