Category Archives: Self-Employment

Are You In Business or Enslaved to Self-Employment?

Oddly, the ultimate goal of self-employment might be to work yourself out of a job.

Many people start businesses simply to create jobs for themselves. Self-employment offers many benefits, not the least of which is the opportunity to develop basic business trade skills, while getting paid for work you love to do. Self-employment is everything some owners want, while others use it as a stepping stone to build sustainable, stand-alone businesses.

What’s the difference between self-employment and being in business? Here are some signs that you are self-employed.

1. You are the business. When customers think of your business they think of you, and they usually count on you to be one delivering the goods.

2. You might be tied to a roller coaster, feast and famine schedule. You work long hours while contracts last and you’re unemployed when they end. You are at the beck and call of your customers and dare not turn down any jobs because you never know when they might stop coming in.

3. Your pay-cheque is tied to the amount of hours you personally spend serving customers. When you stop, the revenue stops; when you get tired the business stops.

4. You spend all or most of your time working in the business, with no energy left over to work on the business.

5. You likely don’t have financial systems in place, probably do your own bookkeeping, and treat your accountant to the occasional shoebox bulging with receipts. You fly by the seat of your pants for the entire year before finding out if you’ve earned a profit.

Here are a few indicators that a business owner is moving beyond self-employment and on to building a business.

1. The business is separate from the owner. Customers don’t necessarily expect the owner to be on the front line. The business takes on more of a team approach, involving people who share the owner’s vision, mission and values.

2. The team will necessitate human resource responsibilities, systems and processes. Jobs have written descriptions and are staffed by the right people, instead of the other way around. The owner’s job shifts from the front line to leading the team.

3. Although the owner will probably still work a considerable number of hours, his pay-cheque is not limited to the number of billable hours worked.

4. While the owner might still choose to work in the business, more time is invested in designing systems for efficiency and growth.

5. The business has proper accounting and financial controls, with regular monthly financial statements and methods for tracking the flow of all monies in and out of the business.

The transition from self-employment to business doesn’t happen by accident. It is brought about when the owner consciously decides to invest in building the systems that form the backbone of the business. Once the infrastructure is in place the owner will be positioned to reduce her work hours, or possibly even sell the business and move on to other pursuits.

Age or Attitude

age-attitudeA decade ago, I cheerfully plunged into the second half of my first century on this terrestrial plane. I used to view anyone over the age of 30 as “old.” Today, my more than 60-year-old eyes see very little age difference between myself and my 80-year old parents.While I have the good fortune to be self-employed, I see more and more baby boomers being displaced from the work force. Downsized, right-sized, fired, bumped, replaced, early retired, bought out, kicked out or given the hairy handshake (not many folks seem to get the golden handshake anymore). A slap on the butt and it’s out into the big world.

What do you do with an unemployed baby boomer? I had a fascinating chat with a friend recently who is in his mid-fifties and is competing for a number of management level jobs after 25 years in business for himself and a one year sabbatical. After reaching the very short-list and losing a few major competitions, his question was, “Does age count?” Continue reading Age or Attitude

Financial Reports That Help You Understand Your Business

Too often, business owners who get into trouble don’t even know they’re insolvent until the landlord puts a lock on the door.

A business plan sets the owner up with a basic understanding of business financials, and helps avoid the carnage. All business plans should include a cash flow forecast, pro forma income statements and balance sheets. In addition to these three critical components, there are a number of other financial reports that can help entrepreneurs understand how their business works.

Here are nine financial reports and a brief explanation of each.

  1. 1.    Sales Forecast. A first year, 12-month projection of the number of units and the values for each product or service you will sell. A good sales forecast shows slower times, busier times and growth or shrinkage – it is the basic building block that enables owners to determine whether or not the business will bring in enough money to meet their financial expectations.

Continue reading Financial Reports That Help You Understand Your Business

A Self Employment Checklist

Entrepreneurship has always been a key driver for job creation in our marketplace, and small businesses will continue to generate the lion’s share of new jobs in the future.

When it comes to job creation, there’s no playground quite as exciting or readily available for new entrants than the world of self-employment. While stepping into business is not for the weak or weary, it holds great promise for anyone with skills to market and a modicum of get-up-and-go.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you consider joining the ranks of the self-employed. Continue reading A Self Employment Checklist

Making the Transition to Self-Employment

Transition to Self-Employment BootCampWith the ever changing demands of the new economy many people are opting to direct and control their careers through self-employment.

There are a number of benefits to being self-employed. You will:

▪  Have more freedom.

▪  Have more control over your work schedule.

▪  Have the choice to work from home.

▪  Be paid more money for the work.

▪  Be able to take on work from different sources.

Here are 8 things you can do to ease the transition to self-employment:

  1. Get Into a Business You Love. At the end of each day, you will have invested another 24 precious hours of your life doing whatever it is your business demands of you, and if you’re work life isn’t jammed full of activities you enjoy, you’ll be wondering why the heck you started the business in the first place.
  2. Surround Yourself with Champions. When you announce your intention to start a business, you’ll find well-meaning friends will discourage you citing notorious business failures and financial shipwrecks.  Old party partners will go to great lengths to get you back into the party game. Others, knowing you just scored a business loan or earned a profit, will try to guilt or coerce you into lending them money. To counteract any negativity, establish your own support team. It’s healthy to interact with positive, supportive people.
  3. Go the Extra Mile. When it comes to starting or growing your business, the “extra mile” can make the difference between success and failure. Business owners are often compelled to do important tasks after the regular workday and beyond the realm of normal energy outputs and expectations. Many great achievements take place over and above the regular workday. There is always enough time for miracles; it’s a matter of identifying the need, developing a plan, and taking action.
  4. Learn all you can about your business idea. Are there competing businesses already selling products and services you’re considering? Is your idea new to the area? Determine if there is demand for your goods by talking to potential customers and competitors. Answering these questions is part of doing market research and proving your business case.
  5. Be curious and coachable! It takes a certain confidence in oneself to brave the chaotic waters of starting a business, but overconfidence is the kiss of death. You can’t go wrong by spending more time listening than talking. Listen to competitors, listen to business owners, and listen to customers. Listen to anyone knowledgeable about the industry, and who will take the time to educate you about the business. Find a mentor.
  6. Set Your Prices High Enough. You’ll never build goodwill by under-charging your customers. Those new to business are prone to undervaluing their products and services. This is one of the common pitfalls made when starting a new business. Be sure to charge enough for your products and services to cover your overhead costs and turn a bit of profit. Decide whether you want to be the cheapest, the fastest, or the best. Pick any two; trying to be all three is a sure recipe for going broke.
  7. Get It in Writing. When you make the transition to self-employment, don’t be afraid to ask for signed agreements from customers, suppliers and other professionals. A signed agreement will go a long way toward eliminating misunderstandings afterward, and conserve your energy for the most important activity of all for the cheerfully self-employed; serving customers.
  8. Become the Expert. Do as much yourself as you realistically can, for as long as you can. Most small enterprises become successful because of the owner’s tireless efforts, particularly in the earlier stages. As long as it doesn’t go on to the point of burnout, wearing many hats is an ideal opportunity for the owner to get to know all aspects of the business and become the expert for the business.

Are you ready to join the world of the self-employed? The Fast-Track to Self-Employment BootCamp will be offered at Sprott-Shaw this June at the Prince George, Kelowna, Victoria and Vancouver campuses. 3 Days in class time are followed by 37 hours of self-directed research, 4 teleseminars and an hour of one-on-one coaching. For more information or to register visit or email today.

Fast-Track to Self-Employment BootCamp Kelowna

In Kelowna June 11-13. If you’ve been thinking about starting a business, now is the time. Navigate the transition from employee to self-employed contractor and business owner with safely and with confidence.

This workshop is designed to take individuals from working as employees to working as self- employed contractors and business owners. With the ever changing demands of the new economy many individuals are opting to direct and control their careers through self-employment. The course will assist in bridging to self-employment and fully understand what is necessary. The program will cover such topics as market research, understanding industries, identifying opportunities in learner-specific fields of interest, developing and describing a business concept, marketing for self-employed, navigating legal and regulatory requirements, assessing the competition, knowing what customers want, bookkeeping, accounting, taxation, social network marketing, business communications, and understanding labour markets.
Participants will leave the workshop with a basic understanding of what it means to own and operate a small business in the 21st century, how to start a small business, and how to get contracts and keep busy as an independent, self-employed contractor.

City Location Workshop Dates Instructor
Kelowna, BC Sprott-Shaw Campus
#200-546 Leon Ave.
June 11, 12, 13, 2012 Dan Boudreau

Training Goals

At the end of this course, the participant will be able to:

  • Discover the differences between owning a business and being an employee.
  • Determine if a business idea is feasible.
  • Identify the key components and structure of business plans.
  • Use effective business writing and communications techniques.
  • Discuss small business legal and regulatory requirements and deadlines.
  • Locate sources of assistance and information for entrepreneurs.
  • Recognize and discuss sources of labour market information.
  • List and prioritize products and services.
  • Identify potential customers and competition.
  • Ease fear of financials and develop a 3-year forecast.
  • Review proposal formats and writing techniques.
  • Recognize affordable marketing methods, including printed media, the internet, websites, email, and social network marketing options.
  • Identify professional support, including bookkeeping, accounting and legal counsel.
  • Develop a strategy and action plan to transition to self-employment.
  • Research and write a business plan.

Who This Workshop Is For

  • Employment Counsellors
  • Technicians
  • Tradesmen
  • Professionals
  • Anyone transitioning from employment to self-employment

What Participants Can Expect

This workshop is learner-centered and designed for maximum participation and practice. Learners will fill their self-employment toolchest with tricks and techniques, and have opportunities to practice applying new information in a safe and fun learning environment.

Classroom Time

18 hours (3 days)
Instructor led in-class time with the facilitator

Individual Guided Research

37 Hours
Individual guided research, business planning and set-up time.
Remote Live Q&A Discussion/Coaching Sessions via teleseminar

4 – 1 Hour Teleseminars

After attending the workshops and starting your through your individual guided research you will have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss successes, speedbumps and any other issues you have encountered.
Teleseminar 1: July 3 at 10:00pm PST
Teleseminar 2: July 24 at 10:00pm PST
Teleseminar 3: August 07 at 10:00pm PST
Teleseminar 4: August 21 at 10:00pm PST
If for any reason, you are unable to attend any of the 1-hour teleseminars, you will be provided a link to a recording of the phone call so you can listen on your own time.

Individual One-on-One Business Coaching Time

1 hour per participant individual one-on-one business coaching time.
Unlimited Access to the RiskBuster Business Plan Oasis Membership Website.
Each participant receives a membership and access to the Online Business Planner’s RoadMap

Each participant will get the following workshop materials:

  • A BootCamp reference binder loaded with business planning and start-up resources
  • 1 copy of RiskBuster by Dan Boudreau
  • 1 copy of Business Planner’s RoadMap by Dan Boudreau
  • Unlimited Membership to the online RiskBuster Business Plan Oasis
  • Information on bidding on government procurement opportunities
  • Access to a workshop participant’s forum in which to network with other learners, share information and get answers to questions

Each participant will get the following workshop materials:

  • A BootCamp reference binder loaded with business planning and start-up resources
  • 1 copy of RiskBuster by Dan Boudreau
  • 1 copy of Business Planner’s RoadMap by Dan Boudreau
  • Unlimited Membership to the online RiskBuster Business Plan Oasis
  • Information on bidding on government procurement opportunities
  • Access to a workshop participant’s forum in which to network with other learners, share information and get answers to questions

What Participants Will Need

  • A business idea and a desire to operate as a self-employed contractor.
  • A PC or Mac with functional word-processing and spreadsheet applications.
  • Basic computer and word-processing skills

Costs & Class Size

Workshop Fee: $1,000.00 per participant.
Workshop Materials: $114.00 per participant.
Total Cost (including taxes): $1,239.70

Maximum Per Class: 16


This BootCamp will be facilitated by Dan Boudreau, President & CEO, Macrolink Action Plans Inc.

Register Now, Seating is limited.

When you click on register now you will be taken to the Macrolink Action Plans Inc. secure shopping cart. Payment can be made by credit card (Visa, Master Card, American Express). Once you have registered, we will email you confirmation of your registration, a receipt, and details of the workshop.

For more information contact Macrolink Action Plans Inc toll-free at 1-877-612-9161
or Sprott-Shaw Community College at 604-552-9711 ext 338

If you wish to pay by any other means, please call us to make arrangements.

If you would like to speak to us before registering please contact us toll free at 1-888-612-9161.

Fast-Track to Self-Employment BootCamp is offered in partnership by Macrolink Action Plans Inc. and Sprott-Shaw Community College.