With a rising increase of job losses and a difficult search for new jobs, have you been thinking of starting your own business? There may be some questions to ask yourself and understand while you begin. And the main question is: where do you even begin? Here is a great place!
How do you decide what type of business?
– What are you good at?
– Where is there a need for a service that someone is not providing?
– Is there a demand for this service?
– What social trends are appearing? (examples have been surge in pet services like doggy bakery and extensive daycare. Other examples could be services for seniors)
Where can I learn more about this?
Find guidance from others who are successful in what you want to do. Guarantee they have gone through similar situations as you, if not, exactly the same. Contact other people in the field (or attend trade shows) and ask them how they got started, what were their resources, and what skills did they need.
Other great resources would be business publications and the internet, of course.
So I have my idea and have done some research– what’s next?
Find what business structure you would like:
– Sole Proprietor – lower cost to start, east of reporting, unlimited liability
– Partnership – benefits from sharing the burden, additional expertise
– Incorporation – tax planning options, higher cost to start, provides limited liability exposure
This is also a good time to consult a professional accountant and/or a lawyer
Do I need a business plan?
Most definitely! This is an important step.
It defines your business goals and how you will achieve them.
You need to have the USP (unique selling proposition): what will your company do, how it will make money, and why people will pay for this.
What about loans and financing?
There are some options– some individuals may qualify for the Alberta Self Employment Program. It provides some support and mentoring opportunities over a 26 week period if you qualify. For more information, go to: http://humanservices.alberta.ca/working-in-alberta/3156.html
Futurpreneur offers one on one mentoring and loans specifically geared for 39 years and under: http://www.futurpreneur.ca/
AWE (Alberta Woman Entrepreneurs) has loans up to $150,000 if the business is primarily going to be run by a woman: http://awebusiness.com/
Feel free to contact us to get more information, guidance or consulting, and help with the development of a business plan!