Local Groups Overview

If you are planning to start, starting or growing a local business you have all the challenges a business owner has in learning to manage your business, on top of getting established in your community.

If you are not part of the local business network, how do you get people to do business with you, if they don’t know you well? People do business with people that they know, like and trust.

So, even if you’ve worked in your area, once you are a business owner, you are going to have to join a new world, with a whole new group of people…your customers. If you have brought your business to a new area, or you have commuted at a job… you are even further behind.

Build Your Own Support Network – and during COVID-19 we’re doing this virtually!

Grow Vantage local groups combine all the benefits of learning how to run your business like an expert, with access to other business owners from your own class, as well as 2 other groups (who join you in different training classes).

More people to collaborate with, trade referrals with, and gain feedback from.

Build your very own support network!

Grow Vantage is an Idea Factory

Being an entrepreneur often means you’re on your own. So then,

  • How do you figure out how to improve your bottom line?
  • What about how to find your clients? Or how to keep them?
  • Where do you find the resources you need to build your business?

How do you work all this out, not to mention… saving money…keeping up to date with technology…marketing your business…managing your finances…how to hire (or who to hire)…keeping on the right side of the taxman, WSIB, or Health and Safety?

In Grow Vantage, you are in the middle of an idea factory. Ideas and new, effective ways of doing things come from the other entrepreneurs in your classes, your coach, and expert teachers.

The ideas are written down: you receive a new chapter of training notes after every class (whether you’ve been able to attend, or not). And if you can’t attend, don’t worry. You’ll be able to make up your class with the next group …you won’t miss out!

What do Other GVer’s have to say about Grow Vantage?

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What can you Learn?

  • 30 sessions (some half night, some full night)
  • opportunities for meaningful discussion with other business owners
  • a coaching hour before every class (open to everyone who needs help working on their business) and coming soon, a weekly hour online to get Patricia Dent’s expertise
  • A twice-weekly Office Hours that is open to all businesses (past GVers, current GVers and those who have not yet joined us!)
  • Coaching to help you implement all those ideas (three different levels of classes/coaching)
  • and lots of learning…

Entrepreneurial Mindset: What are the common mindset issues we face as entrepreneurs – and the strategies to develop a positive entrepreneurial mindset

Insurance. What is your business or personal liability? Are you properly covered for business interruption, for a personal health crisis, a commercial vehicle, care and control? Grow Vantage businesses understand why it’s important to get insurance almost immediately (and what are the best sources). The difference between business life and death.

Pricing for Profit. What does every hour cost you, even if you never get out of bed? Once you start working, how does the cost increase? And how much are your prices? What do you need to charge to make a profit? If it’s too low – how would you go about increasing it?

Taxes and Getting along with Canada Revenue. What can you write off …legally? What can’t you write off? How do you keep track of all the money you spend? What about HST? Find out from an expert.

Setting up your books: How should you set up your books to keep track of money-in/money-out? Set up your books so you know where you stand financially  and learn options that will keep you organized and on top of your financials.

Survive An Audit: CRA plans to audit every business every 7 years? Do you have a process to help you when the auditor calls? Learn the step by step method of avoiding a painful audit (Not if, but when!). 

Loans, Lines, Leases. You need to buy equipment for your business. You need money for inventory. Your credit card is at 21% and almost at its limit. The bank is not going to lend you money (at least not yet). Solution? Learn how to get the equipment you need to grow your business without waiting while you spend months or years saving up… and reduce tax too!

Marketing Your Business How do you create a strategy to reach your target markets and grow your business? Be clear about your best target market and what they need from you. Clarify your message and how you will benefit your customers. Where do you find them and what pain are you taking away?

Networking, Infomercials and Presentations Create the effective message that will sell your results. With advice and encouragement from Grow Vantage colleagues, you’ll develop a message that tells your potential customers what you are about. (After all, word of mouth is one of the most effective forms of marketing).

Advertising and Trade Shows. What are your traditional and online options. Learn about how they work and the guidelines you need to use if you want to advertise or sell your services at a trade show. Which ones do you choose and how do you make them effective? Imagine selling to an audience who wants to buy your product!

Trademarks – Someone Stole My Name! What are the critical steps you need to make when you choose your Business Name, and how can you protect it? How can you be sure it’s not already out there on someone else’s website? How can you guarantee it’s yours?

Understanding Personalities: For your customers, colleagues (and even your family).With the DISC personality assessment  you can gain insights into your own and your customers’ behavioral styles to manage relationships in the workplace, selling and management. This seminar is incredibly helpful in sales and subcontracting your services. It’s dynamic and laughter-based!

Privacy Protection. Privacy legislation has been federal law since January, 2004 to have a published Privacy Policy that guarantees your vendors’, customers’, and suppliers’ information is protected. We’ll build your policy from an easy to use template in this session, covering the 11 principles found in the legislation.

Web Design. Your strategic, online presence depends on critical trends in web design, that will help you be found online. Understand the critical elements you need in a website, and elements to avoid. This is a targeted session to equip you to understand what you need to know for your web presence.

Communications Styles. Learn how to navigate the different communications styles in every phase of your business…If you’re selling, buying, or explaining. Be more effective by knowing how others see the world (and communicate).

Becoming Efficient: Manage and integrate your activities using time management techniques and apps that will create efficiency in your business. This is an effective working session that can increase your efficiency.

Branding Your Business Your business look needs to be effective and consistent everywhere – and reinforce your brand. Learn about branding from an expert. Find out how to select a designer and avoid the mistakes that can make you look unprofessional.

Social Media/Digital Marketing. Social media is constantly changing and it’s critical to build into your marketing activities. Learn what you need to know about the top social media sites: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, YouTube, etc.

Overcoming Challenges: Wouldn’t you love to talk about your specific problems and find solutions? Use the power of your group to find solutions for the challenges you are facing as an entrepreneur.

Making Sales Easy. No-one wants to be a used car salesperson! Expert sales coaching based on customer service is so effective in increasing your sales prowess. Fun! Effective!

Quotes & Contracts. Protect yourself, your customer and your suppliers. Ensure you include the important basics in your contracts, estimates, quotes and agreements that ensure you protect yourself.

Can’t Get Paid? Debts and Collections  What can you do to avoid customer debt in the first place – and if your customers owe your money….then what? Learn how to make sure you’re invoicing effectively, and what you can do if your customer slips away.

Customer Service and Engagement:  It’s easier to keep an existing customer (and less expensive too!) than to constantly find new ones.

Media, Social Media and PR: Learn to use PR and media to increase awareness of your business. Know your hook. Your true news story. Learn how to blend your business activities with not-for-profits for maximum media exposure. This is an active session with great examples.

Hiring Effectively When you’re overwhelmed with work and when you want to grow your business… hiring is your next step. What do you need to know to hire the right person, and to negotiate the minefield of legalities.

Cash Flow  A NEW class to help you manage cash… one of the most important skills a business owner can have.

Financial Planning for Entrepreneurs  Although you are concentrating on start-up and growing… it’s important to plan for your future

Plan for Year Two (and 3 and 4…). Plan and grow. Ask yourself the tough questions. And use the answers to build on your future.

Annual Dinner Meeting/virtual webinar : Every spring, all Grow Vantage businesses, past and present, are invited to join together to hear a stimulating speaker. The topics vary around developing an effective business and keeping up with trends. In 2020 – we held a virtual webinar called: “What Do We Do Now: Advice on Doing Business in COVID-19” You can hear the replay here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Eeslaw7MS3cVgZXZz1zfD-yiy9WabZ7Z/view?usp=sharing

Video for Your Business:  Video is a necessary tool for customers to find your business online. Both YouTube, which is the second largest search engine (and owned by Google), Facebook and Instagram are channels you can use to attract your ideal customer. Learn to use your smart phone and simple equipment to get your video message out.