Starting a business

Starting a business can be pretty exciting. It also can be a bit scary at first.

The Idea
It all starts with a business idea, but ideas are not always as good as they seem at first. And even when you have a good business idea, there might be an even better idea just around the corner.  Once you have that million-dollar idea, roll up your sleeves and do some research.

Click here to go to the How to find ideas article

If you decide that it is a good business idea and want to pursue it further, you will likely go through the steps described below.

Step 1 – Self-assessment
One of the very first things you’ll have to do is determine if you really want to start a business. You will also need to assess your strengths and weaknesses and identify where you might need the help of others.

There’s plenty of online tools to help you assess your readiness.

Click here to access a self-assessment tool

Step 2 – Market Research
Not doing your market research will reduce your chances of succeeding. Take time to know your market and your potential customers. Take time to identify your competition and study what they are doing.

Click here to learn more about market research

Step 3 – Business planning
Although some people bypass this step, we recommend that you write a preliminary business plan. This will force you to think it out.

Click here for an article on how to write a business plan

Step 4 – Register a business
Decide on the business structure. Decide on a name. Register the business. You will receive your business number and tax numbers. Apply for business-specific permits if required. Open a bank account.

Click here to go to the New Brunswick Corporate Registry

Click here to find out about registering a business in Nova Scotia

Click here to find out about registering a company in PEI

Step 5 – Get organized
Get logos, business cards, websites done. You’ll need some contract templates and other forms. You can get templates for just about any business online.

Step 6 – Try to get some  initial sales if possible
You’re going to need cash; you need to learn what works and what doesn’t, so…

Here’s a “How to get your first sale video” by NB entrepreneur Dan Martell.

Step 7 – Secure some financing
You’ll need some money to get your business idea off the ground. The source might be:

  1. Personal investment
  2. Friends and family
  3. Angel investment
  4. Venture capital
  5. Government grants or loans
  6. Bank loans
  7. Other creative sources

If you are seeking serious funding, you will need a complete business plan and possibly a full market study. For the rest of this article, we’ll assume that you need a business plan.

Step 8 – Write a detailed business plan
When a business plan is to be used for funding purposes, you can usually find a template.

Click here to learn more about writing a business plan for funding purposes.

Step 9 – Execute and adjust the plan as you go
Planning is great. It brings out potential roadblocks and forces you to think hard on business issues. It leads to a better understanding of the road ahead.  But once you have a plan, you must execute it and constantly adjust it based on new facts.