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.

First Steps

  • 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 – 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 – 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 – 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?


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