So, you have a great idea and you believe in it: You’re getting tired of your job, or your schedule or your boss and you are starting to think it’s time to chase your dreams! You’re going to jump on the ride to entrepreneurism!
The exciting news is that you are going to go on the ride of your life. You’ll be meeting people, working hard to bring your solution to your market, you’ll be learning the tricks of your trade in regards to operations and marketing and human resources and growth. Don’t forget about the financials! You’ll be eating, sleeping and breathing financials, and it’s going to be absolutely amazing as well as challenging! But you’ll learn how to do it and you’ll grow while it’s happening!
Before all of that happens, there are some things you need to do. As the old adage goes ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’. And in regards to starting a business, truer words have never been spoken.
So to get you started, with the help of my staff, my Facebook friends and my favourite entrepreneur, Peter Dal Bianco, I have come up with a list to get you started! Our checklist is in the order of importance of most of the more critical things to be completed or considered before you will be ready to start:
- Market research. This is very important because it will help you learn the WHY of your business.
- Hire an accountant. Discuss your finances with him/her and be realistic about what the costs should be to start and maintain your business.
- To incorporate or not to incorporate. Make sure to discuss this with your accountant in #2.
- Register for a business number/HST number.
- Register for a business licence.
- Create a business plan. Ensure that it includes 1-2 and 3 year cash flows.
- Open a business bank account and set up a business line of credit. Try to negotiate enough resources to fund you through to when your business plan shows you will be cash flow positive!
- Purchase accounting software.
- Set up payroll if applicable.
- Set up a business phone number, preferably a smartphone account because all businesses today are affected by mobile.
- Look for a graphic designer for your logo/website, etc.
- Purchase web domain and order business cards. Try to get a dot-com domain and include it on your business cards.
- Find space for your office and order your signage.
- Set up your office space and get insurance for your company. Make sure to include office, assets and personal liabilities in your insurance.
- Investigate programs that can help now or down the road. Almost all areas of Canada are served by some Federal or Provincial financial aid program to help new businesses start up and grow. In Ontario its NOHFC and Fednor.
- Create a marketing plan.
- Start your social media pages (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.).
- Look into business memberships (Chamber of Commerce, etc.).
I know, it’s a pretty big list for a mere mortal…but it’s not as bad as it looks, I promise! I am sure you will find other things that apply to your business but this list will give you a good head start!
If you’d like to add to my list or let me know if my list was helpful for you, please comment below and I’ll be sure to share!
Thanks for reading and Happy Monday!