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Snappy, tip-based videos target small business

Small Business BC’s newly launched library of two- to three-minute Expert Insight videos provides entrepreneurs with tips on everything from tax advantages to website building

In an effort to provide quick and easy tips for local entrepreneurs, Small Business BC (SBBC) has created 19 snappy videos that offer expert insights into everything from business planning to incorporation to brand identity.

SBBC conference services officer Laine McDonald said the two- to three-minute videos, which have been released weekly over the past three months, are targeted at early-stage businesses that may be in the midst of business planning or in their first year of business.

McDonald said SBBC chose topics based on subject matter in which local entrepreneurs have shown interest. He noted that where the videos open up an area that an entrepreneur would like to explore more fully, SBBC offers two- to three-hour seminars to explore these topics in depth.

“The videos address the initial challenges and hopefully shine some light on some topic areas that [entrepreneurs] may not have thought about yet,” he said. “If they do need more information on those specific topic areas, then we have it.”

McDonald said the videos – which are hosted on SBBC’s website, YouTube and various community partners’ websites – have had more than 3,000 individual YouTube views.

He said legal, tax and online issues have been the top draws to date.

“We’re finding people are coming to our website for these specific topics and then learning more about the other topics just when they’re there,” he said.

McDonald noted that SBBC has spread the word about the videos through news releases and social media and has made the videos available to anyone who wants to download them off YouTube. He added that based on the project’s success to date, SBBC is interested in adding to its video offerings in future.

“We’re definitely planning on growing the library, concentrating on areas where entrepreneurs are struggling the most and then hopefully alleviating some of that pain, whether it be [regarding] social media or more tax or legal seminars,” he said.

Kevin McLeod, founder and president of website design and management company Yardstick Services, is an expert featured in SBBC videos How to Get Your Business Online, How Do You Know if Your Company Needs a Website and How to Choose a Web Designer.

McLeod was keen to get involved in the project when he heard that SBBC was looking at a short video format.

“Videos are a great product for delivering content to that growing business segment because people in growing businesses tend to have the least amount of time of anybody else – they’re just super-busy people,” he said.

“So for them to be able have a little bite-sized chunk, a little nugget of information that might help them out – and that they can just click ‘play’ and listen to and go about their business – is excellent.”

Bronwen Kyffin, owner and designer of startup baby blanket company My Favourite Blanket, called the project “smart” and said she saw lots of value in the videos for entrepreneurs.

“[The videos] are easy to bring up during the day if you run into a question,” she said. “It’s sort of an immediate expert at your side.”

She said the videos’ sharp focus and short length make them an ongoing reference tool.

“You don’t have to slog through a full 15-minute video on a full business plan to find that one thing you remember you saw last time you accessed this video,” she said. “ It’s right there in the two minutes, so you can go back to it repeatedly.”

Kyffin added that the library has value for many stages of entrepreneurship. She noted that it spans material like business planning, which is directly relevant to her in the current early stages of her company, as well as topics that may be of value as her company develops further.

“It’s a really broad range of levels so for me, who’s still quite basic, [How to Build Your] Business Structure and Legal Architecture means very little to me and I don’t feel like I need to view that now,” she said. “ But I know at some point I will hopefully get there.”