How to start a business in 7 days

how start business without investment and how start new business without money in india
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Dr.JesperHunt,United States,Researcher
Published Date:16-07-2017
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Starting a Business 101 (Canadian Edition) A Blue Beetle Books PublicationIntroduction When you start a company it is important to set it up correctly from the outset. The best place to start the process of registering your business, and to discover all the other things you need to do to comply with the many regulations that govern small business, is the Canada Business Network www.canadabusiness.ca/eng). In this book we are not going to take you through all the steps required to legally set up your business. This information is readily, and exhaustively, available through several federal and provincial government websites, which guide you step-by-step through the entire process. Suffice it to say that the list of what you will need to do is long, and will include: deciding whether your business will be a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation; registering the name of your company; registering for GST/PST/HST (depending on which province or territory your business is in); registering for WCB/Worksafe; getting you local business licence; finding out what permits or licences you will need for your specific business, and more. It’s a lot of paperwork, but you only have to do it once and your accountant and lawyer will help you if you get stuck. If you have enough start-up capital to pay professionals to do this for you, so much the better. P So, what are we going to talk about? Well, first off before you get carried away with the dream of being your own boss, and becoming the next Bill Gates, you should take stock and think about what life will be like as an entrepreneur. It’s easy to get excited about the potential for the product, or service you are planning to sell, or the fact that at last you can truly turn your hobby, or natural skill into a way to earn a living. The reality however, is that whatever business you are going to start, your primary role will be that of salesperson. That is the stark reality, unless of course you have sufficient start-up capital to hire a sales team from day one. Even then, you will not be able to hide away in the back room avoiding contact with potential customers, suppliers, bankers and the multitude of other people who you will need to “sell” your business concept to. I once knew a government worker, whose hobby was making wooden toys. He made the best wooden toys I had ever seen and whenever he showed them to people they wanted to buy them for their Prince Albert and District Community 4 www.pacf.ca Futures Development Corporationchildren, or grandchildren. He decided to leave his secure government position to pursue his dream of making a living out of his hobby. Unfortunately he went out of business after a little over a year. The reason? He loved making wooden toys - his passion was to make the best wooden toys anyone could possibly make. Confused? Let me explain - he loved making wooden toys, he hated selling them, he hated running a business, he hated being disturbed by customers when they visited his workshop - he just wanted to be left alone to make his toys. In Starting a Business 101, we want to provide you with information and advice that is less readily available in start-up business books. First, we want to encourage you to look deep within yourself to see if starting a business really suits you - after all we wouldn’t want you to leave a secure job, like our wooden toy maker, and fail, wishing someone had only warned you what entrepreneurship was really like. Basically, this volume is all about making you think about what’s important when starting a business. After you’ve taken the To Be, or Not to Be an Entrepreneur quiz, we look at how to come up with, and judge, your business concept. Then to help you a little further with that all important task, we take a look at which business ideas are trendy at the moment. Even if none of them are within the realm of your expertise, or they simply don’t appeal to you, I urge you to take a good look at them because they tell you what’s working out there in the world of business. What can you learn from these trends, and what do they tell you about your particular business concept? Digging a little deeper, 12 Industries to Consider is well worth reading as it offers a great starting point for your investigation into what business might be best for you. Whether to start your own business, or buy one that already exists (or a franchise maybe) is a serious question that should be considered early on in deciding your entrepreneurial future. Reading Buy or Start - The Pros and Cons, may change your mind about starting from scratch, or it might make you even more determined to make your business idea a reality. The perennial problem with becoming an entrepreneur is the cost of starting, or buying a business. Do You Have Enough Money? gives you a quick overview of the sort of expenses you will incur, then looks at high and low cost start-ups, before talking about where the money might come from. The Power of Knowledge focuses on something few, if any, books on starting up a business cover. It is surprising how many people start-up a business in the dark, with no real education on the industry, or market they are entering. Once, on a vacation in Spain, I was encouraged to enter a bull-ring to “play-fight” a young bull. I had no idea what I was doing, had no training and it did not go well. I made a lot of rookie mistakes, such as holding the cape in front of me rather than to one side, and worst of all I took my eyes off the bull. As soon as I did, it charged, I ran, I fell, and I it gored me - not badly (the bull’s small and conveniently blunt horn hit my hip bone), but enough for there to be a fair amount of blood and causing me to walk with a limp for a few months. Learn from my mistake and don’t enter the business ring without knowing fully what you are getting into - do your homework and hopefully there won’t be too many gory surprises. Prince Albert and District Community 5 www.pacf.ca Futures Development CorporationWhenever anyone starts a business the odds are against them, but there a number of things you can do to stack the odds in your favour. That’s where 7 Ways To Check Whether Your Business Will Fly can help. This chapter will help you assess whether there really is a market out there for what you plan to sell. Whatever business you start, you will need to ensure that it has something different about it, something special. The Importance of Having a USP deals with unique selling propositions, and provides examples of how some businesses set themselves apart from the crowd. It goes on to provide some strategies for discovering and developing your own USP. What’s in a name? A great deal, as Choosing a Great Business Name explains; for a start, these days you have to have a name that is available as a URL, otherwise you may be sending yourself into Internet oblivion. It can’t be too clever, otherwise people won’t understand it, on the other hand keeping with a family name can also potentially send the wrong message as with an undertaker in Illinois called Slaughter and Son Funeral Directors. Sounds like something straight out of the O.K. Corral Branding is becoming increasingly important in this day and age, where consumers are Internet savvy, and more knowledgeable about their choices and our products and services then ever before. Our organizational culture is under scrutiny, so our branding had better be spot on. In It’s All About Brand Image we discuss all these issues and look at what the current trend is in terms of branding. An integral part of branding is the corporate website so we provide ten reasons why it is vital to have a website. If you count carefully, there’s a whole lot more than ten, because we cheat and include several points under each number We finish off by providing the quiz results for To Be, or Not to Be an Entrepreneur and give brief comments on all 41 questions. I hope that once you have read this book, taken the test, and carried out all the suggested research, you’ll have a good idea as to whether starting a business is right for you, and if that germ of a business idea you have might stand a chance of success. Whatever you decide, I wish you luck. It’s hard work starting a business, and even harder work running one. Success will depend on how you define it, and I can assure you the goal posts will change along the way, but for true entrepreneurs, there’s no other way of life. Mike Wicks Publisher, Blue Beetle Books Inc. Prince Albert and District Community 6 www.pacf.ca Futures Development CorporationTo Be, Or Not To Be An Entrepreneur This exercise may look like a bit of fun, but if you To get the best out of this pop quiz, you need to take take it seriously it will provide you with an insight a little time over it and consider each question and into whether starting your own business is the right the multiple choice answers carefully. Remember, route for you to take. Of course, it’s only meant as a you’re the only one that will see the answers, so be guide, just one more thing to consider before taking brutally honest with yourself. It’s an important, often the plunge into self employment. life-changing decision to become self-employed - to start a business and burn some bridges. You should The test was designed to see how your social and be very sure that it’s the right way for you to proceed personal traits compare with those of a typical with your career, and your life. entrepreneur. You might notice that some of the questions are Running one’s own business is definitely not for very similar, but asked in a different way. Don’t over everyone; it can be a highly stressful way to earn a analyze the quiz, just answer each question as it is living. On the one side you have total control over asked. There is reason in our madness - honest your life; there’s no boss telling you what to do and when to do it. You are master, or mistress of You might want to print off these few pages of your your own destiny. But, there is a flip side; you will eBook so that you can check off your answers. work longer hours and there’s no guarantee that, Taking the quiz is easy, just check the box on the magically, money will appear in your bank account right-hand side that best represents your answer bi-weekly, or monthly. That security of income to each question, then add up the number of suddenly disappears, as dozens of other things checkmarks in each column, multiply it by the require paying before you can take your wage. factor at the end of the column, then add all the columns together to get a final score. Prince Albert and District Community 7 www.pacf.ca Futures Development CorporationYour Business Idea Coming up with a business concept is fraught with 1. How knowledgeable are you about the challenges. In this chapter we’ll look at some basic business you are considering opening? What guidelines, before providing an overview of global do you know about the products, services, and business trends. market? Look at businesses that you know very well, and not just from a technical perspective, Here are our top ten things to consider when but from a market standpoint. deciding on what business you should start. 2. Make sur e you have all the necessary skills to run the business (e.g. not just those required to manufacture the product, or deliver the service). Remember no matter what the business is, you will have to do some selling. 3. How much money do you have to invest? Businesses such as graphic design and consulting require far less start-up capital, for instance, than opening a retail establishment. Buying a franchise can be a good idea, but do you have enough capital for both the purchase and the initial running costs? 4. Think about what you enjoy doing, and what you are passionate about. You are more likely to stay the course and be successful, if you enjoy what you do. However, be careful that your passion for your hobby doesn’t blind you to the business potential it has. You may be an excellent writer of poetry, but making a living from it is all but impossible. 5. Decide what type of selling might be involved. A retail store for instance allows you to be a little like a spider in its web, waiting for people to come along before interacting with them. Being a consultant on the other hand, means cold calling and attending business mixers. Remember selling is ALWAYS a major part of any business. Prince Albert and District Community 10 www.pacf.ca Futures Development Corporation6. Howcompetitiveisthefieldyouwantto or DVD’s. If, however, you can develop apps (or enter? You may have worked for many years perhaps be a reseller) for Smart phones then as a lube technician and feel that you have you’d be in a growing business. In 2010 the what it takes to launch your own business, industry was worth around 1.7 billion, within but how many other oil and lube businesses the next three years it is predicted to grow to are there in your town, and is there enough 3.8 billion. Now, that’s a business to get into. business for another? Analyze your market and Later in the book, we’ll be taking a look at see how saturated it is. Remember, you will be current business trends in more detail. trying to take market share away from existing businesses, unless your business is the only 9. Be wary of going into any business wher e one of its kind in the locale. consumers make their buying decisions based entirely, or primarily on price alone. As 7. Look for wher e there is a gap in the market someone new in the market, your competition -wherethereisunfulfilleddemand. If you will have deeper pockets than you and you are looking at the retail market, is there a could watch your profit go down the drain as product that people currently have to travel a they undercut your prices. This is where service long way to purchase? Consider the example businesses have the edge, as people don’t of social media consultants; as the business choose who they work with solely on price. world started to see the potential for marketing their products via Facebook, Twitter and other 10. Come up with several business concepts sites, there was no one around to tell them how and test them out. The best thing you can to go about it. The gap was quickly filled by do to prevent yourself starting a business that entrepreneurs who saw a need that was at that simply doesn’t work for you, is to work in it for time unanswered. a while. If, for example, you are considering opening a coffee shop, go and work in one 8. Look at market tr ends and see what is while you are writing your business plan. becoming increasingly popular, and what Experience the business first-hand and you will may be coming to the end of its popularity. not only learn a great deal, but you’ll see if you For instance, now would not be the time to enjoy the environment. open a video rental store, or one selling CD’s Prince Albert and District Community 11 www.pacf.ca Futures Development CorporationCurrent Trendy Business Ideas Everywhere you look pundits are predicting what 12 Industries or Markets type of businesses entrepreneurs should move into; to Consider here we take a look at the top five industries the There are many types of businesses that offer a Globe and Mail, in early 2012, suggested were the better than average chance of success in today’s best for start-ups. business environment, and if you go online you will find dozens of lists and all will be different. The list below is based both on solid research, 1. Elder Car e - we all know the population is and many decades of helping people start-up new aging, so it’s no surprise that this features companies. Treat it as a starting point for your prominently. We are living longer, healthier, investigation of what might be the right business for and more independently - but the longer we you to start. stay in our own homes the more help we’ll need. If you find any of these markets interesting, investigate them further on the Internet; within 2. Health and W ellness - everything from each there are dozens, if not hundreds, of business healthy food, to fitness gyms and regimes opportunities. Here we just give a short overview of are covered in this sector, along with health why they might be worth checking out. coaching and online health programs and apps. 1. Consumer Staples - at the end of the day we all have to eat, and we all use consumable 3. Warehousing - as companies look for ways items that we need to replace regularly. So, to cut budgets, tying up money in expensive manufacturing such items, or buying and selling real estate looks less attractive when they them will always be a solid business. could outsource their storage needs. This is especially true of companies where storage 2. Smart Phone Apps - as mentioned earlier needs are seasonal. this is big business with some 500,000 Apple approved apps to date. If you are thinking 4. Shipping/Logistics - as with warehousing, that making a business out of developing smaller companies are increasingly apps might be rather ambitious, check out the looking to outsource this work, providing following Ted Talk given by an app developer opportunities to entrepreneurs. called Thomas Suarez, who just happens to be a 6th Grader (http://youtu.be/ehDAP1OQ9Zw) 5. Outsourcing/Staffing- after downsizing staff during the tough economic times, many 3. Elder Care - First some facts: 5 million baby businesses are recognizing that they can boomers turn sixty years of age every year, manage with temporary, or part-time staff that’s 416,666 per month, 96,153 per week, instead of re-hiring. 13,698 per day, 9.5 per minute. A boomer turns sixty every 6.3 seconds and every 7 seconds a Prince Albert and District Community 12 www.pacf.ca Futures Development Corporationboomer turns 50. This generation is living longer and healthier, and remaining independent well into their dotage. As they remain in their homes longer, they will need supplementary care. This is a market that is going to grow significantly in the coming years. 4. Health and Fitness - the general public is becoming increasingly interested in the state of their bodies, whether it is losing weight, getting fitter, toning those abs, or taking supplements. This marketplace is going to be hot for the foreseeable future. 5. Y oga - although this could easily fit under health and fitness we are highlighting it after Inc. magazine reported that Yoga Journal carried out a study which found that Americans spent 5.7 billion on yoga products, equipment, and clothing in 2008 (87 per cent more than they did in 2004). Inc. went onto report that nearly 14 million Americans say a doctor or therapist has recommended yoga to them. 6. Home Improvement - The recent economic climate has led to many people putting off moving house, or renovating. This pent up demand for repair work, and upgrading, is apparently beginning to be released. Green improvements such as solar power are particularly hot at the moment (no pun intended). This has always been a good market for self-employment, but now just might be a particularly good time to investigate this as a start-up business opportunity. 7. Green Construction - the move toward building green is accelerating. Consumers are increasingly looking to buy “green” houses, or do “green” renovations. Industry pundits report that “green” residential home construction will grow by some 500 per cent by 2016. 8. Niche Consulting - consulting has always been a favourite start-up option as the cost of entry is extremely low. In today’s economy many companies that laid off staff are now Prince Albert and District Community 13 www.pacf.ca Futures Development Corporationseeing shortages in certain skill sectors, which they need to fill by outsourcing. What is interesting is that increasingly, corporations and government are moving from larger agencies to smaller firms that specialize in a niche market. Hot niches right now include anything that saves companies money, sustainable business practices (including greening) and social media. 9. Accounting Services - an increase in outsourcing in general, is benefiting businesses in this market. Bookkeeping is an especially low cost, easy entry, start up business with great potential. As new businesses are starting up all the time, there is a never-ending supply of potential new clients, and as we slowly come out of the recent tough economic times, there will be a matching need for accounting services in general. 10. Fast-Casual Dining - According to MainStreet Restaurant Licensing Ltd., which is a full service Canadian private equity company servicing the food-restaurant-hospitality industry, “Full-service restaurants are passé. Hybrid, fast-casual restaurants offering high quality and delicious food à la carte at pocket-friendly prices are the new sweet spot of the growing economy. 11. Online Shopping - Although dominated by The master concept of fast casual restaurants retail giants such as Amazon, Apple, Best is based on two most important parameters – Buy/Future Shop there is plenty of room for great quality fresh food and instant service. The start-ups to enter this market. According fast casual restaurant segments have been to Statistics Canada, a little over half of all growing at a tremendous rate, thanks to the Canadian web surfers purchased something multi-fare menus that offer ‘more pocket-friendly online in 2010, buying on average, 1,300 choices’ to the customers and multifaceted worth of product with a total market value of growth opportunities available in the highly 15.3 billion. Interestingly 8 out of 10 bought lucrative food business.” One sector of this from Canadian sites. new market that may be of particular interest to entrepreneurs looking for a low-cost way to 12. Repair Services - As the general population enter the market is Food Trucks. A survey carried becomes more environmentally friendly, the out by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) desire to repair, rather than replace, a wide found that 30 per cent of chefs consider mobile range of items offers good opportunities for food trucks to be one of the hottest operational entrepreneurs. We are hanging on to our trends. For more information on this trend visit: cars longer and getting them fixed, we are www.mainstreetrestaurants.ca/hottest-segment. repairing our shoes and electronic goods, and php. If you are considering entering the food purchasing spare parts for stoves, dishwashers industry we advise you to download the NRA’s and other appliances. Mister, or Ms Fixit’s are survey: www.restaurant.org/pdfs/research/ becoming sought after commodities. whats_hot_2011.pdf. Prince Albert and District Community 14 www.pacf.ca Futures Development CorporationBuy or Start - the Pros and Cons One big question entrepreneurs have to ask If you are looking to start a home-based business themselves is, should I buy a business, or should in the consulting field for instance, then the I start one from scratch? The answer to that is a chances are that you can do this yourself with little resounding, “It all depends.” to no outside help. If you want to offer a mobile mechanic service, again it may be fairly easy to There are pros and cons to both approaches and set this up yourself. But, if you want to start selling a lot depends on what sort of business you are pizzas then you might want to at least investigate looking to start, what your skill level is relating the the potential of buying a franchise as this could business you are planning, and how much money save you a lot of effort and give you a recognizable you have to invest. brand name from day one. Prince Albert and District Community 15 www.pacf.ca Futures Development CorporationLet’s do a quick analysis of some of the pros and cons of buying a business, or a franchise. Pros Cons You are buying an established brand name, which Buying a business can be costly, and is often more means that you will have credibility from day one, expensive at the outset than starting your own. and people will have an expectation of quality and Remember however, that much of what you purchase confidence in you that might take months, if not years to when you buy a business will still have to be bought build on your own. over time for your own start up. As long as you do your due diligence, the business You have to invest money in getting each prospective concept will already have proven itself. It works, is business opportunity thoroughly checked out to the nth known to generate revenues and more importantly a degree, by your accountant and lawyer. reasonable profit. It is likely that you will purchase all the equipment It is difficult to gauge the life left in much of the you require to run the business, along with a starting equipment and some of it may be at the end of its life. inventory. In the case of a franchise, you may get The inventory you purchase may not all be good; there preferential pricing on the equipment you need. may be a high percentage of slow selling items. If it’s a business, they will have all their operational It’s great to have systems, but they may not suit the systems up and running. This will allow you to hit the way you work, or fit the way you see the future of the ground running. A franchise will have proven systems in business. place. The existing business owner may agree to a transition period and help you to learn the systems etc. You already have clients, or customers, and the goodwill How much of the goodwill was based on the personality that has been built over the years. You will see revenue of the owner? If customers frequented the business immediately. because of him, or her then will they keep using the business when you take over? This is why a handover, or transition period is important. If you need to borrow money, or get a line of credit, The bank will still want to check your personal you have a business history on which the bank can creditworthiness. base a decision. You may even be able to take over the company’s line of credit, or loans. Just as important is that you have, or should have immediate cash flow. You maybe able to take over existing staff, who possess You get the good with the bad as far as employees the skills required to deliver the products and/or services are concerned. It is wise to interview existing staff prior you provide, know the equipment and systems in use - to purchasing the business, or between buying the and have a relationship with your customers. business and taking over the operation. You can start work on growing the business from a solid base from day one. Most of the hard work establishing the company has been done for you. Prince Albert and District Community 16 www.pacf.ca Futures Development CorporationOverall, most experts would suggest that you have a better chance of success if you purchase an existing business. But, let’s look at the pros and cons of starting your own business so that you can make your own decision. Pros Cons Start-up costs are under your control and are often less Your business may be under-capitalized as you try than when purchasing an existing business. to spend the least amount of money to get it off the ground. It can also take a lot longer to establish yourself, which can lead to additional financing pressures. You start with a blank slate. The concept, the products You have no brand, no credibility, no share of the market and services, the branding can be tailor-made to your - you are unknown. You have to create the vision, the business philosophy and organizational culture. products and services and they may not be proven. There is considerable room for getting it wrong. You can find a new market niche that no one else is These are few and far between. Often, there is no one taking advantage of. servicing a niche market because it’s not big enough, or it’s been tried and the business, or businesses failed. Success or failure is all down to your own efforts and The failure rate for start-ups is higher than for existing determination. businesses. The one-year rate is around 85%, but drops to 50% at five-years which would indicate that it’s tough to establish a new business. These stats are for companies with paid employees, so don’t include one- person businesses. Business experts, such as Michael Gerber, the author of the E-Myth, are less optimistic saying that the survival rate is as low as 20%. See: The State of Entr epreneurship in Canada: Industry Canada (www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/sbrp-rppe.nsf/vwapj/SEC-EEC_eng.pdf/file/SEC-EEC_eng.pdf ) Think long and hard about your options when it comes to deciding between buying, or starting, a business. Consider all the pros and cons and above all else get advice from business people you know, business account managers at banks, accountants, lawyers, experts in your chosen industry and market, and anyone else that you can think of. Then, go online and read as much as you can about the business you are thinking of starting or buying. It is vital that you are thorough in your due diligence. Prince Albert and District Community 17 www.pacf.ca Futures Development CorporationDo You Have Enough Money? The majority of entrepreneurs underestimate the amount of money they need to start a business. Here is a list of some of the things you should consider: 1. All the paper, and professional help - licenses, permits, incorporation, legal fees, accountancy fees, partnership agreements, and more. 2. Equipment (manufacturing machines, computers, printers, cash registers, alarms, chairs, desks, phones, the list goes on) 3. Inventory: goods, or raw materials 4. Insurance - liability, errors and omissions, life, building etc. 5. Rent, and any leasehold improvements. 6. Hydro, gas, oil, water, telephone, Internet etc. 7. Staff payroll, taxes, benefits, WCB/Worksafe 8. Delivery, warehousing, courier, postage etc. 9. Marketing costs: business cards, stationery, High Cost - Low Cost Start Ups advertising, website, mailing lists, online, etc. More expensive start-ups require: 10. Association membership 11. Travel, accommodation, entertainment, • Inventory conferences • Commercial premises, which may or may In many cases, this list will only represent the not require leasehold improvements starting point of all the money you will need to find • Staff to fund your start-up. And, all that is before you start • Promotional budget to pay yourself. Remember, you are unlikely to start Less expensive start-ups are usually: your business one day and be able to pay all your expenses from profit the next. Cash-flow is a critical • Home-based component of survival, so it is vital that you have sufficient capital to bridge the gap between the day • Service focused you start your business, and the time your business • Owner operated can not only sustain itself, but make a profit. • Use contract staff when required Prince Albert and District Community 18 www.pacf.ca Futures Development CorporationSo, Where Do You Get the Money From? A lot depends on the size and type of your Whatever the circumstances, you will require a business. Home-based businesses need a relatively partnership agreement drawn up by a lawyer. Talk small amount of money, while larger businesses in to your lawyer and accountant, but it is usually manufacturing, or retail require larger capital to get advisable to incorporate your business if you are off the ground. going to have a partner, or partners. If you have issues later, it will make things a lot easier. Here are a few places to go in search of start-up funding. The other thing to remember is that it is all well and good getting a bunch of cash when you need Partners it most, at the outset of your business, but what Partners can be a blessing and a curse. On the about sharing the profits down the road? The upside many hands make light work, and if you amount of money you thought was a godsend can find someone you can trust that when you were struggling to get off the ground, has a whole bunch of skills, may not seem much when compared to the which are complementary to potentially large sums of money going out of the your own, then this may be business to a silent partner in dividend payments. a good way to share the financial burden. But, if Grants - Don’t buy a grant book you are only bringing in The biggest message here is that there are almost a partner for his, or her, no grants available to help you start a for-profit money then you should business. There are plenty of grant books available take into consideration online that promise millions of dollars in available that you are giving that funding - they are not worth buying, for two reasons person a significant say in 1) all the information is available through government how your business operates sources for free, and 2) there is very little free money (how much will depend on the Now, I have to qualify that last statement slightly by level of financial support, and the saying there are some government grants but they agreement you reach). are for very specific types of businesses, doing very special and unique things. If you still want to check out whether there could possibly be a grant for your business, the best place to start looking is the Canada Business Network www.canadabusiness.ca/eng/guide/1136. Loans Small business start-ups find it difficult to get loans from traditional sources. Don’t even consider approaching a bank unless you have an excellent personal credit rating and a first-class, professionally written, business plan. Even then, you will often find it difficult if you haven’t built up an excellent relationship with the bank. Prince Albert and District Community 19 www.pacf.ca Futures Development CorporationCommunity Futures Development Corporations run a small business loan program which is well worth checking out. Here is a typical overview of the program, in this case from Western Canada (just Google CFDC plus your town and you will be able to access information about the loan program in your part of the country). Throughout Western Canada the locally run, non-profit, Community Futures organizations have achieved outstanding success by integrating the social and economic needs of their communities. A wide range of services and financing opportunities are available to small businesses and entrepreneurs at the local Community Futures (CF) offices. In general, businesses seeking financing must: • be located in a rural area of one of the four Western provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta or British Columbia) • be operating, or about to operate, in a designated Community Futures area • contribute to local economic growth • be seeking financing of up to 150,000 Loans on commercial terms, equity financing One such program aimed at women is offered and loan guarantees are available through the by the Women’s Enterprise Centre in BC. It Community Futures offices. Applications are offers loans up to 150,000 for women in B.C. assessed by the Community Future’s local and has lower fees than many other lenders. The volunteer Board of Directors. Training and centre loans money for leaseholds, equipment, assistance preparing business plans are also operating capital and more. Their loans come available at the Community Futures offices. with free, ongoing business advice delivered by professionals. To find out more you can participate As each Community Futures community is in one of their weekly phone-in Business Loans different, specific financing activities undertaken Information Sessions. by each individual Community Futures office varies from community to community. Search For First Nations entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada our Business Service Network database to there is the Aboriginal Business Development locate the network offices nearest you or visit Fund (Ulnooweg Loan) managed by the Atlantic the Community Futures national  website. Canada Opportunities Agency. This Government of Canada fund is offered in New Brunswick, Nova There are several loans programs aimed at women Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and and first nations’ entrepreneurs. Often these are Labrador only. For more information click: delivered provincially and we encourage you to www.canadabusiness.ca/eng/summary/1228. seek them out. Prince Albert and District Community 20 www.pacf.ca Futures Development CorporationOther regions and provinces offer similar programs, to eligible individuals to help them create jobs for so search the Internet and you will find a wide themselves by starting a business. While it doesn’t variety of loan programs offered by agencies help with start up costs, it does offer financial across Canada. assistance through participants being able to receive E.I. benefits while on the program. Bank of Mom and Dad It’s surprising how many young entrepreneurs get Government programs change all the time, and their first business loans from friends and family, finding information on the self employment program and more often than not it’s mom and dad that at national level is quite difficult. However, at come to the rescue. This can be by way of a formal the local level try your local Community Futures loan with shares, or part ownership, or informal on Development Corporation as they might be the understanding that they will get their money delivering it, if not they will usually know where to back (with or without interest) once the business send you. is successful. This type of financial help is baed on blind faith, and requires little to none of the due Conclusion diligence a bank, or an outside investor will require. I hope that this dose of reality has not disillusioned you, because no matter how hard starting a Creative financing business is, it is without doubt possible. Take a look Over the years I have helped thousands of small at this list of under-capitalized start-ups that made businesses start-up and their creativity surrounding it big. The following is based on brand values as at early financing, when the banks wouldn’t touch 2011, taken from the Brandz Top 100 Most Valuable them, never ceases to amaze me. Global Brands study (click here to see the top 100 www.millwardbrown.com/libraries/optimor_brandz_ Think about what you can sell that could raise files/2011_brandz_top100_chart.sflb.ashx): that highly important start-up capital. I have seen people sell their boats, Harley-Davidson • Starbucks was started by three guys in 1971 motorcycles, cigarette card and stamp collections, who invested 1,350 each. 2011 brand value: even houses. It is a good indication of an 119 billion. entrepreneur’s commitment to his or her idea, when • UPS - was started by a couple of teenagers you see them sell something they treasure. Bank who possessed one bicycle between them and account managers are particularly impressed when 100, 2011 brand value: 35.7 billion. entrepreneurs are willing to risk their own assets. • Apple - It’s 1976, two guys make a sale, buy Another imaginative entrepreneur, a few years ago, a bunch of parts bought on credit and deliver skirted the law when she used several department some computers. 2011 brand value: 153 billion. store credit cards to buy products and then • Gillette started in 1903 with 25 cents. 2011 returned the goods, charming the male clerk into brand value: 19.7 billion. giving her cash back. Thus a successful small business was launched. This is not a method of • Nike, in 1963, launched with 1,000. 2011 brand accessing start-up funding that we recommend for value: 13.9 billion. many reasons, not least because the interest rates • Hewlett Packard started in 1938 with the charged by such credit cards is extremely high. princely sum of 538 dollars. 2011 brand value: 35.4 billion. Programs The Self-Employment Program, offered by the You can do it too, with a lot of hard work, sound federal government through service agencies planning and perhaps more than a fair share across Canada, is an employment program that of luck. provides financial and entrepreneurial assistance Prince Albert and District Community 21 www.pacf.ca Futures Development CorporationThe Power of Knowledge If you are considering starting, or are in the process Knowing Your Industry of starting, a business then the single biggest You cannot operate in isolation, you are part of an thing you can do to stack the odds of success in industry and it is vital you understand how that your favour is to increase your knowledge base on industry operates, what your place within it is, and everything that might have an impact on it. What where the industry is heading. If you can’t answer follows are several dozen things you should know the following questions authoritatively, then you before launching your business. Why? don’t know the industry you plan to operate in well enough. Because increased knowledge: • Who are the industry leaders (both in terms of • Gives you more confidence corporations and CEOs)? • Improves communications • What is the media saying about your industry? • Encourages closer relationships • Who are the industry players currently in the news? • Makes you an expert, not a bluffer • What are they doing and why? • Gives you an objective point of view • Who are the pundits (people reporting on the industry, and being interviewed) and what are • Allows you to become the eyes and ears of your they commenting on? buyers • Technologically speaking, what’s new and • Means you are in touch with your customers, what’s coming? industry and marketplace Prince Albert and District Community 22 www.pacf.ca Futures Development Corporation• How are the major players in your industry doing • I know how people in my industry operate in the stock market? locally. • Do you know the trade magazines representing • I am a member of local industry associations, your industry? and those allied to it. • Do you read them? • I follow what’s happening in the local, provincial and national economy. Knowing Your Market • I read the local press and am especially aware It doesn’t matter whether you define your market of what’s happening in the business community. geographically, or demographically, you need to • I regularly attend business mixers, and am well know it intimately. The greater knowledge you known in the local business community. possess, the more likely you are to become a major player within your market. Read the following John Nesbitt in Megatrends said that 100 people statements, and if you can’t honestly agree with run each town no matter the size - how many of each of them, you might want to start doing some the 100 in your town do you know? The same homework. If your market is not local, but perhaps can be said of any market, any industry, or any in another part of the country, or even overseas, community. then interpret “local” in the questions below as whatever is “local” to your business. Knowing Your Customer • I know the strengths and weaknesses of my (Personally) competition. When it comes to our customers, the more we know about them the better we will be able to • I know exactly which companies and/or serve them. Here is a list of some of the things you individuals are most likely to buy what I sell. should know about your customers and prospects. • I understand the needs and wants of the How much do you know? companies/individuals on my prospect list. Prince Albert and District Community 23 www.pacf.ca Futures Development Corporation• What do they think of you, and your company? • Its management structure. • What excites them - their hobbies and interests • Its last year’s revenues. for example? • Whether it is budgeting for an increase in sales • Do they have a family, are they married, single? revenues this year. • What are their needs in relation to what you • What profit it made last year, or at least whether sell? it is in a profitable situation. • What are their passions? • The names of the owners and directors, and what other companies they own. • How honest and truthful are they? • What competitors of yours they are currently • What is their political persuasion? buying from. • Are they fans of your industry, or do they see • How much they are paying for the same or you as a necessary evil? similar products/services. • Have they had issues with any of your competitors in the past? Knowing Your Product or • Do you know what social style they are (i.e. Service Analytical, Driver, Expressive, Amiable)? This sounds strange at first sight; of course you know all about what you sell, but can you answer • Do you know their birthday? the following questions? If you can, you’re all set. If not, then it would be wise to seek out the answers This list is not exhaustive, but is meant to give before going forth into the marketplace. you an idea of the things that might help you make a sale to people. The more you know about • How does your product/service help your someone the better you will interact with them, customer? and the better relationship you will build. People buy from people they like and trust and that is • What needs/problems do they have that your based on mutual understanding. product/service answers? • How does it solve their problem(s)? Knowing the Customer • What are the strengths of your product over (The Company) your competitors? Knowing the personality and characteristics of you prospects is only half the story, you need to • What are the weaknesses of your product in have an equal understanding and knowledge of comparison to your competitors? their businesses too. Here are the basic things you • Do you know the complete technical should know about the companies you plan to do specifications of your product? business with. Not all the information is readily • How competitive is your pricing? available, but most can be sought out, or even asked of the companies themselves. • In what way is your product or service unique? Prince Albert and District Community 24 www.pacf.ca Futures Development Corporation

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