What do I need to start a small business in Ontario?

If you’re a hardworking entrepreneur looking to get your start-up off the ground, you’ve come to the right place. Getting a business going, and making it successful, is no small feat. You’ll need passion, you’ll need grit, you’ll need the right team, and you’ll need dedication.

Each step must be taken with great care. Without a proper start, you might be dooming your business to a couple months of lost revenue. The idea of a business is to bring an idea you have into reality, and to create something for an audience you’ve always dreamed of making.

While this isn’t one of the tips, commercial insurance or business insurance Ontario entrepreneurs is a necessity to ensure all that hard work doesn’t go to waste. Without further ado, here’s our tips for starting a small business in the province of Ontario:

Do your market research.

Before you get anything off the ground, before you begin funding, it’s critical to do your market research (and take your time doing this part) to gauge if your business has an opportunity to turn successful. Look at competitors. Who are their audiences? What are they doing well? What could they be doing better? Use that information to learn about potential customers and gain a competitive advantage for your own business. This will set you up for success. You should continually do market research, even as your business gets off the ground and continues to grow.

Write down a plan.

Having a proper plan is integral to the function and continued operation of your business. It’s a plan – nay, it’s a structure for how you plan to operate and eventually expand your business. This plan will be what you use to convince people to invest in you or even work for you, and it should convince them that your business is a wise investment they want to be a part of.

Find funding.

It’s easy to have a dream of what you want to do. It’s a little harder to bring it all together in one single, formulated plan. It’s even harder to find funding. People often overlook how much money is needed to put into a start-up. Your business plan will help you gauge how much money you’ll be required to start your business. If you don’t have the right amount on-hand, you’ll need to borrow or raise that capital. Thankfully, there are more ways than ever in today’s economy to fund your start-up.

Choose where you want to set up base.

Where you put your business is integral to its success. Whether your business is going to be online, i.e. an e-commerce website or a physical brick-and-mortar, these decisions will impact your revenue, your legal requirements, tax, insurance costs, and so much more. Assess to see if the decision you’ll make will genuinely be advantageous to your industry and what you want to sell.

Choose a business name.

Consider the step of choosing a business name as imperative to your business’ marketing. You’ll want to pick something that isn’t used by anyone else and reflects your brand, captures your vision, and sells your point. Take your time to do this step – it’s more important than you’d think!

Register your business.

Once you’ve chosen a name, or gotten a business number, it’s time to make your business legal and copyright your band. You’ll potentially need to register your business with your provincial and federal government, and you may need to take some additional steps if you’re doing your business under a name that is different than your own.

You’ll also need to stay legally compliant by applying for any necessary permits, the requirements of which will vary by province, location, and industry.

Manage your expectations.

Running a business is no walk in the part. For the first few months, or even years, you might not make a lot of money. You may even lose money. It’s part of the deal. Manage your expectations – growth will happen if you stay dedicated and stick with the trends, but it doesn’t happen overnight,

When it comes to hiring your team, don’t expect to have a full-fledged team all at once. Invest in the money and time into a few experts who are just as confident in your business as you are. Don’t be afraid to hire people with more experience than you.

Finally, have fun! Running a business is a huge deal, and it can be a lifelong project that you’ll love pursuing if you play your cards right. Good luck!