What Really Needs to Happen When You Start a Business

We Millennials love to bask in the satisfaction of freedom and independence but every successful entrepreneur will tell you that it, in fact, takes a community to create a successful business. Before you quit your job to become a full-time entrepreneur, you may want to hear advice from every professional who will eventually help you become a success.

“Any investor in your business is going to want to know exactly how they’ll get their money back in 5 years or less, and you’ll want to know the answer to that question before you ask for a cent”, says Janeen Stodulski, senior manager at Grant Thornton, Canada’s leading accounting, business advisory and risk management firm. “They’ll also want to know your burn rate and the sum of your monthly overhead costs now, and projected over five years”.

Janeen was one of 6 guest experts at The Mentors Collective, a new initiative by Scotiabank in partnership with YouInc and StartUp Canada held at BrainStation in Toronto. The event brought business owners and entrepreneurs from across the city together to connect and learn from one-on-one mentoring sessions about what it takes to build and grow a successful business. Janeen and other industry-leading experts in finance, human resources, legal, entrepreneurship and marketing provided very insightful and useful advice— literally the most abundant evening for budding entrepreneurs in Toronto.

“Happy people drive performance”, said Lisa Kay, president and lead consultant at Peak Performance HR. Her best advice for small business owners and entrepreneurs trying to crack the code for how to engage and retain Millennial employees is to customize resources to the individual. Some Millennials need a structured environment and respond well to precise management while others need the perception of complete independence to perform well at work, and commit to their job. Customizing resources to the individual may require more work upfront but lower recruitment costs will improve your ROI.

Zia Rahman, a Small Business Advisor at Scotiabank discussed the importance of planning. Beyond articulating your vision and goals, he explained that a plan is essential to helping a small business grow – especially when it comes to financing in the future.

Perhaps the highlight of learning opportunities at The Mentors Collective included the founder of g adventures, Bruce Poon Tip’s foresight for future business success. “We need a purpose to attract the best people in the future”, in reference to the value of social enterprise in today’s marketplace, in Canada and around the world.

Blooming entrepreneurs and small business owners may find the perfect recipe for success in the format of The Mentors Collective. The event balanced practical advice from key experts that an entrepreneur needs to effectively operate a business. The evening capped off with valuable insight on our new third economy, that social economy, that is driving the future of business in Canada.