Locally owned small and micro businesses are an integral part of the well-being of B.C. in general and the Comox Valley in particular according to Dianne Goodacre, owner of The Balance Sheet Bookkeeping in Courtenay.
Goodacre points out that according to the joint federal and provincial government’s Small Business Profile 2010, small businesses in B.C. employed over a million people in 2009, producing approximately 32 per cent of B.C.’s gross domestic product.
In addition to their financial contributions, small business owners are usually an interesting group, added Goodacre.
“I find small business owners to be inventive, outgoing, generous and helpful. You often find that community leaders are small business owners,” she said.
New to the Valley as of last year, Goodacre is impressed with the diverse range of products and services on offer to Valley residents by local businesses.
“There’s everything we need right here,” she noted. “Just check out the membership of the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce, Home Based Business Association, Women’s Business Network, Comox Valley Web Posse and other local business organizations.”
Goodacre points out that as well as providing Valley residents with unique products and services, small business also supports the community financially.
“If we hire locally or buy from each other then you get a kind of multiplication effect. For example, if you buy from a local business, the business owner takes that money and buys coffee from a local kiosk, gas from a station employing local staff and milk from the corner store. This cycle contains the money within the Valley where it goes round and round,” she said.
Goodacre has some concerns about the success of small business in the current recession climate. “The goal is to keep them viable in these uncertain financial times. We are not out of the recession yet, a lot of indicators say we are still floundering,” she added.
She has some advice for business owners based on her bookkeeping background and extensive knowledge of cash flow projections. “Know exactly where you are now financially, get a good picture of where you want to be in five years and have a plan that lays out how you are going to get there. And don’t forget to plan for contingencies.”
To learn more about planning for business success, Goodacre will be a keynote speaker at the Comox Valley Home Based Business Association meeting at 6 p.m. Feb. 3 at the Best Western Plus Westerly Hotel.