Finding Supportive Networks for New Small Business Owners

by Thom Tracy

2 min read

Starting a business without support proves tough for many. You may have a nose for finance and operations, but for success, you need to attract customers and turn them into returning patrons or clients. Turning one-time buyers into loyal customers requires some marketing and sales skills. Some people have the gift of gab, while other business owners just don’t have natural sales abilities. An entrepreneur can only wear so many hats well, but you can leverage the strength of relationships and business organizations to help gain your footing as you start a new venture. In many areas, proprietors band together to create referral networks and local associations to promote commerce in the community. Leveraging connections in both personal and business circles helps customer acquisition efforts, allowing you to spend time on what you do best.

Canadian Small Business Association

The Canadian Small Business Agency (SBA Canada) offers new and existing business owners a vehicle to learn from the experience of other forward-thinking individuals. In addition to bringing business people together, the organization offers educational opportunities aimed at honing skills that may have eluded you throughout your career. The association offers members endorsements and recommendations, which help place you in a position of trust among other community peers. Most meetings take place quarterly, with optional breakfast meetings occupying an hour or two of the work week.

Business Development Bank of Canada

If you need a financial kickstart to get your business up and running, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) caters to small business owners seeking capital for startups or a way to fund continuing operations. With more than 100 offices across the country, the BDC helps small business owners connect with participating lenders that provide dollars for equipment purchases or commercial buildings. The bank also hosts frequent events throughout the year designed to offer expert guidance in areas such as fintech and business innovation. Online resources available through the organization’s website target the basics of entrepreneurship and developing communications and networking skills.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Uniting 200,000 businesses of all sizes, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce spans 450 locations throughout the nation. The Chamber’s vast bank of resources ranges from sales training modules to marketing assistance. Collaborating with BizAssist, the trade association offers your business a free online listing optimized for internet search engine results. Your own piece of cyberspace may feature pictures of goods for sale or services for hire. BizAssist also facilitates marketing efforts for small businesses that lack the resources to go it alone. Venturing out in the world of business ownership requires a big leap of faith both in yourself and your abilities, and you sometimes need some extra support to see your ideas through to completion. Being an entrepreneur may seem like a lonely pursuit at times. but banding together with business organizations and creating a personal network prove excellent ways to keep you in good and prosperous company.

References & Resources

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