Deciding to start a business is a very exciting time. You may want to jump head first into your venture – and I applaud your enthusiasm! – but there are a few things to consider first.
Planning isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but think of it this way: if you act like a professional from the get-go, you will stay a professional throughout the life of your business.
Here are some basic things to consider during your planning phase:
- Research your product or service
What makes your product or service unique? What value are you offering to people?
- Research your market
Understand your industry and the key demographics of your customers.
- Choose a business structure
Sole-proprietorship, partnership, or corporation? Know the differences and what suits your needs best.
- Name your business
Your business name should be unique. Before registering your name, you can research existing business names both federally and provincially.
- Create a business plan
To apply for business loans or grants – or just to organize your ideas – you should have a well-written business plan.
- Set up your contact information
Choose a location for operations, set up a business line, register your domain name, etc.
- Register your business
In Canada, if your product or service is taxable, you will need business tax numbers provincially and federally. Business licenses are municipal.
- Brand and market your business
Find your unique identity and voice, and market to your target audience. Working with a professional will yield best results.
- Organize your finances
Do-it-yourself bookkeeping or dedicated accounting staff? Understand what you need, but do not overlook the importance of organized books.
Of course, depending on the size of your operations or type of industry, there are other things to consider as well such as hiring and managing employees, workplace health and safety, import/export, legal assistance, etc. There are many free resources available locally and online for aspiring entrepreneurs.