With Canada in a recession and numerous job losses occurring in Alberta, many people have found themselves laid off or still unemployed. Often, this is an ideal time to look at starting a small business or doing what you love and finding a way to make it profitable. But the question is… where do you start? These may be some questions you may be asking.
How do you decide what type of business?
You have to ask yourself a lot of questions, such as:
– What are you good at?
– Where is there a need for a service that someone is not providing?
– Is there a demand for this service?
– What social trends are appearing? (examples have been surge in pet services like doggy bakery and extensive daycare. Other examples could be services for seniors)
Where can I learn more about this?
Contact other people in the field (or attend trade shows) and ask them how they got started, what were their resources, and what skills did they need. Nothing better than getting guidance from people who are successful in it.
Business publications and the internet are also great resources
So I have my idea and have done some research– what’s next?
Here is the time you should look at the type of business structure you may want to have:
– Sole Proprietor – lower cost to start, east of reporting, unlimited liability
– Partnership – benefits from sharing the burden, additional expertise
– Incorporation – tax planning options, higher cost to start, provides limited liability exposure
This is also a good time to consult a professional accountant and/or a lawyer
Do I need a business plan?
Yes! This is crucial and it’s an important step.
This defines your business goals and how you will achieve them.
You need to have the USP (unique selling proposition)– what will your company do, how it will make money, and why people will pay for this.
What if I need to get a loan or financing?
There are some options– some individuals may qualify for the Alberta Self Employment Program. It provides some support and mentoring opportunities over a 26 week period if you qualify. For more information, go to: http://humanservices.alberta.ca/working-in-alberta/3156.html
Futurpreneur offers one on one mentoring and loans specifically geared for 39 years and under: http://futurpreneur.ca/
AWE (Alberta Woman Entrepreneurs) has loans up to $150,000 if the business is primarily going to be run by a woman: http://awebusiness.com/
Let’s get started with doing what you love and being your own leader! Remember, A1 Accounting is here to help you every step of the way. We can take care of your finances so you can do what you do best!