Corpcentre's Blog

October 13, 2009

Common Mistakes of a Start Up

Most of us dream of becoming an overnight success. We have thought of the greatest business idea that will lead us to riches. It may happen. Then again, it may require good, old-fashioned hard work and dedication to make that first million. No doubt, though, that self employed entrepreneurs have that desire and drive to give it a try. By avoiding some common startup mistakes, the chances of success increase greatly.
It is vital to set yourself apart from others. You have to convince customers that your business is the right choice. What is your specialty that will entice business to come your way? Being the same as others in the trade won’t cut it. Also, copying someone else’s idea because they were successful at it won’t bring you long term success.

You have to sell your service or product to the public. Don’t expect a colourful flyer or flashy website to do the work. Similarly, your credentials are important for your credibility. But the bottom line is demonstrating what you can do with those credentials.
Did you start out with a business plan? Use this document to chart your business and don’t be afraid to alter the plan as necessary. Many new businesses realize in the first few months that change is essential. Although you probably want to see your business in print, don’t sink money into advertising until you’ve worked out the initial kinks and have settled on the long term version of your business.
Be sure to advertise your business where it counts. Get out and sell your service or product to the appropriate crowd. Also, don’t let hecklers or criticism deter you. Setbacks happen. Don’t let them overwhelm you. Marketing must be ongoing. Don’t stop after a few tries. You want the public to identify you with your business. Continue the marketing and be persistent and convincing!  Motivate yourself and you’ll succeed in motivating others. 
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October 5, 2009

Canadian Recovery Indicators

Recent economic records this summer seem to indicate brighter days on the Canadian horizon. Earlier, analysts had predicted a $100 million surplus in July. The reality, though, was quite different. Rather than a surplus, Canada experienced a near record deficit in July 2009 of $1.43 billion. This was surpassed only by the May 2009 deficit of $1.45 billion. Despite these figures, economic analysts seem buoyed by the surge in imports. The sharp rise in imports and exports seem to indicate that recovery from the global financial crisis is on the horizon.

Import figures for July reflected an overall 8.3 percent increase from the previous month. This positive figure included a 10.9 percent increase in machinery and equipment imports, an impressive 18.7 percent rise in automotive products, and a similarly encouraging 18.6 percent rise in energy products.

Exports rose by 3.3 percent in July, primarily due to increased shipments of equipment, machinery, and automotive products. 73 percent of all Canadian exports in July were to the United States but, due to the sluggish American economy, this figure was down a whopping 35.2 percent from July 2008.

In order to stimulate the economy, the Bank of Canada has promised to leave interest rates at their current record low. The recent trade figures have not caused the Bank to change its current position. Responding to the Bank’s announcement regarding interest rates, the Canadian dollar rose to 92.46 U.S. cents from 92.10 U.S. cents.

Analysts insist that the increasing deficit is not a prime cause of long term concern. The true indicator is the rapid acceleration in trade volumes. The rises in imports and exports indicate increased commercial activity and the true beginnings of economic recovery.

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September 16, 2009

Canadian Taxpayers Association: Alberta Should Cut Spending

Filed under: investing in Canada,natural resources,recession,small business — corpcentre @ 9:18 pm

As Alberta’s deficit continues to grow, political pundits and economists have much to say about the cause and effect of the province’s financial woes.

According to a recognized expert at the University of Alberta, Alberta is the highest-spending province in Canada. A major blunder has been the financing of all this spending in an irresponsible fashion. The primary funding source has been income from the province’s non-renewable natural resources. Non-renewable indicates that the income will stop flowing when the resources are no longer present.

A recent statement issued by the Canadian Taxpayers Association calls upon the province to cut its spending immediately. While the province intends to finance its deficit from emergency savings funds, this will literally wipe out these funds, leaving nothing out aside for a “rainy day.”

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach has stated unequivocally that he has no intention of raising taxes, nor does he intend to cut jobs from the province’s payrolls. Moreover, he has announced that the province intends to move forward with $20 billion in building projects planned for the next five years. The province’s population has grown by more than one million residents in the last two decades. More schools and hospitals are needed as well as assisted living facilities for a growing elderly population.

While numerous companies in the private sector, facing financial hardships, have worked with their employees to take a rollback in wages rather than face job loss, the province’s employee unions have yet to be approached officially to discuss wage concessions. Considerable savings to provincial spending could be realized by coming to agreements with the province’s 21,000 employees.

The provincial leadership has been rather reticent about necessary cost-cutting measures. Experts feel that residents may not take kindly to having surprises revealed at the last minute. Recovery may take several years but few feel that it will happen without specific government intervention.

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August 12, 2009

Small Caps Lead the Way

Filed under: canada economy,investing,investing in Canada,small caps stocks — corpcentre @ 2:49 pm

Is the global recession behind us? There are as many answers as there are doubts. But, Canadian investors seem to be optimistic about economic recovery, and are displaying their optimism through investments that may be considered slightly risky in uncertain times.

Canadian investment dollars have been flowing into small cap companies. Small cap refers to stocks with lower market capitalization. Small cap companies, (the average capitalization being around C$370 million), took a severe beating in the recession. When the financial world did not come to an end, these stocks bounced back more than others, due to their severe drop.

Lower prices have certainly attracted investors to the small caps. However, true believers in global economic recovery have been willing to take on the larger risk of these stocks, believing that the risk will produce a handsome profit.

This is not to say that all small caps are attractive to investors. The wise investor still must pick carefully. Investment analysts state that small caps in energy, materials, and consumer discretionary sectors are proving to be the most attractive. In fact, energy and materials comprise roughly half the weighting of sectors in the BMO Small Cap Index. The index monitors and rates a portfolio of around 400 companies valued at nearly C$150 billion.

The future is still uncertain. However, investors seem to indicate that there is reason for hope. Several months ago, many economists and investors feared that global economic collapse was on the horizon. Based, though, on recent investment activity, many are beginning to see rays of sunshine on that same horizon.

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