Business Counselling

The core service of the StFX Extension Innovation and Enterprise Centre advisory services is business counselling. Our business counsellors have undertaken extensive training and have real life experience operating small businesses. Our counselling service is offered at no charge to small business owners and budding entrepreneurs located in our service area. Many of the business owners and new entrepreneurs we have worked with require assistance in developing business plans, assessing their business management skill level and training needs, preparing market research, developing new ideas for their business, business start-up, planning for expansion, and developing pricing and product strategies.

If you operate a business, or you are considering starting a business in Northeastern Nova Scotia, and you would like advice and/or assistance regarding any area of your business, please drop into the Centre, or contact us to set up an appointment and get started on your new venture.

Business Planning

A business plan defines your business. It explains the “who, what, why, where, when and how” of your business. A good plan sets the direction for your efforts in obtaining and selling your product, as well as meeting your financial goals. For new business ventures, the business plan enables bankers and lenders to see that you are well prepared and it eases the borrowing of start-up funds. For well established businesses, the business plan assists in obtaining funding for planned expansion. Even more importantly, the business plan acts as a roadmap, a guide to assist you to reach the goals you have set for your business.

Business planning is a time-consuming process and it can be an intimidating exercise the first time around. Many small business operators have precious little time to invest in planning thoroughly and, when a business plan is required for a loan application, many approach an accountant or a consultant to prepare their plan. While the result is a well written plan that may land the loan, the value of the plan to the business and the owner may be limited.

The true value of a good business plan is not a well-written document, it is the intimate knowledge that you, the owner, will gain about the industry, the competition, the markets, and your business. This knowledge is key to understanding the current business situation, anticipating future developments and making well-informed decisions when faced with the alternatives. A well-prepared business plan reflects your ideas and goals, develops a clear picture of your business now, and provides a preview of where you want it to be in the future. An outsider, working alone, cannot do this for you . It is your business plan, and only you know exactly what it is that you want to achieve in your business.

Feel free to contact us for assistance in preparing your plan, or to have one of our team review your completed plan. We have created a BusinessPlanGuide complete with tips on preparing your plan and a template that may assist you in writing your plan.     

Guide to Business Start-Up and Expansion

“Who are you going to call?”

Starting a new venture is a major undertaking and for many budding entrepreneurs the burning questions is, “Who am I going to call to get basic start-up information about business registration, taxation, funding, and advisors?”. The StFX Extension Innovation and Enterprise Centre team has come up with a solution.  We have developed a Guide to Business Start-up and Expansion that will take you through the process of creating your business with ease.  From the Business Start-up Checklist, to the latest facts on federal and provincial programs and services. the Guide to Business Start-Up and Expansion provides information on every aspect of starting a new business. The guide is organized into user friendly sections that cover everything from selecting and registering your business name to setting up a bookkeeping system, to acquiring funding for your new venture. The guide also provides a thorough list of contact information for organizations and government agencies that may be of use to you in the process.