Do Your Research
Before you settle on the product or service that your business will offer, you should research the business opportunity. You need to think about customer demand, how you will reach customers, how you will produce your product or service, how you will sell it, how much you will charge and how you will manage the money. The more information you can gather before you start the business, the more successful you are likely to be.
Here are some things you should research before you get settled on a product or service:
To learn more about starting your own business, a good place to get a lot of information is www.SmallBusinessBC.ca. This website includes helpful information, videos, articles and tips for anyone interested in starting their own business. Small Business BC also publishes a series of How To Checklists that can help you start a business successfully, as well as get it off the ground and earning revenue.
To learn more about market research, go to the Canada Business Network website. The website is a federal government service for entrepreneurs. Use the website’s online business checklists and guides to help you kick-start your new business.
Starting a Business in BC contains links to resources on government regulations, business permits and licences, an import and export guide, and more.
The Canada Youth Business Foundation is a charitable organization that offers a range of programs, from mentoring and financing to post-launch coaching. The foundation helps young people ages 18 to 34 to bring their business idea to life.
Decide on a Business Structure
Once you have done your research and you know that you have a good business idea, you have to decide if you are going to be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a corporation, a society or a co-operative. These are the most common business structures in BC:
The Small Business BC fact sheet on How to Choose the Right Business Structure for You describes the advantages and disadvantages of these different structures. Most small businesses start out as sole-proprietorships – where one person owns the business.
Know the Regulations
If you are thinking about starting your own business, it’s important to know the legal requirements. The SmallBusinessBC.ca website can help. There are a lot of rules you have to follow to run a business in Canada.
To set up a business, you will need to let the government know about it. You’ll need to find out about the regulations for specific business activities. You might need a licence or permit, depending on your type of business. The Canada Business Network website contains a search tool that will help you learn more about permits and licence requirements. You can also get helpful information at www.SmallBusinessBC.ca.
The Canada Business Network website describes the key requirements for registering new businesses. The Business Development Centre provides complete registration services for Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships in BC. You can also use the Doing Business in BC checklist on the BC Registry Services website.
Create a Business Plan
If you were going to build a house, it would be helpful to have a construction plan. Similarly, for business, it is important to have a business plan. A business plan is a specific kind of report that is created to describe your business and how it will be successful over a period of three or more years. It is your roadmap to help you get from being a start-up business to a profitable business.
The Canada Business Network website contains everything you need to know about creating a business plan, including helpful templates and samples.
Finance Your Business
Financing a new business is usually the toughest part. Most new businesses fail because of a lack of money to support the start up. You need to remember that it takes time to build a business and in the meantime, you need money to grow the business. Here are some resources that will help you find out if you are eligible for financing:
Last reviewed: March 2016
IMPORTANT: This page provides legal information, not legal advice. If you need legal advice consult a lawyer.
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