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A first step to starting a small business


The idea of starting your own business can be exciting – who wouldn’t want to be their own boss? Once you have that million-dollar idea in mind it can be tempting to rush ahead and get down to business. When thinking about how to turn your innovative idea into your own small start-up, an important first step is developing a business plan.

What is a business plan?

A business plan helps you create a road map. It includes clear objectives and how you will achieve them, a description of your competition, an outline of the costs of doing business, and a forecast of revenues. You should be able to show that within a reasonable timeframe, your proposed business will generate revenues that exceed costs (including paying yourself), and leaves some profit to reinvest back into your business. Be very detailed. The more you find out now, the fewer mistakes you might make and this will increase your chances at success.

There are lots of resources available online to help develop a business plan. BDC offers webinars, publications and free tools including a helpful business plan template you can download and use. Your business plan will become your road map to success, so review it regularly and make updates to reflect changes as needed. As your business evolves, so should your business plan.

Lots to think about

There are a number of questions to answer when starting your business and your plan. Here are a few to consider:

1.   Do you plan to provide a service or sell a product?
2.  Will it be a brick and mortar or online business?
3.  Are you creating and serving a niche? Is your product or service unique?
4.  What is your target market? Will you be selling to consumers directly (Business to Consumer, B2C) or to other businesses (Business to Business, B2B)?
5.  What’s your marketing strategy? How will you engage your target market?
6.  Who is your competition and how does your business fit in the competitive landscape? How would your business be differentiated from your competition?
7.  How would you make money? How will you track progress on your goals and your finances?
8.  How much will it cost to get your business started? Will you need financing?
9.  Will you need employees to help with running your business?
10. How long do you plan to remain engaged in the business and what is your exit strategy?

You may find some of these questions relatively easy to answer while others may require in-depth analysis, research and guidance from an experienced mentor, business development consultant or financial advisor. Good luck on your road to entrepreneurship and realizing your dream of creating Canada’s next great start-up!

Thinking about launching a business of your own? Having the money on hand to get your business started is as important as having a business plan in place. At Saven Financial, we’re passionate about helping people save so our members can achieve their goals through smart saving.

Stay ahead with SavenSmarts!