This guest blog post is provided by the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills, which aims to improve the skills Canadians need to adapt and succeed at work.

Whether you are just starting your business or growing your operations, HRSDC's Office of Literacy and Essential Skills has many FREE guides, checklists and worksheets that can help Office of Literacy and Essential Skills. For example:

Thinking of starting a business

Are you considering if entrepreneurship is right for you? Ever wondered what skills you need to own and operate your own business? Use the Essential Skills Small Business Owner-Operators Profile to gain a better understanding of how having the right skills can contribute to your success as an entrepreneur.

Ready to start your business

Whether you are preparing a business plan, applying for financing, or submitting a proposal for a bid, your ability to express ideas clearly is key to achieving your goals. The Writing Tip Sheet will help turn your ideas into reality by providing practical advice – from effective formatting techniques to simplifying wordy expressions – that will help your work stand out from the rest.

Growing your business

From hiring and training employees to introducing new technologies, essential skills become increasingly important when adapting to change. The Hiring Checklist will help you determine if a candidate's skills match the skills required for the position being filled.

Employees are the lifeblood of your business and providing training – informal or formal – is one way to ensure they stay motivated, innovative and engaged. These essential skills Training Activities can easily be incorporated into your everyday business operations and include helpful tips on how to use them as icebreakers, in team meetings, or in peer-to-peer learning.

To watch a video (link is no longer valid) on how integrating essential skills into business practices is helping small business owners, and to access other helpful resources, check out the build your success with essential skills Web site.