5 Things to Consider Before Starting a Business Plan

Sometimes, despite what looks like inhospitable circumstances, there is, in fact, no time like the present. So, if you’ve always wanted to start your own business, now’s the time to get planning and join the over 1 million people who own their own small business. 

The Idea

It sounds simple enough, but the hardest part is coming up with a solid idea. It should resonate with others, fill a need in the market, and be executable in a way that allows you to scale up and manage its growth in a sustainable way.

When thinking about the idea, consider what's currently in the market and where you can make room for your business to grow. Or maybe you're looking for something a bit more established? Consider a franchise. Today, there are franchises in everything, from food to fashion. 

The Business Plan

What may seem like an arduous task will, in the end, act as a guidebook for your journey into entrepreneurship. The Government of Canada offers guidance on how to write a business plan and all the pertinent information that should be included. This process will not only help you analyze the market, find your competitive set, start you thinking about your marketing plan, and give you some goals to achieve, but it will also help you get funding. 

The Name

Finding a name for your business can be crowdsourced, or come to you in the shower, but once you've settled on a name that you think represents you, your business and the brand, you need to register it. By registering it, you can a) discover if anyone else already has the name registered in which case, it's back to the drawing board, and b) sets you up for next steps like getting a business license and an associated HST number. Always check with your province's guidelines as they can differ when it comes to what kind of business (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, co-operative) does, and doesn't need to be registered. 

The Money

At the best of times, finding financing for a new business can be stressful. The federal government offers some financial support for small businesses, as do financial institutions, but during the time of the pandemic, financing options are far fewer. Considering starting your business off small and keep your overhead low so you may be able to self-finance. When things begin to improve economically, ensure your business plan is up-to-date and approach a lender with the confidence of an owner who has already assumed some of the financial risks because of how much you believe in your business.

The Announcement

More than merely launching, a long-term marketing plan can take your business from obscurity to top-of-mind. Use all of the resources available to you that you can afford. Social media is a great place to start as you're able to own the channel and create an environment unique to your brand. You can also take advantage of their marketing tools, which induce targeting and boosting your ad. For a small financial investment, you can reach enough people through channels like Facebook and Instagram, and start to build your own following.

By Staples Canada

May 08, 2020