5 steps to starting your own business

​If you’re thinking about starting your own business, consider following these key steps for getting your business off to a good start.

1. Clearly define your business

Your business should have a clear point of difference – a unique selling, or value, proposition. It must also have a focused service or product and a distinct target customer.

2. Know the rules

You must decide what legal form your business takes: corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship. The Canada Revenue Agency has specific tax and financial record-keeping requirements for businesses. You’ll have additional responsibilities if you have employees.

3. Develop a business plan

Create a detailed plan that covers all parts of your business, like administration, marketing, selling and staffing. Make sure each element of the plan is “SMART” – specific, measurable, achievable and time-based.

4. Decide how you’ll cover your start-up costs

All new businesses have start-up costs before they can operate and become profitable. It usually takes time to develop customers and establish a regular cash flow. You’ll need money to get you through the start-up period until the business can cover day-to-day costs. Keep in mind that success may come slowly.

5. Check your progress against your plan.

Monitor your activities and your working environment regularly for changes that could affect your business’s health and profitability.


Review these related topics for additional tips and information:

5 key points

How to start your own business:

  1. Clearly define your business
  2. Know the rules
  3. Develop a business plan
  4. Decide how you’ll cover start-up costs
  5. Check your progress against your plan
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