They say every journey begins with a single step. For new entrepreneurs, starting a business can be an intimidating adventure. Use this guide to figure out what to do to start a business.
Are You Ready to be an Entrepreneur?
You're an entrepreneur if you start, own, and operate a business. Now, you need to turn your idea into an actual business. It starts with motivation. You must prepare to deal with certain factors that come with a start-up, such as:
Having a high tolerance for risk
The ability to work independently
Being able to innovate and think on-your-feet
Entrepreneurs must know all the operational aspects of their business to make informed decisions. Are you ready to dive into business?
Here are the basic steps to starting a business in Canada:
Make sure you have what it takes. Being an entrepreneur and starting a business requires tremendous dedication. Before you jump in with both feet, consider completing a short entrepreneurial potential self-assessment to ensure you're up for the challenge of this new venture.
Develop your idea. Determine why you want to start this business, work out the details of what you are selling, and figure out what sets you apart from your competition. In this process, you think about your target audience and why they would want to buy from you.
Focus on skill development. You don't need a degree or other qualification to start a business, but you do need to acquire the skills to get your company off the ground. There are some programs available to develop financial skills, find business mentors, and more through British Columbia's Indigenous Small Business Resources.
Write a business plan. Though time-consuming, a business plan helps you address questions about your business head-on before you invest in your new company. Do market research, a competitive analysis, how you will overcome potential obstacles, and more.
Take a look at start-up costs and finances. It takes a while to start turning a profit, so how will you cover expenses and fund your start-up? Do a break-even analysis, run the numbers, and look at funding options before going all-in on your business.
Determine your business structure. You must determine if you are a sole proprietor, a partnership, a corporation, or a limited liability company. This structure affects how you register your company, file your taxes, and outlines your liability.
Register your business. You must obtain your business license before you can legally operate your business. You must register with the government, receive a business identification number, and file certain forms to keep your company above board.
Get business insurance. There are several types of insurance available depending on your business type. From general liability to professional liability, and other policies that protect your inventory, an insurance broker can help you find coverage that fits.
Select third-party vendors. Your inventory, supplies, workspace, and operational services need to come from somewhere. Do your research and find vendors that are the right fit for your business.
Start marketing. Now that all the setup is in place, you need to brand yourself and make your target audience aware of your business.
There's a lot to Starting a Business
Of course, this list is more of a checklist for starting your business. Members who want to launch a new business are encouraged to learn more about start-ups and access resources and support from Small Business BC's article on finding business resources and support.
Here's to your future new business!