AV’s School for Small Business

Class is in session!

Maybe it’s been a long time since you went to university. Maybe you never went in the first place. Either way, as a small business owner, you probably think your classroom days were behind you. Guess again.


Photograph Colin Way; Illustration Colton Ponto

Welcome to Alberta Venture’s School for Small Business, where you’ll learn everything from how to grow your sales and manage your operations more efficiently to how to approach a venture capitalist without getting laughed out of the room. We’ve conscripted three small business experts, each of whom has a different area of expertise and experience, to walk you through some of the most common challenges a small business faces and how you might handle them better. We’ve also identified three small business success stories, each of which contains a lesson that you can draw on and apply to your own situation.

It’s been said that a good education is the best investment you can make. With that in mind, get ready to study up.

Dave Richard
The president of Automated Rig Technologies, Richard has over 30 years of experience in hydraulic system service, design, project management, analysis and problem solving, and is a former owner of Drill Systems, Mainline Hydraulics, Mainline Industries and Iron Derrickman.
David Bayda
A former student entrepreneur who founded a furniture assembly company called Ezemble while he was in university, Bayda is now the Edmonton service point co-ordinator at the Business Link Business Service Centre. He has a bachelor of design degree, specializing in business marketing, from the University of Alberta.
Vance Gough
Vance Gough is an associate professor at Mount Royal University’s Bissett School of Business. He graduated from the University of Calgary with both a BA and an MBA, was nominated for teaching excellence awards in 1997, 1998 and 2000, and founded the Prairie Mill Bread Company in 1996, growing it to three retail stores and 35 employees before selling it in 2002.

Money 101

You need cash flow to run your business and this often means accessing financing. So what’s the best way to keep your dollars flowing?
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Nation Builders

Canada has an aboriginal housing crisis. Two Calgary brothers think they have the answer
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Management 201

Even if you have money you still need qualified people to manage it and to run the company effectively
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The Quiz

What kind of an entrepreneur are you?
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The Daily Grind

One Edmonton entrepreneur’s bold bid to change the tastes, and the spending habits, of coffee drinkers
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Markets 301

Without a customer, or a market, you have no business. So how can you maintain, or better yet, expand your markets?
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All in the Family

Family businesses are told to start succession planning early. But what happens when everything changes?
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15 Things to Know Before Approaching a VC

Not all venture capitalists are dragons
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