In the lead up to the second event as part of our partnership with Belliveau Veinotte Chartered Accountants we have a blog from Michael Belliveau. Join us on April 14th, 7-9pm to hear some of his tips and tricks for corporate taxes and bring your questions to the table. This will be an interactive session with a short presentation, followed by an open floor for questions and answers. Free of charge and open to the public.
Another big issue for corporations is what to do with your vehicle? Should I charge the business for my vehicle use? Should I put the vehicle in the corporation’s name? What percentage use must be business to put the vehicle in the company? We hope to answer all these questions for you, and ensure you not only follow the rules but gain the biggest tax benefit as well.
These are three of the big portions of our presentation, but we will also touch on tax rates, income splitting and other tips and tricks.
It is important that as a business owner you have a basic understanding of corporate tax issues as many strategies entail to choices and in order to make the best decision for you and your company it is important to understand the consequences of the decision.
We look forward to seeing you on April 14th, 2016 at the HUB South Shore!
We are excited to announce a partnership with Belliveau Veinotte Chartered Accountants for 2016. They will be offering advice and support to HUB membership and free events to the HUB community (you!). Here's a bit about Belliveau Veinotte and why they are doing this:
"As a member of the AC Group of locally owned and independent accounting firms across Atlantic Canada, AC Belliveau Veinotte Inc. is committed to providing professional services to clients while giving back to our communities. AC Belliveau Veinotte Inc provides personal and corporate tax services, business advisory services, HST advice, business valuation and estate planning services throughout the South Shore and Halifax.
As part of our commitment to the area all AC Group firms have endeavored to identify a local business to provide a yearlong mentorship program. We are pleased to be parterning with the Hub South Shore and its members to use our experiences and expertise to aide the Hub and its members in growing their businesses."
Below is what we have planned for 2016 in more detail:
Events running though the year
Different members of the Belliveau Veinotte team will do public seminars at the HUB, whether it is over a Q&A sandwich lunch or a more formal evening presentation. We have some events already on the books and the subsequent events will be tailored to the questions and concerns raised throughout the days at the HUB and at the first series of events. Here's what already firmed up:
Open for questions once a month at the HUB
Different members of the Belliveau Veinotte team will work in the HUB office space once a month. They will be made available to all HUB members for questions or concerns. The Belliveau Veinotte team has expertise including HST, US tax, personal tax, corporate tax, business advisory and business valuations to hopefully find the answers folks are looking for. As Michael from Beliveau Veinotte said:
Collaboration and more to come ...
Lastly, we'd like to say that we are proud to be partnering with Belliveau Veinotte in this way. It is a great example of the collaboration and openness to work across differences that this region needs to further reinvigorate and sustain our economy and communities. Watch this space, more to come ...
I’m really looking forward to coming into The Hub on December 2nd for a ”Sandwich Lunch” chat about healthy eating and why it’s SO important. It’s too easy to let our good health slip away as we sit at our desks hour after hour. The busier we are, the more difficult it is to prioritize ourselves and our health, but how can you expect your business to be robust and thriving if you are not?! YOU are your business’ most important asset and your good health is your most precious resource.
Over and over again, I see busy people making the same health mistakes: skipping meals, either because they think they are too busy to eat or they simply forget to stop to eat; eating the same thing over and over so they don’t have to waste precious time or energy thinking about what to eat; grabbing highly processed foods and snacks or fast food; and keeping themselves fuelled with too much caffeine or sugar.
It might feel impossible to change these habits and find a way to eat well and still get everything done that you need to get done in the run of a day, but I promise you it is not. Fuel yourself better and you’ll be amazed at the positive impact that has on every other aspect of your life and business.
Come and chat with me on December 2nd to learn more about why eating healthy is so crucial…and how the heck to do it!
The Wednesday sandwich lunches have become a bit of a tradition at the HUB. We all order Sandwiches from one of the local restaurants and get to hang out and enjoy each other's company. This fall we decided to experiment in throwing a topic once a month. On the first Wednesday of the we are going to have a speaker come in, talk for about 10 minutes and then open up to an informal conversation.
It feels like a good way to invite people who aren't members at the HUB to join in on one of the HUB traditions once a month. We often get feedback that people want to be part of the HUB be even if they don;t need co-working. This is a great opportunity for that. The speakers are all focused on some way of helping your small business and feel a great compliment to the inspirational talks that Mash Up Lab will continue to host once a month i the evenings.
Here's the topics for the sandwich lunches and you can find all the info on the events page on our website:
FOCUS ON GROWTH
A sandwich lunch in partnership with Bluteau DeVenney & Company. Jamie O'Neill and Tanya Bellafontaine from Bluteau Devenney will introduce the Focus on Growth program for entrepreneurs. A highly affordable and world class opportunity for an entrepreneur seeking to push their vision to the next level.
HIRING STUDENTS TO HELP YOUR BUSINESS
Interested in hiring a Co-op student in the future? What is Co-op / Co-operative Education? Join Theresa Myra from the Co-op program at Dalhousie University and learn more about Co-operative Education (Co-op program) and various programs available for hiring students. Learn more about funding programs and resources available to you as a Nova Scotia company.
SOUTH SHORE OPPORTUNITIES
Join us for a sandwich lunch with Elaine Callaghan from South Shore Opportunities. Elaine has worked with many HUB members over the last couple of years to provide support and funding for small business initiates. Come and ear about some of the programs and opportunities she has on the go at the moment!
Mark you calendar: 7 pm on 30 April. Ignite is coming to the new HUB space. Register now!
Ignite is a talk show phenomenon. But not that kind of talk show. The kind where anyone — you, your friends, your neighbours — can stand up and talk about anything at all to a captive audience.
There’s only one catch: you only have 5 minutes. OK, two catches: your slides change automatically, every 15 seconds.
The movement started in Seattle in 2006. The idea is to share something you’re passionate about, quickly. Probably the best way to get the idea is to watch one… here’s Alex Hillman, founder of Indy Hall coworking space in Philadelphia, and general coworking champ:
Come and try itIf you think this sounds cool, you’re in luck. On 30 April, Mashup Lab and The HUB are hosting the inaugural Ignite on the South Shore down at the new space. It’ll be super laid-back, as always.
The event is completely free, and will be 100% better if you are there (yes, you). It will be 200% better if you share a story. There are 6 spots for presenters, and there will never be a more chilled out event at which to talk about something you love. Pitch your presentation here.
If you just want to show up and listen, sign up here! And bring a friend.
An investment fund for south shore businesses. A dodge ball tournament.
Those were two of the topics pitched and bandied about at a recent gathering at the Hub South Shore. It was the second meeting of a fledging — and as yet unnamed — group of south shore dwellers looking to connect, network, and find partners for new projects.
The first meeting was held in Bridgewater on a stormy night in November, and drew about 25 people. Over drinks at the River Pub, each person introduced him/herself and explained why they decided to show up. Some were new to the area and looking to connect, others were long-time south shore residents simply looking to find like-minded partners for new projects. Others were just happy to have a beer and chat on a rainy night. No formal decisions were made. But it was agreed that the group should meet again.
I organized the second meeting at the Hub South Shore, where I’m a full-time member, because it’s an obvious place for sharing ideas and launching new projects. Instead of a group discussion, I thought it would be helpful to break into small groups, so specific topics and ideas could emerge. The process of actually breaking into groups and brainstorming ideas was led by Tim Merry, a Hub co-founder.
A half dozen ideas were thrown out. Some were similar and merged together. In the end four groups emerged. It was simply a matter of jumping into the one you found most appealing.
The group discussing a possible fund for south shore business investment didn’t arrive at any concrete decisions, but the session definitely revealed the need for further discussion. There was one definitive decision, however: the need for a dodgeball tournament (details to come!).
The plan is to hold these meetings regularly, at different venues on the south shore. It’s important to stress the gatherings are open to everyone. If you’re looking to connect or if you have project to pitch, come out! It’s an easy way to network, meet new people, explore different topics, pitch new organizations and projects, or simply hang out and have a beer or coffee with other south shore dwellers.
The next meeting will be held Wednesday Feb. 26 at the Boscowen Inn in Lunenburg, from 7-9 p.m.
Don’t hesitate to drop me a line if you’d like more info. firstname.lastname@example.org
We had a great discussion last week at the Thursday night event Leadership in uncertain times. Provoked by Dee Hock’s model of Chaordic Design we got right into the times we live in and the leadership that is needed. Check out this article by Dee Hock himself if you want to know more about the model, or watch these videos from Tuesday Ryan Hart and Tim Merry. Matt also made a great short video of the session:
A few great insights came out of the session:
We quickly touched on the chaordic stepping stones which are the minimum order needed for the chaos to evolve meaningfully and productively. I use them again and again for project planning, organizational start up, meeting design, and my own personal development. Check out more on the stepping stones in this video and we may do a session on them in the future.
If this catches your attention, you will love the Art of Hosting event on 15 June at the HUB. Please register before coming as we may to have to move into a bigger room because of demand.
Two weeks ago, we held our first evening event — Tax, the law, and so much more. I thought I’d try to summarize some of the ‘tax’ part here… If I feel up to it maybe I’ll try the law part next time.
John Swain was there to share his insight and experience in tax matters. He focused on a critical question for many newly self-employed professionals: should I incorporate or not?
We’re lucky to have plenty of pros that understand small business in Nova Scotia. Ask around, seek them out, and treat them as a partner. In John’s confident words, “they willsave you money in the long run!”
What to charge?
Two weeks ago, 12 of us had a wide-ranging chat about pricing professional services — a subject that affects almost everyone with a small business. Punchline first: There’s no formula. But there are some approaches:
Pro-bono: We all work for free occasionally, and it feels good to be generous. I often help people out as a loss leader, and because it feels like the professional thing to do. Everyone present said they done the same.
Cost-based: You can add up your overheads, plus a mark-up of 15% say, and call that your price. But then the only way to make more money, without increasing your price, is to reduce your overheads, which may well reduce quality. The group talked quite a bit about what Seth Godin calls ‘the race to the bottom’ — a race you don’t want to win.
Time-based: I’m a scientist. I like the idea of formulas, and of the transparency they suggest. If my prices are formulaic, based on the hours I work, then it’s fine if my customers talk to each other, because my prices are fair and predictable. But the reality, at least for me, is that this is difficult to maintain. Some customers are, well, difficult. Sometimes I feel generous. Some projects bring a different kind of value to me. (Remember your other bottom lines: reputation, relevance, brand, and so on. You can leverage these types of capital almost as easily as cash.)
Value-based: This is where the money is, and most people present felt this was the place to focus. Charge in proportion to what your insightful judgment — your professionalism — is worth, usually on a turnkey (fixed-price) basis. Of course, your client may perceive your value differently from you. It’s up to you to help your client see the difference you make. Snags include feature creep, with the client expanding the scope after you’ve agreed on a price, and over-delivery. Do understand that turnkey pricing reduces risk for the client — there must be a price on that risk reduction.
Tim and Dave and I have been over all this and more in connection with The HUB’s pricing. One thing we’re trying to do (help us!) is:
Listen to your customers: Your customers know what they want to pay. Ask them! One of Tim’s strategies is to ask the customer to “pay what you can, and a little bit more”. The little bit more ensures buy-in, commitment, and seriousness. He can write more about that one day.
Have you nailed pricing in your line of work? What is your strategy?