The lightbulb went off, and you’re ready to take the leap and start your own business – but now what? Let’s be honest, starting a company is a lot of hard work. The process can be long, intimidating, and not for the weary.
Despite the initial hesitations, the thought of being your own boss and pursuing a passion can be extremely rewarding. Maybe you’re unhappy in your current job, maybe you’re looking for a big change. Whatever the reason may be, we’ve listed out some steps to help get you started. Enjoy!
Do Your Homework
This may seem like an obvious step, but it’s one of the most important! Doing research is essential for any big decision in life, and starting a business is no different.
What will your business be? Will you have a partner? Will your business be built from the ground up? Will you buy something existing? Will your idea actually turn into a profitable business model? Do you have the data to back it up? Thinking about these things (and more) before you start the process, will save you a lot of time and energy later on.
Write A Business Plan
One of the next crucial steps when starting your business is to write a business plan. Whether you’re trying to grow your business, have been a business owner for years,
or are just starting, a business plan is a valuable piece to your self-starter puzzle. Think of a business plan like a document that’s going to help you convince others that your idea is as great as you think it is. When writing a business plan, make sure to show your confidence, your enthusiasm, and your future goals.
Pick a Name
In all honesty, this may be more difficult than naming your children. Your business’s name will follow you wherever you go and can really impact your success in the market. Choosing the wrong name can drive away potential customers. Therefore, when going through your list of names, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Can you legally use it?
Do your research and make sure that no other existing businesses or trade-marks are using that name. This can easily be discovered by doing a quick Google search.
- Does it reflect your brand values?
What’s important for your audience to know about your brand? What do you want them to feel when they think of it? Are you going for approachable and light-hearted, or corporate and bold?
- Does it describe what you’re offering?
When starting your business, it’s important for potential customers to understand what you’re selling them when they hear the name. Unless you’re Apple, you might not be able to get away with naming your business something totally random. Save confusion by choosing a name that makes sense.
Register Your Business
You’ve done research, created a plan, and have chosen an awesome name for your business. Now it’s time to register.
In Canada, the CRA’s Business Registration Online is a great resource for all your federal business registration needs. In addition to being able to register online, the site also provides guides to help confirm if you’re actually eligible to register your business, what you’ll need beforehand, and what happens after you do. Go to http://bit.ly/2xVUT9E to learn more about Business Registration Online.
(FYI: Dealing with registration and licensing through your municipal, provincial, and federal governments early on will make the process a lot easier!)
If you’re sitting at your cubical and dreaming about turning your dreams into reality, we hope this helped! Starting your own business can be a very daunting thought, but if you’re motivated and passionate about your ideas, taking the leap of faith and pursuing your vision won’t be so scary.