✔Start with a vision and a plan
✔A side hustle is a great place to start
✔Large and small loans are available - even without strong credit
Every business starts with an idea, but sometimes, it can be difficult to figure out those next steps. Whether you’re dreaming about selling handmade artisan goods online or introducing a groundbreaking technological innovation, it all begins with that creative spark and drive to turn that idea into reality. It’s not always easy, but most business owners will tell you it’s worth it.
Some people just seem to be born with an entrepreneurial spirit - so why fight it? Nurture those creative and leadership instincts and see how far they can take you. Here are some tips for starting your own business (even if you have bad credit or no credit).
Start with a side hustle
While we’d all like overnight success and many small business owners dream of going big, you may have to start small and scale up over time. This is particularly true if you must continue with your current employment in order to make ends meet (very few Canadians have enough savings to quit their job and start a new business, so this is often the case).
There’s nothing wrong with starting your business as a side hustle and slowly working your way up to bigger and better things. A side business is far less risky and offers the opportunity to grow at a steady, sustainable place. Here’s a great read on how to start a side hustle. Remember, even if you don’t plan on building an empire, a successful side gig is a great way to increase your income. If you’re saving for a house or trying to reduce household debt, it can be a powerful tool in reaching your goals.
You might also like:
- How to Finally Start Your Side Hustle
- The Gig Economy: How Canadians Can Make More Money On The Side
- COVID-19: What Assistance Small Businesses Can Expect from Governments and Private Businesses
Map out your vision for your small business
Start by thoroughly mapping out your vision for your exciting new business. What product or service will you be providing? It should be something you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Consider your interests, strengths and skills, and then assess how those things can translate into a profitable, fulfilling business. If you love being in the kitchen and your friends can’t get enough of your baking, that’s a good sign that opening a custom cake shop is a feasible goal (bonus: you don’t need a brick-and-mortar shop to make this happen). If you love cake but you’ve never touched an oven, well, it’s not out of the question - get some practice first.
Part of mapping out your vision is thinking about your end goal. Do you want to start a small business that creates a modest income and offers personal satisfaction, or do you have dreams of being the next Bill Gates? Do you want to work on your own, have a business partner or a couple of staff, or build a substantial team? Is this something you’d do for the rest of your life, or something you’d like to grow and sell in a few years? Include these details in your business road map and refer back to them when making any major decisions.
Do your research
It’s best to go into business with as much information as possible. Do you know what sort of overhead costs will be involved (for example: raw materials, a website and marketing fees, delivery expenses, etc)? How much will you have to charge to not only break even, but to profit? Is there a demand for this product or service, and who are your competitors? The more you know, the stronger you’ll be in getting off the ground.
In addition to asking yourself these questions, you’ll want to look at the legalities of your business plan. For example, if food is involved, you’ll want to look into health and safety regulations in your region. If you’re creating a new product, you may want to look into copyright laws. From a financial perspective, it would be best to get advice on how to separate business and personal funds as well as how to structure and register your new business (for example, as a sole proprietorship). This section of the Government of Canada’s website has some great resources for anyone who is thinking about starting their own business, including links to register a business and apply for federal grants.
Figure out your funding
Some new businesses are relatively inexpensive as they have minimal overhead, but others require a substantial investment in materials or other necessities. If you need money, there are options. Grants, private investors, small business loans and personal loans are all possibilities that you can consider. No matter what you decide, be sure to have a contingency fund for unexpected costs (because yes, there will be unexpected expenses - nearly all businesses have them).
Feeling inspired? Good! Now, get out there and chase your dreams. As always, please contact easyfinancial if you have questions about small business loan options. We are here to help.