Starting a new business is an exciting yet daunting task. You are ready to break free from punching the clock and work to create something of your own. Before you quit your day job, you can take steps to protect your new venture and the money you have already or are planning to invest. Starting a business is a lot of work. You must file the correct permits, obtain business insurance, create a marketing strategy, and establish a budget.
According to recent statistics, nearly 20% of small businesses fail within their first year in Canada. After ten years, over 60% of small businesses will have failed. Here are the top five key steps to launching a successful small business.
1. High-Quality Product and Customer Service
Starting a new business is exciting so most new business owners are driven, work all hours of the day and night, and make their business their top priority. After time passes, the “newness” of the business will fade. It is easy to become distracted. Instead of prepping for a new product release or working on a new digital marketing campaign, you might decide going to a social event is more important. Slowly, many business owners lose their drive.
Whether it is day 1 or 1,001, you must put as much care and effort into your business. Customers will notice when the quality of the product or service decreases. There are hundreds of other businesses in your niche. For example, if you sell herbal soap products, there are thousands of competing businesses online that will ship their products to your target customer. N
ew companies like yours are opening every day. When a customer feels appreciated and receives a high-quality product, they are more likely to return. Your brand includes the packaging, labeling, product, and service. A customer should always be left with a positive impression.
2. Licenses and Permits
You may have the perfect strategic business plan and the capital to execute the plan, but if you do not have the correct permits, licensing, and insurance, your business will be shut down. Canada has very strict regulations to protect Canadians. In Canada, you are not required to register your business name if you are a freelancer or operating as a sole proprietor using your legal name. If your business start-up is a partnership or corporation, you will want to register your business name as a trademark.
This prevents others from using your logos and name. It would be awful for an imitation company or person to use your brand and destroy its reputation. Your business may also require further permits and licenses depending on its structure and type. The requirements also depend on where your business is physically located (province/city). You can visit the Government of Canada website online to find out more information.
You must purchase business insurance. There are many different insurance companies online such as Northbridge Insurance. It is hard to compare plans, policies, and prices. It is worth paying an insurance broker to assist you with this process. Insurance brokers are experienced in small and large business insurance companies. They will advocate for you and negotiate a reasonable price. They can save you tremendous time researching and reading through every policy proposed by different insurance companies.
They will offer expert advice. They will be familiar with various insurance companies and know how to negotiate a better premium. Insurance brokers are experts in risk mitigation. They will inform you about the different ways your business could be at risk such as:
# Public, product, and employer’s liability
# Business interruption
# Professional indemnity
# Property coverage
# Credit-risk insurance
Insurance coverage may be required for some permits and licenses. If they are not required, it is still best to protect you, your employees, and your business. An unforeseen accident or lawsuit can easily drain a small business financially, causing it to fail.
You may have researched how to provide quality services and spent hundreds of hours perfecting the perfect product, but have you researched the competition? What are the successful businesses doing for marketing and advertising in your area? What businesses are disliked and why? How many businesses are like yours in the region?
Researching your competitors will help you to understand why customers are buying their products, what demographic is seeking your service, and what marketing strategies are working. You can research why other businesses have failed and what not to do. You will compile this research to create your strategic business plan and determine key performance indicators.
Trends are constantly changing. Therefore, you must take time to stay up-to-date with current trends by continuing your research. Through your research, you can identify gaps in the marketplace and potential areas or people the competition has not served yet.
5. Line of Credit
A business checking and savings account should be separate from your personal account. It is also important to get a business credit card. A business credit card often operates like a personal credit card. A business credit card will help you to purchase supplies, gas, and other business expenses. You can use a credit card to pay recurring bills.
When you pay it off each month, you better your chances of increasing your line of credit. During tax season, it will be much easier for your accountant or tax professional to complete your taxes when you have separate business accounts. It will save them time sorting through your line items, which will save you money.
Starting a successful small business takes time, energy, and determination. However, if you are prepared to put in the effort, it may be an excellent approach to accomplish your objectives. Be sure you carry out enough research, formulate a sound business strategy, and adapt as necessary along the route. Once you’ve got your small business up, it’s essential to maintain concentration and keep things structured so you can continue growing it.
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