4 Ways To Maximize Your Capital

New businesses must find ways to maximize the limited capital at their disposal. There are a number of cost cutting solutions, however new businesses must be very careful. Cutting costs in certain areas can prevent your business from growing, or cause it to fail altogether. Here are four ways your business can cut costs without exposing itself to risk.

 

1) Buy In Bulk

 

It can be scary to purchase a large quantity of product when your businesses is still young. What if you can’t secure enough orders? What if there’s something wrong with the product? Even though your business is young, it’s important, and cost-effective, to commit to it fully. Instead of selling many products, sell only a few, and purchase them in large enough quantities to get a steep discount.

 

2) Get An Intern

 

Many small businesses are “in-between” on the number of employees needed. Maybe you can’t quite do all the work yourself, but having a second person is too much. College and university students are frequently required to participate in an internship in order to graduate. The rate of pay for interns is far below what a full-time employee would cost, and hours can be negotiated so that the intern is always busy.

 

3) Hire Inexperienced People

 

When you do have to make a permanent hire to assist with workload, consider hiring someone fresh out of school. These people are keen and don’t have the experience to demand the salary that a more established person has. Keep in mind that these people will only be inexpensive to hire for a little while, but maybe a little while is all you need to get your business off the ground!

 

4) Support Telecommuting

 

For most businesses employing only a few people, any office space is larger than it needs to be. There are costs associated with running an office, too. Providing coffee and snacks for employees can add up long-term. By encouraging telecommuting, small business owners can save a tremendous amount on renting office space and the expenses that are associated with running an office.

Even if your business doesn't yet have employees, any time an entrepreneur can save themselves a trip somewhere by engaging in a phone call instead, time and money can be saved.

Posted on August 8, 2018 .

BITS By The Numbers

386 youth served - BITS has proudly offered programming to 386 of Toronto’s youth facing barriers. These youth have represented a wide range of cultures, ethnicities, sexual orientations, religious affiliations, education levels and socioeconomic backgrounds. We’ve been happy to learn from and provide mentorship and training to each of them.

 

Over $100,000 in funding awarded to alumni of BITS programs. SPARKFund, BITS Bucks and other forms of funding have been provided to successful applicants. This funding has been used by many to kickstart their business ventures.

 

Thousands of connections made between program participants and mentors, guest speakers, pitch event panelists, and each other. These networks have been cited by alumni as one of the most valuable resources at their disposal as they continue on their entrepreneurial journeys.

 

Over 2,000 co-working hours in our previous offices and our current space, the Creative Culture Studio. Alumni, young entrepreneurs and youth from outside organizations have mingled and worked together, creating more than they could have individually. Currently, members of Raising the Roof have been working in our studio, and will be here until the end of August.

 

Five years - 16 YCEO cohorts, 11 Boot Camp cohorts, five special projects - and much more to come. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. We’re excited to have you along for the ride.

 

Posted on July 24, 2018 .

6 Ways Young Entrepreneurs Can Care For The Environment

Guest Blog from Cloe Matheson

Cloe Matheson is a freelance writer from Dunedin, New Zealand who has tried her best to care for the environment since her first school recycling project. In her free time, Cloe enjoys learning from arts and crafts workshops that promote using recycled materials. Check out more of her work here.

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As a young entrepreneur, you are part of the world’s network of business owners and CEOs that represent the commercial and corporate future. This is no small responsibility! In an age that grows ever more aware of the harmful effects of industrial activity on the environment and humanity’s future, you have the potential to help herald global ‘green living.’

 But just how do you ensure that your entrepreneurial activities are driven by ecologically-friendly practices and principles? Simply announcing your green ethos is not enough.  You must prove to customers and potential investors that you can practice what you preach. To this end, we’ve put together some measurable and easy-to-implement tips for how you can demonstrate your environmental consciousness.

Join the Recycling Crew

The zone of entrepreneurial activities is over-run with packaging and waste. Whether you’re looking to open a food joint or produce a new tool or toy, you can bet that your level of waste will be monumental if you don’t make a concerted effort to curb it. Get rid of paper packaging, invest in recycled goods and investigate eco-friendly options for producing or offering your given product or service.

And if you’re looking for an entrepreneurial way to solve other business’ waste issues, you might consider finding a solution to solving waste yourself. Many entrepreneurs have cultivated successful businesses by collecting waste food and other recyclable products from cafes and restaurants and turning them into useful goods (such as animal feed) to sell on to customers.

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Harness Natural Energy

Entrepreneurial HQs can be real energy drainers – so before you purchase or move in to a new working space, explore the solar options available. From lighting to heating and plumbing, solar power solutions are becoming ever more affordable and will save you significant capital in the long-term.

If certain electricity-powered appliances or pieces of machinery are vital to the success of your business, then look for options with the best energy-star ratings. And remember to shut down your machines and turn off the house lights at the end of each working day – you’ll help save money and the environment at the same time.

Delve into the Digital

Switching to electronic archiving, messaging and billing is easy in today’s digitally-savvy society and will help your business function more efficiently without as much physical storage space. Social media, as you already know, is an invaluable tool you can use to detail your latest eco-friendly initiatives and encourage your peers!

Check Your Personal Environmental Footprint

Use reusable bags, cups and cutlery as much as possible when shopping or eating out. Additionally, you might consider not splurging on a work vehicle. It’s become much less of a status symbol to have your name printed on the side of a car, so be carbon-friendly instead and travel via bus or train. If you do invest in a business vehicle, make sure you can use it for carpooling.

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Remember Little Steps Count

Sometimes making a bunch of small changes can have the greatest holistic effect on greenifying your business. Survey your utilised expenses and resources and see what easy switches you can make to reduce your environmental mark. A great place to start is by replacing your chemical-laden cleaning products with eco-friendly counterparts so you don’t pollute water and air.

Get Your Customers Onboard

By encouraging your customers or clientele to get on board with your own environmental goals, you’ll make the goal communal. Showing your concern for reducing waste is also a great way to build up your entrepreneurial reputation (it’s the twenty-first century: people love a woke businessperson!)

Posted on July 18, 2018 .

Four Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

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Tenacious

People are going to criticize you. Investors will say no. Hardships will be abundant. The thought to give up will strike you. Don’t listen to any of it. 

A strong drive and an iron will to succeed goes a long way as a prospective entrepreneur. Countless success stories start with failure. Get knocked down, but get up again.

Passion

No one has ever said entrepreneurship was easy. Prospective entrepreneurs need to have a burning desire to succeed. This includes believing in your product or service.

Have you ever had to create a presentation in school on a topic you weren’t interested in? It probably took a lot of effort to stay focused. So long as your product or service is something you believe in and are passionate about, you’re in good shape. 

Vision

Where are you headed? What’s the direction you want your business to take? How do you see your future?

These questions need to be answered and understood in order for your entrepreneurial success story to take shape. Much like driving a car, you have to look where you want to go.

Bold

Be prepared to go where no one has gone before. Whether it’s creating a new product or service, innovation requires boldness. Pitching your business or selling yourself successfully requires the ability to stand out. To be someone you’ve never been, you will have to do things you’ve never done.
 

An Ocean Of Resources

Aspiring entrepreneurs have a lot of questions and concerns. Fortunately, there are resources available. Here are eight that might help you grow or start your business.

 

1) Business in the Streets (BITS)

We provide entrepreneurship training and ongoing support for alumni. Our coworking space is a perfect spot to work, hold a meeting or network. Open office hours are Monday to Friday, 10:30 to 5:30. Alternatively, you can rent a desk by contacting kyle@businessinthestreets.com

2) Government of Ontario Entrepreneurship Funds

The provincial government offers a range of programs and funds for entrepreneurs under the age of 30. Programs include training, women’s specific programs and funding opportunities. To learn more, click here.

3) Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE)

ONE operates 14 centres in Ontario, providing specialized business support. In house business analysts and specialists are available to review your goals and determine a plan to grow your business. To find the nearest centre, click here.

4) Stanford University eCorner

Listen to talks from Silicon Valley’s top entrepreneurs. This site offers a wide range of speakers giving talks on every aspect of entrepreneurship. Best of all, it’s free to access.

5) Enterprise Toronto

Enterprise Toronto works with entrepreneurs across the city to solve business problems. Learn how to build a business plan, find funding sources and get yourself up to date on the laws and regulations that impact your business. In person help can be found at the North York Civic Centre, or access online.

6) edX

edX offers hundreds of free courses from some of the top universities in the world. Topics include business management, marketing, financing and growing a startup. Check them out!

7) Toronto Entrepreneurs Meetup Group

Meetup is a free service that allows groups to arrange meetings. Toronto Entrepreneurs boasts over 16,000 members, and holds regular networking events. One of the best ways to learn is through the experience of others. Find a meeting near you.

8) Canada Business Ontario (CBO)

CBO provides comprehensive guides to starting a business in Ontario. Guides are broken down into industries so all relevant information is present. Guides include relevant legal and regulatory information, as well as curate required documents for starting your business. Find a guide for your business!

 

 

 

 

Why Entrepreneurship?

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Why Entrepreneurship?


 

Entrepreneurship is the process of designing, launching and running a business. Entrepreneurship has long been a driver of innovation and growth. Individuals like Steve Jobs, BIll Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have revolutionized modern life through their innovation.

 

Personal Impact

 

Entrepreneurs and business owners are among the happiest professions, surveys show. The personal benefits of entrepreneurship include:

 

  • Being your own boss

  • The joy of creating (your own business)

  • Controlling the direction of your work

  • Setting your own hours

  • Taking control of your livelihood

 

Economic Impact

 

Small business, and by extension, entrepreneurs, are huge drivers of the economy. Large businesses eliminate redundancy and hire fewer people. A team of ten might need one accountant, while a team of 100 might only need three accountants, for instance.

 

Job growth isn’t the only economic impact entrepreneurship brings. Others include:

 

  • Higher wages for employees

  • Increased tax revenue

  • Breeds competition, driving more entrepreneurship and thus, economic growth

 

Societal Impact

 

Many innovations have impacted society and created the luxuries most North Americans take for granted. Entrepreneurship has lead the way in discovering and implementing technologies such as:

  • The telephone

  • Electricity

  • Air conditioning

Posted on June 11, 2018 .

Youth Unemployment: Ditching The Job Search

Toronto’s youth suffer some of the worst unemployment rates in Canada. Approximately 20 per cent of Toronto’s 16-to-24 year olds are without a paying job. One of the most expensive cities in the world, Toronto isn’t a viable long-term home for many of its young residents.

 

Entrepreneurship represents an opportunity for young people to take control of their livelihoods and shape the direction of their careers. Becoming their own boss, Toronto’s youth can bypass age discrimination, under-employment and the new reality that formal education doesn’t guarantee a career.

 

There are many barriers youth face to employment, specifically in Toronto:

  • Age discrimination

  • Lack of full-time job creation

  • Older workers retiring later

  • Inexperience

  • Lack of mobility and constraints of public transit

 

Entrepreneurs require a unique set of skills. Perseverance, creativity and an internal drive are all important factors to entrepreneurial success.

 

On top of financial independence, entrepreneurs report a high sense of fulfillment and happiness. Across the board, entrepreneurship offers an opportunity for young people to greatly improve their lives.

 

The Young Entrepreneur Who Won't Mind His Own Business

 Hamza facilitating a BITS workshop in 2017

Hamza facilitating a BITS workshop in 2017

Hamza Fasih is a young man with a dream and a desire to never work for anyone else. A fitness enthusiast, Hamza started Altius Fitness with nothing more than a Twitter handle, a single client and an idea.

“It was my company, but I didn’t know what I was selling,” Hamza said. He would depend on Business In The Streets (BITS) to help refine and flush out his company, his product and his vision.

Hamza joined BITS in 2017 after hearing about the program from his brother. As a fitness professional, he knew he had the exercise, education and nutrition skills, but didn’t have the business skills. BITS offered him the fast-track to the essential business skills he needed to succeed.

“My expectations were vastly exceeeded”

 

 

 

The most vital takeaway for Hamza was the networking and opportunity to learn alongside, and from, people who were in the same position as him. BITS taught Hamza what entrepreneurship really involves, giving him a look at the path he was on and allowing him the opportunity to learn from those who were a few steps ahead.

“My expectations were vastly exceeded as I got attention for the specific problems I faced with my business,” Hamza said, “The reason I wanted to stay involved with BITS is because I felt I could do the same for others.”

Altius Fitness has a unique approach to diet and exercise. Founded with the belief that people can get extremely fit and healthy without expensive personal trainers or nutritionists - Altius instead believes in the power of education. Clients that go through the Altius program are taught how they can take ownership of their own diet and exercise, and how they can maintain both habits long term.

“Really what I do is create fitness solutions for busy people,” Hamza said. “I make fitness fit their lives, not the other way around."