Tips

The Canada Business Service Centre offers help starting a business through its “Business Start-Up Assistant,” available online at www.canadabusiness.ca/eng/page/3422/. You can call the Nunavut office at 1(877) 499-5199 to get assistance in Inukitut or English. Another excellent “how to start a business” guide can be found at the Business Development Bank of Canada web site: http://www.bdc.ca/en/my_project/Projects/starting_business.htm.

When you talk business, you’re talking a new language. Business uses many special words. This guide includes a listing of some of these, with their definitions, in Appendix B.

Research, planning and self-honesty are the foundations of a successful business. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you know it all right away.

Do your homework! The more you know about your customers the easier it will be to offer the appropriate products or services and to develop strategies to improve customer service.

Remember that your network works for you! Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. It’s important that your feel comfortable with all the details of your business.

Stay on top of your taxes! Many entrepreneurs have run into big problems because they didn’t keep track of all the taxes they must pay. If you’re not sure what to do, contact the Canada Revenue Agency, or hire a bookkeeper or accountant who can help.

Focus on realistic goals. Dream big, but start small. Unrealistic expectations are a common cause of business failure.

Write your Executive Summary last after you’ve had a chance to write all the other sections. Make it interesting. If readers are interested, they’ll read further and be more likely to work with you.

Industry Canada’s web site and the Canadian Bankers Association web site discuss potential sources of financing for small business. See: www.cba.ca/en/consumer-information/45-small-business-services/474-small-business-financing.

You can always plan for expansion. But don’t expand until you are sure that your income can support the added overhead expenses. Let your sales income lead you into expansion, not just your dreams.