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Dale Jackson

Personal Finance Columnist, Payback Time


Fifteen per cent Canadian workers are self-employed and about half work for small companies with fewer than 100 employees. That means the quality of retirement for millions of Canadians is linked to the health of small business.

To maintain that health, RBC is offering tips to small businesses to make the best of summer downtime when the pace of business normally slows.

  • Celebrate your top clients. Find a way to make them feel extra appreciated. Tax deductible social functions such as golf tournaments or barbecues can solidify valuable relations. In addition to retaining your best clients, they might also refer you to new ones.
  • Diversify your client base. Look for ways to diversity to new markets. Take a look at where your current clients are coming from and brainstorm ways to reach a more diverse group. Diversifying your clients will not only help you bring in more money now, it will protect you against any industry shifts in the future.
  • Update your social accounts. A recent RBC poll showed that 70 per cent of Canadians would be more willing to buy a product or service from a company if they have an online presence. Take the slowdown period to refresh your social media and make new connections.
  • Clean up your accounts receivable. Getting paid by your clients is priority number one when it comes to cleaning up your cash flow. A major mistake that business owners make is not staying on top of invoicing and following up for payment. There are so many tools out there that can help you invoice more efficiently meaning you’ll get the money in your account more quickly.
  • Find out how to get paid more quickly. Even in 2018 with so many payment options available, some small business owners are still only accepting physical checks or cash. If you modernize your payment options, your clients can pay you more quickly - getting that money into your account when you need it.
  • Work on team building. Reward your employees with a social outing and get to know them.
  • Give yourself a break. As an owner, you are probably one of the company’s greatest resources. Take a vacation and recharge your batteries.