Category Archives: Other

Thinking of buying a business? Start looking now

Thinking of buying a business? Start looking nowFor those thinking of purchasing a small- to medium-sized business now is the time to start looking.

Over the past six months, we have experienced an increase in the number of business owners deciding that now is the time to sell their business. This is an indication of things to come. It is a reflection of the recovery of their investment portfolios, an improvement in their business operations—growth in sales and profits—and the increasing age of the average business owner.

Prices for quality businesses have remained fairly constant and there is a good market for them. As this trend towards faster rate of business transfer continues, it will become increasingly difficult to find buyers for businesses of lesser quality. Continue reading

Tips for new small business owners

Tips to help new small business owners succeedCash is king. Watch your spending.  Don’t go crazy improving everything in the first three months. Use QuickBooks or a similar software to track spending. If there is not a system in place, start using it day one.

Understand where you are spending your money. This will help you understand the best opportunities to save money.

Understand how you get customers. How does the business advertise and market its goods and services. Why do companies buy from you and not your competitor. What is your Unique Selling Proposition.

Know your numbers. What are your measures of success or key performance indicators? What numbers are considered good for each area.

If things aren’t documented, start day one. Get things documented during the transition with the previous owner. They likely know more than anyone else and you don’t want to lose the opportunity to capture their knowledge.

Provided by Rob Mitchell, Broker/Owner, Sunbelt of Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo, Brampton

Making use of downtime in your business

Do you have an off-season or off-peak time in your business? What do you work on in your downtime?

We asked one of our Sunbelt office owners, Erik Twohig,  that question. For him,  having some extra time is good for the individual and the business.

Traditionally in our business there is a cyclical nature to activity, but working wisely ahead of time to counter that is critical to being productive through otherwise slower periods.

Preparing your clients for next steps that you can work on during your slow time may be a way to keep your clients moving forward, and to fill your gaps.

I also use slower periods for a variety of necessary activities – learning, writing, planning, catching up with activities and people, and holiday or travel time. I usually come out of some quiet planning time with more than enough ideas to keep me going for months.

While all these activities can, and should be part of everyday schedules, a little extra time to think, dig deeper, reflect, and write can be profoundly important. Good for you and good for your business.

What about a small business that only operates certain times of the year?  Sunbelt president Greg Kells covers the pros and cons of owning a seasonal business in  his previously published blog post: Seasonal business: your pace or mine.

A special offer from our business to yours!

Insider Tips book cover

We wanted you to be the first to know and benefit! We have just published our first book—Insider Tips on Selling a Business in Canada, by Sunbelt Canada president Greg Kells.

In the spirit of the season, we want to offer 50% off both print and electronic versions of the book to you, our subscribers.

Insider Tips on Selling a Business in Canada reveals the secrets of selling your business and getting what it is worth in the Canadian marketplace.

Find out:

  • what buyers look for
  • why confidentiality counts
  • how to increase the value of your business
  • what to expect when you go to sell
  • how to save on taxes before and during the sale
  • how to deal with offers, negotiations, due diligence and closing the transaction

Tell me more about the offer and this code

This means you can purchase the print edition for $9.99 instead of $19.99 and the electronic editions for $4.95, instead of $9.95. This discount is per book, not per order.  In other words, if you ordered two print copies, you would pay $19.98 + shipping; if you ordered two electronic copies (ePub, mobi or pdf), you would pay $9.90.

This offer is only available until January 4, 2013 and is not being publicized outside this newsletter.

It does not apply to orders for our book placed at amazon.ca, amazon.com, chapters/indigo, or kobo.

Orders for print edition

discount at shipping pageThe $10-off-per-print-book  offer is only available by applying this one-time code at our shopify page.

NOTE that you will only be asked for the discount code at the payment stage.

The $5-off-per-electronic-book offer is only available by ordering through our special sales page

Want to see more?

Go to our book at Amazon Canada, where you can “look inside” both print and kindle versions . HOWEVER, please remember that you can only get the discount through the orders you place on our shopify page and the special sales page referenced in this newsletter.

Shipping

If you want to buy the print edition at the special subscriber price but are outside North America, please send us an email at ottawa@sunbeltnetwork.com  with the details and we will do our best to accommodate you.

discount and shipping_shopifyIf you are in the Ottawa area and want to pick up a copy of the book at our Ottawa office, you have the option to do so and eliminate any shipping costs. Select “Local pickup Ottawa- FREE” as your shipping method at the “Shipping and Payment” page. Or you may select Xpresspost which provides delivery next day local, next day to 2 days regional, and 2 days national, between most major urban centres.

Get ideas from the Sunbelt Business Brokers Canada page on LinkedIn

business ideaLinkedIn has made setting up a company page on their network easier and better.  We’ve just set up our own LinkedIn page for Sunbelt Business Brokers Canada and you might find some features there that you can apply to your own page.  Here are some notes highlighting what we did and why. (Note:  you can enlarge any of the images by clicking on them.)

The Overview page allows us to post regular updates where we can highlight achievements, articles and other news. Each posting will of course,  automatically appear as an update on the homepage of anyone  associated with or following the company.

Sunbelt Business Brokers Canada on LinkedIn

The Services page gives us the means to showcase our key services AND related collateral. The Spotlight gives us two options. We’re currently using one to highlight our Consumer’s Choice award and the other to promote our newsletter.

Sunbelt Canada promotions page on LinkedIn

Going into each of the services reveals another layer of options and promotions that allows us to show why we are industry leaders.

Sunbelt Canada promotions on LinkedIn

Of course, we’d be honoured if you saw fit to recommend services on our LinkedIn page.  And please do follow us. Just click the Follow button on our Sunbelt Business Brokers Canada LinkedIn page.

Formula for Change

(D x V) + F > R

Whether the change you want is for you, a family member or a staff member this formula still applies.

The basic formula says that until the combination of Dissatisfaction and Vision is large enough along  with an understanding of the First steps to take, the Resistance to change will prevent anything getting better.  If there is no dissatisfaction, people do not have suf­ficient motivation to change their situation. In addition, if there is no inspiring view as to how much better things could be (Vision) then again, nothing will happen. In terms of get­ting employees to alter their behavior the leader must work on both of these areas as well as help the person understand how to go about initiating the change (First Steps).

How are you establishing D and V for your people?

This business tip from Tony Roy at ActionCOACH was originally published in the Fall newsletter published by the Sunbelt London office.

Check out our new Sunbelt Canada website

new Sunbelt Canada website

Check out the many resources on the new Sunbelt Canada website

We’ve completed phase one in a new master website for Sunbelt Canada.  And you’re the beneficiary.  You’ll find:

  • streamlined content that is easier to find based on what you want to do– buy or sell a business, for example–with additional information on key topics at the end of each section;
  • greater access to a wider range of educational materials for business owners and for people interested in becoming business owners;
  • a “contact us” form with options that make it easier for you to connect with us and hear back at your convenience.

There’s more to come:  later this fall, our website will be available in French and next spring, we’ll be launching new dynamic look-ups for offices and listings.

Want to read this newsletter in French or another language?

Sunbelt Canada is working towards providing a full French-language version of its website and related materials.  We’re currently revising all our content to make more relevant to individuals looking to buy, build, value or sell a business.

Did you know that one out of every five Canadians has a language other than English or French as their first language or mother tongue? Maybe you’re one of those people.

Did you know that you can translate the words you’re reading right now without leaving this newsletter? All it takes is two clicks. The first click is to view the newsletter in the browser and the second is to select the language from the dropdown of languages you’ll find on the next screen.  Here’s how:

1. View the newsletter in the browser. When you first receive the newsletter in your inbox, you’ll see something that resembles this screenshot. You may have images turned on, but whether you do or don’t, you’ll still find the words to “view it in your browser” in the top yellow strip. Click on this link.

view in browser

2. See the “translate” in the grey strip that appears next? When you click on this link a list of languages will drop down. Select the language and the newsletter will be automatically translated into that language. Any other content that the newsletter links to is translated as well.

Translations done through Google translate and other such tools can have errors, however.  Speak to a broker at your closest Sunbelt office  if you have questions about anything you have read.

Is your business on Facebook? Let’s connect

Sunbelt Canada on Facebook

Connect with us on Facebook

Hardly a day goes by without Facebook changing one thing or the other with our “fan pages” or “profiles”.  Or so it seems!

If you have a “fan page”, you may not have twigged to the impact of the changes that took effect this month. As Kim Castleberry says,

The magnitude of these changes forever change how we as business brands engage on Facebook and is certainly worth a much deeper look than most are providing.

Kim is an amazing resource. You’ll find she is passionate about helping small businesses succeed in social media. Check out her overview of the latest Facebook fan pages changes then have a look at some of the other marketing tips and tricks she offers on Just Ask Kim.

“Brands now co-exist and cross engage becoming fans of each other and able to function on each others pages as a ‘business entity’”.

That means our Sunbelt Canada page can now engage with our clients’ pages on Facebook and vice-versa. What a great way to continue the relationship to our mutual benefit. We’d be honoured to “like” your page. Email  your link along with your name to karen.runtz@sunbeltnetwork.com so we can make the connection. You’ll find our Facebook page at http://fb.com/sunbeltcanada