Does our company qualify?

While we would love to get millions of dollars for everyone, unfortunately not every company will qualify. Our government wants to stimulate the economy in very specific ways. They need help in getting these funds into the right hands so that they can see a return on their investment (more jobs = more taxes paid).

When it is applied properly, government support is a force multiplier that will greatly increase your present growth rate. However, it is not a good way to get started. These programs do not fund ideas typically; for that, you need to look to friends and family to invest in your big idea.

What is supported?

Mostly wages, qualifying contracting costs and some specific marketing expenditures.
What is hot these days?
The more digital the better - anything technology related is a good start. Web 2.0 is hot as is electrical engineering and engineering services. Green energy is good (electrical generation is better than saving).
What’s not so hot?
Sales based companies, franchises, self-employed people, and most service firms, such as real estate.

This sounds like a scam.

Free government money is a favorite tagline of con artists. There are three easy ways to protect yourself:
  1. When someone promises that there is lots of money for you, yet they have no idea who you are or what you have done – run away.
  2. When they ask you for a deposit – run even faster. Anyone reputable in our industry works on commission.
  3. Don't buy those books that list government programs. They make nice firewood. All of that info is on the Internet and they never answer the million-dollar question: what do you actually qualify for, and how do you get it?

Everyone in your industry talks about ‘quality’ and ‘maximizing returns’.
What does this really mean?

In our industry, there are three key benchmarks to quality:

Total amount recovered
This one sounds like a no-brainer, but it is really very hard to do well. The biggest challenge is that the client typically has no real idea what this amount should be. We had a client who had a competitor get them about 35k, and they thought this was pretty good. We’re now getting them around 150k per year, and the competitor is long gone. We’re hoping that with the help of a new program, we may be able to more than double this amount in the future.

Amount of client participation
There are two sides to this coin. The first has to do with consultants who have the clients do most of the legwork, and the second has to do with the project management skills of the service provider, and their ability to keep control of the deliverables.

Quality of Legal and Accounting Work
A good provider needs to have a clear understanding of the accounting and legal rules, and much more importantly, to be able to apply them correctly to your individual situation. Your consultant will be representing your company in communications with the government and will argue your case, in addition to speaking on your behalf. You wouldn't want a cut-rate surgeon or to eat discount sushi, would you?

How does your service work?

Our consultants are best described as a hybrid of an entrepreneur, a lawyer and an accountant (scary visual, I know!). The entrepreneur in us understands your business, how it works, the challenges, etc. The lawyer in us interprets your case according to the legislation and fights for your case with the relevant parties (we aren't lawyers ourselves, but we do subcontract top legal firms). The accountant in us ensures that the forms are filled out correctly and that the right numbers are claimed – and most importantly, that the rights amounts are collected (once again, we subcontract work to one of the top tax accounting firms in Toronto).

Phases of engagement:

Step 1 - Analysis

“If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem, and one minute resolving it.” – Albert Einstein
Most of our clients are surprised at the depth of understanding that we seek in terms of who they are, what they are doing, and where they are going. We firmly believe that in order to properly deliver value to a client, we must fully understand their unique situation. Most government programs are very vague in defining what qualifies and when; without this level of understanding of the client, money gets left on the table (or missed completely).

Step 2 - The Hunt
“If you chase two rabbits, both will escape.” – Russian Proverb
Once we are clear on your situation, we literally sit around and think about how much money we think we can obtain for you and how best to get it. We get paid only when you get paid, so our interests are perfectly aligned. Because of this, we don’t easily take no for an answer. We fight hard when we believe we are right. There may also be more than one program, which you will qualify for, and we will develop a strategy that will best capture the highest return for all involved.

Step 3 - The Money
“Quality in a product or service is not what the supplier puts in. It is what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for. A product is not quality because it is hard to make and costs a lot of money, as manufacturers typically believe. This is incompetence. Customers pay only for what is of use to them and gives them value. Nothing else constitutes quality.” – Peter Drucker
This phase is the longest and involves everything that has to be done up to your receiving your funds. Strategy, forms, audits, entire forests worth of paper, and oceans of ink. All of these culminating in that one beautiful moment when you receive your cheque (and sometimes many beautiful cheques)!

Many people in your industry claim to be 'The Best', ‘The Premier ’, ‘The Top ’, etc., providers of your service. What agencies regulate your industry, and how are the best providers chosen?

There are no such agencies or government bodies. Our reputation and our client list speak for themselves.