It is daunting to setup a new business from scratch. I thought I’d fire off a few items that I give my clients to account for in the strategic planning of their new start-up. Some may seem logical but many are often overlooked.
- Choose a really, really good name for your business
- Do a name search of your new sole proprietorship or corporation (in BC its around $40)
- Once you’ve searched your business name, Register it (around $40)
- If you have a partnership, incorporate and setup shares for each partner
- Incorporate if your business may have a lot of risks attached to its operation , e.g. Food related
- Do you need a business license â€“ ask the city (careful if you own a Strata condo)
- Get a Canadian Revenue Service (CRA) Business Number
- In BC get an HST number so you can charge and remit taxes on sales
- Do you have Home insurance with a business component added
- Is your vehicle insured for Business Use?
- Going to Customer’s home when they are not there? Consider Bonding
Your Home Office
- You need a specific place to work that is comfortable and YOURS
- Others in your home? Set up some Rules around you when you are working
- Do you have or need a designated Business Phone? Try Skype, I have a 3 line one at home
- Cell Phone â€“ of course, bu use it wisely, some use the cell as their sole business phone
- Multiple email accounts, personal and business
- Do you need to budget for speciality equipment to run your business? Think Lease!
The Business Plan
- This is the guide to your entire operation and its future. Outline templates can usually be found on most bank websites There are crucial components:
- Vision/Mission, how you see and envision your business
- Operations Plan, consider future staffing needs
- Marketing Plan , inc. Competition & Industry analysis, SWOT, Sales/Marketing tools needed
- Financial Plan, inc. Budgets for start-up and operation for 2 years min., Sales forecasts
- Risk Management, you need to consider eventualities
Collateral Marketing Materials
- A nice Logo professionally designed is worth the money (around $400)
- Consider a dynamic interactive Blog versus a boring Website
- Business cards â€“ critical- think of adding a QR Code to the back
- Brochures/Flyers -I think their time has come and GONE
- A Social Media presence on FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube ++
- Do you have a Mentor, Coach or at least someone to bounce ideas off?
- How about a relationship with a lawyer and a banker?