How to Take the Leap in Starting Your Own Business

Making a decision is hard — any decision. Simply think about the last time you were presented with a large restaurant menu. How difficult was it to pick one thing to have for lunch?

At every fork in the road, you’re going to leave something behind. You’re going to choose one outcome over another. And that idea, the “what if,” can be paralyzing. Especially when you’re making a major life decision such as starting your own business.

We’re here to tell you though, that even when faced with a much “safer” alternative, taking the leap into business ownership can be worth the uncertainty — and less daunting than it seems. Sure, it won’t be easy. But taking the right steps up front will make the journey that much more enjoyable at every milestone along the way.

Go In With a Plan

You may have been hit with a business idea overnight but seeing it through — from idea to reality — takes time. And a well-developed business plan.

If you’re not sure where to start in building one out, consult a free template. At the bare minimum, you should be able to define:     Company description and mission       Service(s) or product(s) offered       Marketing and sales strategy       Target audience       Finance basics (i.e. funding,projections, etc.)

Do Your Research On Incorporation

Do your research when it comes to federal or provincial laws relative to small businesses. Depending on what type of business you own, for example, will determine whether you should register or incorporate it.

Whichever route you take will also then dictate how you pay taxes. As will other factors such as whether you have employees.

Build Out Your Brand Presence

Before you launch your business, it’s important to have all the essential visual brand elements in order. Do you have a name for your business? A logo? A website?

With the nuts and bolts in place, you should consider the channels most relative to your brand’s audience and marketing efforts as well. Make sure your look is cohesive across the board with a defined strategy for building your presence post-launch.

Practice Your Sales Pitch

The “why” behind your product or service may be a no-brainer to you. But that doesn’t mean others won’t need convincing.

From investors to everyday customers, draft out variations of your sales pitch relative to the audience receiving it. You can incorporate these into your business plan or simply keep them on hand for further tweaking and referencing as you go.

Make Sure Your Finances Are in Order

At the end of the day, you want your business to be profitable. For most small businesses, this can take anywhere from six months to several years. That’s right: years.

Before operations are up and running, make sure you understand exactly how everything will be financed. This may require raising capital or a hefty investment on your part. Either way, if numbers aren’t your thing, it wouldn’t hurt to hire some help in the accounting department upfront to help guide you through all possible scenarios.

By Staples Canada

October 06, 2019