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Creative Marketing Ideas for the Small Business

If you’re a small business or new startup, you don’t have money to waste on expensive advertising like your bigger competitors can. To compete on the same level but with a smaller budget, you have to market smarter.

Start by brainstorming with your business partners and connections to come up with several cheap outside-the-box marketing tricks.  Then, if you’re really feeling stumped for ideas, consider these

1. Create relevant content on your website. Blog categories or an on-site article directory are excellent for this.  Fresh and helpful content helps engage readers, build valuable links, attract leads and convert them to new sales.

2. Publish articles in trade or local magazines. Most people think published work is more valuable than a simple blog post, and articles cost less than advertising in the same magazine.

More ideas - 60+Creative Marketing Ideas here

October is Small Business Month

For the month of October all Small Business BC workshops and their counseling services are free to BC Small Business owners. Now is the time to build your business, work on your business, for free, from the comfort of your office.

Join in the webinar conversations on everything from  Digital Marketing to Tax Sense to Website Starter, and more. Full details here!

Help us spread the the word! #smallbusinessbc

Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Business Expo 2016

The Business Expo is an opportunity for you to interact face-to-face with clients and businesses in order to develop solid and long-term relationships. In 2015, 100+ businesses showcased their services and operations. This event is a ringing endorsement of the strength of the business community and the Chamber of Commerce. Drop into the  Vancouver Island  Conference Centre on Thursday, October 20th, 2016 between 10 am to 5 pm.  Full details here!

Have Your Say - Self-Employment Survey

You are invited to participate in the Self-Employment Survey - Community Futures Central Vancouver Island 2016.

The survey results provide important information, which helps form our strategy development and enables us to make appropriate adjustments to our service delivery efforts. 

If you complete the survey by Feb 7, 2016 you'll gain the opportunity win a lucky draw to Win $100 prepaid Visa card as a support to one of our local businesses.

To participate in the online survey, go to

NOTE: If you are unable to click on the link directly, please copy and paste the entire link into the Address or Location field at the top of your Web browser, and press the ENTER key on your keyboard to access the survey Web site.

If you need to interrupt the survey, simply exit the site. Re-enter by clicking again on the above link and you will return to the same point on the survey automatically.

Please note that if you experience any technical difficulties with the Internet survey and need assistance, you may email us at

We appreciate your time and assistance in providing information and input that will help us enhance the value of Community Futures to your organization.        


Harpreet Kaur
Community Futures            

E-Series in Vancouver April 6 –8, 2016

The Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE) will be hosting their 3-day entrepreneurial educational program, E-Series in Vancouver April 6 –8, 2016. This comprehensive program is for women entrepreneurs across Canada who want to take their business to the next level. As a Marketing Partner for the program, we encourage you to apply to this transformative program. E-Series covers over a dozen topics essential for any entrepreneur’s success. This immersive program is taught by successful entrepreneurs and business experts who help you dig deep into:

  • Marketing + Branding
  • Sales
  • Pitching for Investment/Financing
  • Employment law and much more.

Some of this year’s speakers include Bev Briscoe (Chair of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers), Terry McBride (NettworkMusic Group + YYoga) and Yuri Fulmer(Chairman, Fulmer Capital Partners). Since 2002, over 230 women have participated in the program, including Andrea Scott (Co-founder, skoah), Heather White + Lori Joyce(Co-Founders, The Cupcake Girls) and Cybele Negris (Co-Founder + CEO,

To provide ongoing support, each E-series participant is paired with a Mentor for 14 months of 1:1 mentorship.
E-SERIES: TRIED. TESTED. TRUE.E-Series grads have seen an average annualized revenue growth of over 40% in their business and 90% of all participating companies since 2003 are still in business –well above the national average of 50% after 5 years.
A limited number of grants are also available to women across Canada. To apply for a grant, complete the E-Series application and answer a couple extra questions at the end.
APPLY NOW! The application takes approximately 5-10 minutes. Deadline to apply is Friday, January 15, 2016.
If the hyperlink above does not work, copy and paste this link into your internet browser:
I encourage you to learn more about this program by clicking here or calling FWE directly at 1-604-682-8115 or email

Business Expo

Visit the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Business Expo at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre Thursday, October 22, 2015 between 1 pm to 5 pm and see a few of the unique business out there. Expand your business network!  Free Admission

Author/Business Coach Clemens Rettich Luncheon: $30 (+GST)  "This is the Best Time to Start a Small Business" Nanaimo River Room *11:30-12:45 pm. 
Lightning Talks $20 (+GST) * (Free to sponsors/exhibitors) David Hatchman, Jenn Houtby Ferguson, Nick West, Colleen Tourout-Departure Bay Room * 3-4:30 pm

Pre-registration for lunch and Lightening Talks required. 250-756-1191 ext 4 or email


Small Business BC’S MYBIZDAY....Connecting entrepreneurs to the Province's leading tools and resources.

Join us on October 21, 2015 at Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo to discover resources and programs available to your small business.

This FREE full-day event includes a mix of educational workshops, interactive panel sessions, exhibitors and networking. 

Small Business Resources – Presented by Small Business BC

  • Find out about the resources, programs and financing available for entrepreneurs locally, regionally and provincially to grow a successful business.

Market Research Strategies – Presented by Small Business BC

  • Learn how to gather information about your current and potential customers, industry trends and competition to help make strategic business decisions.  

Marketing in a Digital World – Presented by Yellow Pages

  • In an era of instant gratification, consumers are looking for immediate, personalized information on your products and business. Learn more about the new trends in digital marketing and the five essential tools for creating a great online presence. 

Technology at Work – Presented by Neil Squire Society

  • Find out about the government’s new Technology@Work program to help people with limitations overcome barriers in the workplace with demonstrations of proper ergonomics and assistive technologies.

Financing: Fuel for Your Business – Presented by Community Futures BC, Futurpreneur Canada and Women’s Enterprise Centre

  • Financing is often one of the greatest challenges for small businesses. So come and learn from the experts how to get the right financing and support for your business.    

Overcoming Business Challenges – Interactive Panel Session

  • Come listen to our panel of local experts about the challenges that small businesses face in your region and how to develop strategies to overcome them. 

For more information go to:

We can match you with a buyer!

Tell us if your business is available for sale because - when the right opportunity comes along - we can match you with a buyer. Venture Connect knows it’s not good enough to buy any business; it’s about buying the right business for you. Venture Connect  services are designed to help you find the business that best suits you and your requirements.  Click here for the latest business ready for a new owner!

If you are wondering about selling your business, we can help too! To help you make a decision regarding selling your business, you will need to know the potential value of your business. Venture Connect is able to assist business owners determine the business' value.  Depending on the complexity, this can often be completed within a few days, for $350 –  $550.

Concerned your current and potential customers will hear 'rumors' your business is or may be for sale and perhaps choose to take their business elsewhere?  No need to worry, all communications with potential sellers and buyers are held in strictest confidence, to the point that your business name is not even published in our monthly report.


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Communities Served

Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Gabriola Island, Lantzville, Nanoose, Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Bowser, French Creek, Lasqueti Island
Click for the BBB Business Review of this Loans - Small Business in Nanaimo BC


Community Futures Central Island
#14 - 327 Prideaux Street
Nanaimo, BC
V9R 2N4

T: 250.591.7499
T: 888.303.2232
T: 877.585.5385