Your Complete Guide to Starting a Business in Canada
September 17th at 5:13pm Published by sharpshooteradmin
The grind of a 9 to 5 routine isn’t meant for everyone. When you start working a day job, you soon realize that it’s better to be your own boss, and this lifestyle isn’t meant for you. Once you realize this, there is nothing that will make a day job attractive to you.
However, you’ve got responsibilities and you just cannot quit your job on a whim. You need to be smart and plan to quit your job at the right time, so that you’re not putting yourself into financial trouble by looking to manage your own business.
Now, getting a business off the ground and making it successful is no mean feat. You need to be at the top of your game at all times and should realize what needs to done from day one so that your business goes on to succeed.
Once you start your business, you will directly be accountable for all the successes you achieve and the failure you suffer. You need to invest everything into the business to make it a viable long term success.
Now, there is a high enough chance that your business might end up failing, or not achieve the goals that you expected from it. There are a variety of reasons why this could happen.
All entrepreneurs are in a battle against one another to see who can take their idea to the next level. It is necessary that you perfect your business idea before you bank on it and depend on it.
We understand the pitfalls of owning a business without having the right experience in Canada. So, we have a complete guide here for you.
This guide includes all that you should do for ensuring that your business is well kept and is able to meet the goals and objectives that you require from it.
Elements of a Successful Business
Before you go on to achieve your end goal from your business, it is necessary that you understand the elements of a successful business. A successful business is formed through the presence of all these elements, which is why their presence should be guaranteed.
The first element of your business is your end customer. Your customers are extremely important for your business idea, and much of how you decide to market and sell your product will be focused on how you want to attract your customers. Selling to a diverse audience requires a lot of efforts and hard work. You need to realize that the audience you are selling to should be understood in full, before you start marketing.
Before you set up your business you should look to identify who your target customers are. Identify the demographics of your target customers and work towards meeting the needs they might have. Your target customers form a big part of your business model and should be understood to perfect your selling pattern.
Once you’ve understood, recognized and identified your customers, you move to the second element of marketing. Marketing is essential for successfully running a business. You need to tell your customers what exactly it is that you are looking to bring into the market. To make your customers aware of what you’re trying to bring to the market, you would ideally want to market your product literally everywhere.
Customers or people from your target group should know about what you’re selling to them without any hindrance whatsoever. Marketing is a broad element of running a business and has evolved a lot through the years. While traditional means of marketing are still around, we feel that the contemporary means of social media and internet marketing have taken the world of business by a storm. You now have social media and websites for marketing your material. These platforms raise awareness for your brand, eventually generating leads that you can work on for the future to come.
Finance is the third most important element of running your business and is responsible for funding all of your operations, expenses and your marketing budgets. Finance is pretty much the brain of the business. Without finance, your business would cease to exist.
The amount you invest within the business initially is then multiplied by whatever amount you earn over time to form the finance of your business. The finances can change with time to help you form a decent understanding of your business.
You need to make sure that your working capital is sufficient, your cash flow is managed and all your other expenses are aligned together if you want to achieve the right results for your business. Financial management also includes acquiring funding for your business and maintaining a good credit score.
The fourth element of running a business is based on all the operations you manage inside of your business. These operations include actions that generate profitability and all other actions that help your business grow and expand over time. A stringent check should also be maintained on operations for reducing costs and for getting the least expenses.
Once you know the elements of running a business, you should move on to brainstorming and finding the right answers to all your elements. We know by now that you are interested in starting your very own business. Now is the time for you to brainstorm all you can and think how you want to go with your business.
If you aren’t sure of the business idea to go for, then make a list of all the things that you’re good at, and list them down. Most of the successful businesses are managed by professionals that happen to be passionate about the idea behind your business.
First off you need to identify whether the business should be modeled on an interest or passion of yours, or should it be modeled on the potential profits from the idea. For instance, you might not be passionate about setting up a bakery if you aren’t interested in baking. But, if you’re only concerned with the profits, then you wouldn’t think twice before starting your own bakery if the potential at line is amazing when it comes to profits.
Once you decide of the idea that you want to go for, it is necessary that you conduct a market research within the market. The market research will give you all of the facts and figures pertaining to the market and will help you in separating facts from fiction.
You might be passionate about the idea of a certain business plan, but you would have to first find out how many other people have such interests as yours. Would these people be okay with buying from you? How do you plan on marketing your product or services to this specific brand of consumers? Do they have the buying power or the influence to bring people towards you?
These questions and this step of marketing research it is own is extremely necessary for determining the success of your business.
You also need to study the target market through your research and determine whether they have an underlying problem that you can sole or maybe cater to.
Before you go on to invest your time and money on your startup plan, it is time that you seek feedback from the customers you have in mind. You shouldn’t invest all of your money in a business that might not give you the kind of return you are looking for.
Understand by seeking feedback to the kind of product you have in mind and just how the customers will react to it. Also look for feedback on the concept idea and on the plan that you are going to follow. The concept, name and the quality of the business are all going to be tangible factors that you should keep in mind before starting your own business.
Setting up Your Legal Business in Canada
Setting up your business legally is one of the most important requirements of starting your business. You need to follow all legal jurisdictions for registering your business with the government, so that all the revenue generation is documented.
By registering your business with the government, you are gifting your business a separate legal entity. This will also make you immune of any charges, if anyone presses a case against your business. If the business is registered as per the law, you won’t have anything to do with the legal matters of the business and wouldn’t be considered liable.
Prepare the Following Info
Before you proceed to register your business with the government, it is necessary that you prepare the following information:
- The proposed name of the business that you are about to register. We will study this in greater detail within a minute.
- A detailed guide on the provinces and territories where you will be listing your organization. This shall also include an understanding of where your primary office will be located. Not many businesses start with more than one office, which is why you might have this covered.
- The kind of business you want to register. It is necessary that you know the exact kind of business that you are looking to register as. Do you want to register yourself as a sole proprietor, as a corporation or as a partnership? Know the answers beforehand.
Choosing Your Name
Choosing a name for your business is a fun responsibility that you should have covered before you start your operations. You have the room to experiment your creativity here, as you can determine exactly the kind of name or identity you would want for your business.
The name for your business should be creative and should have a unique idea of its own. We want you to consider several aspects before setting the right name for your business:
The name for your business should be subtle in communication the kind of service or product you are offering to the customers. Make sure that your name carries a specific link with what you’re selling. Don’t make it completely unrelated.
Customers should be able to clearly distinguish your business name from that of the others in the market. It is necessary that you be extremely creative here and go for a name that has not been used yet.
Easy to Pronounce
The name you eventually go for should be easy to pronounce for the local dialect and easy to remember for your target market. Now, this shouldn’t mean that you go for a traditional name. You surely can experiment while setting the name, but make sure you go for a name that is easy to pronounce and understand for all of your customers. Your customers surely wouldn’t react well if they are unable to remember your name or aren’t able to pronounce it currently.
Before you set a specific name for your business, you should check whether the name is currently taken or not. While you should check with the government records as well, an easy way to follow is to go through Google and check websites or social media pages with the similar names. If there is any other business page with a similar name, then you should look for something else for the time being.
Make a Business Plan
We are literally shocked to see the number of businesses that are made without a business plan of their own. It is necessary for your business to have a business plan that helps you in setting the path for the future. Since you’re going to invest so much time and effort in this plan of yours, it is necessary that you work towards achieving the right business plan for your brand.
The business should include all the financing options you will need like small business funding or others, and what you should do about your marketing. A detailed business plan will also include an idea for the budget in the initial days of operations.
Benefits of a Business Plan
A business plan can benefit you in the following ways:
- Connect the Dots: A business plan, if it is set in the right manner, can help you connect all of the dots in your business and work towards achieving the plans that you have in mind for your brand. It is necessary that you ensure the mitigation of silos, so that the whole business and all departments work as a team:
- Strategic Focus: Strategic focus is necessary for every business as it helps determine focus on your strategies. You should strategize your priorities, so that you’re able to achieve the goals that you have in mind.
- Set Culture: Many might not be aware of that, but a business plan can help positively set the workplace culture inside your organization. The business plan helps in giving everyone the roles that they would like and creates a workplace culture of cooperation and efforts.
- Develop Accountability: The path laid down by a business plan can be a great way to see just how you’re meeting your goals and how you should go about making specific people accountable for what they are doing inside of your business. Taking people accountable for what they do inside the business is a great part of any business plan.
- Sets a Path: Perhaps the biggest benefit going in favor of a business plan is that it can help any business in setting a definite path that they can easily follow for future success. Businesses that come without a business plan of their own are not able to follow a definite path to success. Their inability to follow a definite path for success of the business is what actually stops them from achieving the kind of success they would want from the idea.
- Manage Cash: A good business should be able to manage cash in the best manner possible. Managing cash reserves requires excellent planning and ensuring that you’re on track for future success. Your cash reserves are also necessary for determining the success of your firm’s liquidity. If your organization isn’t liquid enough, you wouldn’t be able to meet the objectives that you have in your mind. Cash is the lubricant that keeps the engine of your business running, which is why you should keep a keen eye on cash and improving its resources. Managing cash is also a necessary objective for achieving success as a business.
Headings to Include
There are certain headings that you should include in your business plan, so that nothing is left unattended. Business plans should have the following format when it comes to headings and the parts that should be highlighted:
- Executive Summary
- Description of Company with Mission and Vision Statement
- Market Analysis
- Organizational structure and management of the business
- Service Line for the Business
- Marketing and Sales Plan
- Funding Request or Plan
- Financial Projections
- Cost Structure
- Revenue Streams
- Exit Strategy
The following headings will help you in creating a decent business plan that can assist you in running a profitable business.
Managing Business Finances
Once you have finalized all other factors you need to move to perhaps the most important part of any startup business; finances. Once you successfully register your business, you need to setup a bank account under the name of your business.
We cannot emphasize enough on just how important it is for your business to have a separate bank account. Most entrepreneurs often end up mixing both their business and personal accounts together, leading to a conundrum of sorts. This can put the business into a hassle of sorts, leading to a flawed model for financial management.
Your business expenses should be kept under check and should also be monitored for the ideal result. If you aren’t managing your expenses well, you would be unable to get the best possible results for your business.
Invest in an Accountant
Investing in an accountant for better financial management can help save a lot of costs for you. How can paying additional salaries to an accountant save costs for me? You might wonder! But, an accountant might add up a bit to your costs in the short term, but all of the financial management they bring to the picture is excellent for your business. You will now be able to manage your business in a better manner and would be able to extract the best results possible.
Also, an accountant can also act as your legal guide during the start of your business. With all the penalties on non-compliance, you would preferably want to stay on the right side of the law for all of you can. Non-compliance will definitely wreck your business plan up and lead you into a financial problem. So, what are you willing to do out of the two options below?
- Pay hundreds of thousands of dollars towards non-compliance due to negligence on your part?
- Or pay an experienced accountant a modest pay check on a monthly basis?
The choice is yours, and you can decide the option you want to go for.
Be Clever with Funding
While businesses and entrepreneurs happen to have startup capital at the start, they happen to encounter cash flow problems down the line. Regardless of how frugal you try to be with your expenses, there will come a time when you might need some sort of financial assistance for your business. Such a time would require you to be at your best. You should realize that the situation now requires your full focus and attention. The best way to guarantee that is by making sure you go for the best funding options.
You should prefer private funders online over the option of banks because of the convenience they provide. Also try to go for innovative methods of funding such as merchant cash advances that can assist your business in the long run.
With the information above you have all facets of starting a business in Canada covered, and can now work towards implementing this information in full.