Thinking of starting a business?
Attitude is everything!
- Keep it simple and think positive.
- Don’t procrastinate. Act on things that need to be done.
- Be flexible and expect to juggle many responsibilities at one time.
- Learn how to grow in good times and prepare for inevitable downturns.
Be ready to work hard. The joys of owning a business far outweigh the difficulties.
Do your research
- Research your market and check out the competition in your area. Find your niche and market yourself differently.
- Be aware of the permits, inspections and regulations that apply to your business.
- Familiarize yourself with basic business practices (e.g. time / project management). Online courses are an effective and easy way to fit this into a busy schedule.
- Decide on the most appropriate business structure (sole proprietorship, incorporation or partnership) to operate your business.
- Will you need a website?
- Find out about the dos and don’ts of hiring if you plan to recruit employees.
- Blind trust can be a dangerous thing! Determine what measures you will need to protect your business from internal and external threats.
- Use your findings to develop a written business plan to help set goals and secure financing.
Surround yourself with a good team
- Bounce ideas off of friends and colleagues who are already in business. Mentors can be invaluable when dealing with your day-to-day operations.
- For sound business advice, contact the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) at 1 888 234-2232 and ask to speak with a Business Counsellor.
- Ensure you have a qualified accountant to help set up your bookkeeping and advise you of tax requirements for your business.
- Consult a reputable lawyer to help avoid common pitfalls and to clearly understand your obligations when signing important contracts and leases.
Be careful with excess spending and stay on top of your receivables.
Organize your finances
- Make sure you have good relationship with your bank before you get your business off the ground. Don’t hesitate to shop around if your current bank isn’t meeting your needs.
- Consider the pros and cons of alternative methods of financing.
- Be realistic when calculating how much to borrow. Have a cushion, but do not borrow more than necessary.
- If you are thinking of offering debit and credit card transactions, beware of offers too good to be true. Make sure you know exactly what you are signing.