Starting a business in Canada as a newcomer without prior business experience can be a difficult but rewarding venture. Canada is well-known for its robust economy, business-friendly climate, and broad market prospects. Canada still remains the top choice for many prospective immigrants around the world. Those planning to get into the country as students, career exchange activities, tourists, refugees, among others—the end goal for most of these people is to eventually settle in the country as permanent residents. Thereafter, become Canadian citizens. In this blog, we take you step-by-step on how to get started:
Research and Idea Development:
Begin by looking at other company ideas and industries that interest you. Think about your skills, hobbies, and passions. Decide on the industry you would like to venture into and do research on how much competition you are likely to face. You may conduct the market research on your own, but if it is within your means, you may hire a research firm for a fee. You may also consult trusted friends and family to share their ideas on what they think about your intended new business venture. Remember that irrespective of what family and friends advise you to do, it is up to you to make the decision and go for what makes sense to you. If you choose to offer services, you can decide how far you can travel to offer the services and make profits. You will be able to expand your territory as the business grows. If you plan to sell products, figure out how you will ensure that products reach your customers on time and securely. Examine local market demands and trends to spot potential opportunities.
Create a detailed business plan covering your company’s concept, target market, competitors, financial predictions, and marketing plans. A well-structured plan will help you secure financing and guide your company’s growth. The characteristics of a good business plan should be as follows:
Your strategy should be realistic – You may start by making sure that your operational plans are realistic and achievable. For instance, based on the amount of resources you have at the time you want to start your business, do you think you can realistically achieve your goals? What the business may bring in one financial year may not be the same for the following year, and therefore, it may not be realistic to project triple the revenue expected.
It fits what your business requires – A good business plan takes into account why a business plan is necessary for your business. For instance, communicate your goals to members of staff, investors, or just to improve the internal operations of the business.
Foundation for marketing strategies – A good business plan should outline how you are going to make the market aware of your brand. How do you intend to promote your business? Will you use Facebook or Google ads, recruit marketers and set goals for them, or collaborate with influencers? If you are working with influencers, how much do you plan to allocate for your marketing agenda, and is it within your financial means?
Tracking your results – Your business plan should have a methodology to track your results over a period of time. Come up with facts and figures to be used to estimate your revenue or what your expenditure will be. You should then check against those estimates from time to time to make sure you are hitting the intended targets. For example, assuming you plan to make a certain amount of profit in a year, how are you going to achieve that, and what steps should you take with your team?
Employee recognition – The business plan should have a layout of how the employees are going to be recognised. Employees can be recognized on a monthly basis or after every three or six months, depending on what would be practical for the business. Employee recognition will help with employee retention and reduce the staff turnover rate. Employee retention will help the business run smoothly and keep clients coming.
Clear language – A great business plan should be written in a simple, clear language that can be understood by everyone, especially investors. You should not include industry jargon to show your expertise; some investors may not have the patience to find out what you mean. Your employees should read and understand the business plan and follow it accordingly. Clear language will minimize the potential confusion that may affect your business operations and profits in the long run.
Select a legal structure for your business. Common business structures include sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and limited liability partnership (LLP). The structure you choose will affect taxes, liabilities, and governance.
Sole proprietorship is when you run your business as an individual on your own. It basically means that you are self-employed. To start a sole proprietorship, you are obligated to choose a business name for tax purposes, even if it is your own name. You should obtain licences, permits, and zoning clearance.
Partnership is when you start a business with other people. It may be two or ten other people who have the same interest as yourself. Like any other business, licences are required.
A corporation is an organization, usually a company or a group of people, authorized by the state or the government to act as a single entity and recognized as such legally or in law for certain purposes. Most jurisdictions now allow the formation of new corporations through registration.
Limited liability partnership (LLP) is a type of general partnership where every partner has a limited personal liability for the debts of the partnership. This is where partners will not be liable for damages committed by other partners.
Register your business:
Register your firm with the right government agencies. In Canada, you will normally need to register your business name, receive any appropriate licences and permits, and apply for a business number from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
Determine how you intend to finance your firm. As a beginner, you could have restricted access to typical financial choices. Consider personal savings, family and friends, government grants and loans, or angel investors as viable sources of capital.
Find an appropriate location for your business. Depending on your industry, this could be a real storefront, a home-based office, or an internet operation. Ensure that zoning restrictions and leases are in compliance.
Investigate the various forms of insurance your company may require, such as liability insurance, property insurance, or workers’ compensation insurance. Insurance is essential for protecting your business from unanticipated threats.
Permits and licenses:
Ensure that you receive the relevant permits and licences for your business and region. The requirements can differ greatly between provinces and municipalities.
Banking and finances:
Open a company bank account to separate your personal and corporate finances. This is necessary for accounting and taxation purposes.
Accounting and Record-Keeping:
Create a reliable accounting system for tracking revenue, expenses, and taxes. It is critical to keep accurate financial records for tax purposes and business management.
Familiarize yourself with the Canadian tax system, which includes income, GST/HST, and payroll. Consult an accountant or tax specialist to guarantee compliance.
Marketing and branding:
Create a marketing strategy to promote your firm. Create a brand identity, a website, and use social media and other digital marketing channels to reach your target audience.
Join local business associations, attend networking events, and meet other entrepreneurs in your area. Networking can provide useful information and support.
Learn and adapt.
As a rookie with no prior business experience, you should be prepared to learn and adapt rapidly. Seek counsel from mentors, attend courses, and stay current with industry developments.
Building a successful business requires time and work. Be persistent, receptive to feedback, and constantly strive to improve your business.
Use the resources accessible to newcomers, such as government programmes, immigrant assistance organisations, and business development agencies. They can offer advice, training, and access to financing options.
Starting a business in Canada as a newbie is a large task, but with determination, careful planning, and a willingness to learn, you can embark on a successful and fulfilling entrepreneurial path. Remember that getting professional counsel when needed and utilising relevant tools can help you negotiate the hurdles of entrepreneurship in a foreign country.