Way back when, yours truly worked in the design department of a large company. This was my first job out of school, and boy did I need it to help me take all this amazing, raw talent and hone it into a more marketable and business-oriented thing. A few years into a wonderful learning experience, I was laid off.
This part next is a little harder. I looked around for a long while for a decent job in my field, but was unable to find one. Eventually, I went on Employment Insurance, but with the end looming I made the decision to take a risk and start working for myself. That involved a lot of discussions with government offices, second career employers, etc., but because we were in the process of moving, everything waited until we were here in Niagara region. That was when I was put in contact with Ontario Office Works.
From their website:
Ontario Office Works Inc. is a dynamic service oriented company focused on providing small businesses with the information and support needed to grow and prosper in today's business environment.
We help people to understand... and take action!So what does that mean? It means it's a group of caring professionals, men and women who are experts in their field that really care about your success and well being, that use their resources to help you grow. And that's the key there: the staff at OOW help grow YOU just as much as growing your business. They take your idea and nurture it, help you understand it and build on it, and when you're secure there (or more often at the same time), then they relate it to growing your business.
I picked up a lot of knowledge about best practices, accounting, bookkeeping... all of the things a small business owner needs to know to get their feet on the ground. All the while, I knew that I could pop in any time with a question, attend one of their free classes, and even have a great conversation with the staff pretty much any time. Over the years we've done a great deal of work, and I can guarantee that their marketing materials are always updating ;)
If you're a small business owner in the Niagara Region and unsure about how to take your living room hobby and make it a functioning, profitable business, then give the good people at Ontario Office Works a call.