Small Business Ideas

Free Online Courses for Independent Business Owners

As an entrepreneur, you are continuously learning and developing new skills. If you have employees, you probably encourage them to do the same.

Regardless of whether your organization would like to further understand marketing, management or even human resources, CFIB’s got you covered through their partnership with Vubiz.

CFIB’s Vubiz partnership allows you to invest in yourself and your employees with FREE online training.

The Vubiz courses give you 24/7- online access and allows you to complete the courses at your own pace from your desktop, tablet or smart phone. The Vubiz dashboard even allows you to create your profile, select from variety of courses and review your completed courses.

I’ve had the opportunity to take few of these courses such as:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Health and Safety Certificate
  • Strategic Management
  • Hiring, Managing and Terminating
  • Introduction to Leadership
  • Interviewing
  • Selecting Top Talent
  • Job Candidate Interviewing

I found these courses to be straight forward, the platform to be easy to use and I learned so much great insight such as:

  • What questions are acceptable (and not) during interview
  • What if an employee doesn’t wish to sign their performance evaluation
  • What rules to follow when terminating an employee
  • Download few templates related to the topic Education is lifelong!
  • Check out the learning center today! You will need a membership number, so if you’ve been in business two years or less, why not sign up for CFIB’s free 6 month membership through the My Startup program! If you have been in business for longer than two years, simply sign up for a one-year CFIB membership.


CesarCesar Gomez-Garcia has been with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business for six years. His current role at the CFIB is helping members with their questions on compliance. These questions can range from employment standards to health and safety, as well as complicated red tape situations that small businesses face. His passion is reading and writing about entrepreneurship. Learn more about Cesar via LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter @josuegomezg.

Exclusive to My StartUp/CFIB Members: FREE Social Media Mastery Webinar

social-mediashutterstock_vector_78037192CFIB Business Resource counsellors have been getting a lot of questions about social media marketing lately. In response, we’ve invited Bobby Umar, one of Inc Magazine’s Top 100 Leadership Speakers and Amazon #1 Best-Seller author of “How to Network Anytime.” He is also a four-time TEDx speaker, personal brand, networking & social media leadership advocate, and Huffington Post writer. With over 320,000 Twitter followers, Bobby will cover the topic of social media mastery for small business owners.

If you have questions about social media marketing, please join us for this free webinar, exclusive to CFIB members, in which Bobby will cover the following topics:

  • Understanding how social media works for your small business
  • Top 5 business strategies each for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter
  • How social media and networking work together to generate revenue
  • Building great content and thought leadership

You will have an opportunity to ask Bobby your social media marketing questions towards the end of the webinar.

Social Media Mastery: Ramp Up Your Business, Impact and Life
Tuesday November 3rd, 1pm EDT
Friday November 6th, 1pm EDT

If you are a My StartUp/CFIB member, check your inbox for an invite with a link to this webinar. Call 1-888-234-2232 if you did not receive your invite.

Free Posters For Your Small Biz

The ShopSmallBiz directory is Canada’s only free online directory exclusive to small business! It doesn’t just offer a free place to connect you to your customers, however. The directory also houses toolkit section, which offers free holiday imagery that can be downloaded and printed.

This is one timely example:

Free St Patrick's Day Poster

This image is free to download.

Check out what other free holiday imagery they have to spread the Shop Small Biz message.


Stock Up on Stock Imagery


Vince Vaughan iStock

Portrait of a handsome business leader crossing his arms with his team standing behind him

Advertising is a must-have for virtually every entrepreneur. Unfortunately, it also has the potential to be expensive and time consuming. That’s why many startups, and even seasoned small business owners, find themselves turning to stock imagery.

Stock imagery has a lot of a few advantages. It is cheap, for example. It’s easy to obtain. Stock images tend to look more professional than the pictures you took of Aunt Edna giving the thumbs up at the family barbeque last year. Oh, and did I mention that it’s cheap?

Unfortunately, some stock images come across as, well, super cheesy. Of course, if super cheesy is what you’re going for, this won’t be a problem. In fact, the cast of the upcoming movie Unfinished Business has teamed up with iStock to help you get your cheesy advertising on.


Unfinished Business iStock

Nothing left to chance – Business Strategy

Unfinished Business  Cast Free iStock

Successful applauding executives sitting at the table

Clever advertising Vince Vaughan

Business team enjoying victory

These fun images are available for free this week (and you can’t get much cheaper than free). And more will be coming soon. Simply click this link: Unfinished Business free iStock photos.

Whether you’re going for silly and fun, like the images above, or serious and profound, let us offer you a few tips.

  1. There are great sites out there, such as iStock and ShutterStock.
  2. Check the fine print for limits of use. Usually you cannot use any element of stock imagery for logos with a standard agreement, for example.
  3. You purchase rights to use the image, but not exclusively, so don’t be surprised if your image shows up elsewhere, even on a competitor’s website or ads.
  4. Ask your friends and family what they think of the images before you purchase. Make sure they are helping your ad campaign, not hindering it.
  5. iStock offers some images for free every week. Even if you don’t have a use for those images right now, it might be a good idea to save the ones you like for future use.
  6. Not every image on the World Wide Web is fair game. Stock imagery is not expensive. Please don’t try to save a few dollars by copying and pasting imagery you find online. If you don’t have express permission to use it, well, you can’t use it.