MyStartup
MyStartup

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.
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Be ready to work hard. The joys of owning a business far outweigh the difficulties.

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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.
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Be careful with excess spending and stay on top of your receivables.

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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.