Step 7: The Start-Up
A. You are finally ready to begin. What are the next steps?
- Begin with registration or incorporation, if you have not already done so.
- Obtain your permits and licenses.
- Open your bank accounts and obtain your employer, tax, CSST, and labour standards numbers.
- Confirm your insurance (salary, accountability, equipment, etc.).
- Sign contracts (partnership agreements, lease, etc.).
- Prepare your accounting system.
- Recruit and hire employees and/or sub-contractors.
- Purchase equipment, supplies, inventory, etc.
- Design and print your business cards, pamphlets, stationery, invoices, etc.
- Make your business known (advertising, media relations, etc.).
B. Congratulations! Your business is up and running. The next steps are critical:
- Manage your production, sales, personnel, etc. with care.
- Perform periodic evaluations on the business and compare these to your business plan and financial forecasts.
- Analyze your sales each month.
- Be sure to keep the daily cash budget.
- Make a list of your clients in order to measure their efficiency and potential.
- Along the way, don’t hesitate to continue your market research or client analysis to improve your products and evaluate the actual satisfaction of your clients.
- Listen to feedback from clients.
- Review your policies and budget when necessary.
- Plan for your business to develop and expand.
- Use a sales funnel to plan how you will reach your sales goals.
- Improve your product, services, and technologies.
- Analyze your exportation possibilities.
C. Develop your network of contacts
- Get involved in your area so others can get to know your business.
- Become a member of business associations and chambers of commerce and participate in their in the activities they offer.
- Form alliances with business people who offer complementary products or services.
- Get training in aspects of entrepreneurship that you need to improve on.
- Ask for advice from economic development agencies and experienced business people. They can be an important source of experience and know-how.
Other than government departments and agencies, financial institutions and local economic development agencies, there are many other resources at your disposal to assist you in developing your business once it has started up: business associations and chambers of commerce (depending on your field of business), dedicated research centres in colleges and universities, accountants and consultants. Finally, exhibitions, trade shows, and conventions offer important opportunities to broaden your network of contacts and to advertise your business.