A recurring theme in consultations and surveys of business owners conducted in my various roles with such organizations as the Small Business Roundtable of BC is that business owners don’t know what they don’t know.
In light of this, I have compiled some key resources that I feel all business owners should know about.
Small Business BC
Entrepreneurs can get advice on business planning, importing and exporting, market research, business registration or creating a communications plan. Books and toolkits are available for purchase, and entrepreneurs can rent meeting rooms with video conferencing technology to meet with key clients. SBBC also hosts free or very affordable seminars and discuss useful topics for business owners.
A free online service that helps business owners streamline the process of determining which permits and licences are required to operate their business. Users answer a set of questions and BizPal generates a list of the necessary permits and licences including links to more information and how to apply.
Mobile business licence
If you have a business that operates in more than one municipality, you usually need separate business licences for each one. The mobile business licence allows businesses to operate across participating municipalities with the purchase of one licence. It is available in a number of regions but not everywhere.
BC Chambers of Commerce
The chamber represents a network of 125 chambers of commerce and 36,000 businesses across B.C. It acts as an advocate for local business on policy matters and offers benefits and networking opportunities. The Micro Business Training Program (www.bcmicrobusiness.com) offers $1,500 of training to micro-business owners (fewer than five employees) who have no recognized certificates or post-secondary credits.
Part 2 of this blog will list some more resources