There are many rewards to being your own boss, but do your research

Dan Dibbelt
Smoky River Regional
Economic Development
I have a great deal of respect for all business owners. Deciding to start your own business is not something to be taken lightly.

Many people go into their own business because they want freedom from a boss and a flexible time schedule only to discover they are working more hours, earning less pay and owning your own business means you are the boss and flexibility is not always as easy as you might expect.

That being said, there are also great rewards in running your own business. Perhaps the biggest benefit is the joy you get from having your own business. Yes, you work more hours but you enjoy the hours worked.

And yes you may make less money per hour, but you appreciate the money you make because you worked hard to make it. For a fortunate few, you also have the potential to make more money, have flexible work hours and remain your own boss.

It is important to do your homework when thinking about setting up a business. Fortunately, there is also a lot of help out there to guide you through the maze. Located in Peace River, the Community Futures office has great resources, dedicated staff and even money to lend for any entrepreneurs or even existing businesses looking for a hand.

Before starting or purchasing a business it is important to do the homework to check out the viability of that business. We all have our own ideas about what business would do great in our communities. These suggestions pop up whenever there is a survey on what type of business would you like to see in your community.

The challenge is, just because we’d like a woman’s shoe store in the community, doesn’t mean it is viable.

That is why it is important to do a business plan and that is where Community Futures can help.

The Community Futures team can provide a business plan template for you to work with and they have a team of people that can provide you coaching in how to fill it out and calculate specifics. They will not do the work for you – they will help you get the work done.

Community Futures can also help you with understanding spread sheets, cash flow, profit loss and all the other great financial documents. And they may be able to help you with a loan, even if the main lenders can’t.

Community Futures are funded by Western Diversification and have a mandate to assist in the development of small and medium enterprises and they do that very well.

They not only help new entrepreneurs they can assist existing businesses that may need some advice or even a business looking for some funds to expand their business or help them through a temporary cashflow issue.

The best part of Community Futures is they are easy to approach and the process of working with them can be less intimidating than with a major lender.

In addition to assistance in starting or expanding your business the Community Futures also plays an important role in offering training, workshops and other programs that help new and existing businesses. Every year the Peace River Community Futures holds a woman’s entrepreneurship conference, targeted at women both in business and thinking about business.

They bring in female speakers that share their stories and both their failures and their success. It’s also a great opportunity for businesswoman to network.

Community Futures have been around for many years – largely because they are a very a valuable resource in our region. And they should be one of the first resources you look up when you decide you want to buy, start or build a business.

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