Owning and Operating a Brand New Business

Hello and thanks for reading my newest blog post. I will apologize up front if you think that I will be sharing how wonderful, simple, and easy it is starting, and building a brand new business. If it was easy everyone would be doing it and everyone would be successful.

Ask Yourself This Question

The first question to ask yourself is – Why did you decide to start your own business?

  • To have more spare time, vacations, etc.
  • To make more money.
  • To work on my passion.
  • Need a job.

The above examples are what people share when asked why they decided to start their own business. Obviously it’s a choice and non of the above examples are wrong, just not practical and, in most cases, not a great reason to start a business.

Number of Small Businesses Canada

Taken from Government of Canada statistics, the number of small businesses operating in Canada, 1-99 employees, is 1,143,630, 97.9%. This figure was for 2015.

Building Your Small Business

In the early years, probably the first two years as an example, you will have to do most of the tasks related to running a small business yourself. If you do have a budget explore all the operating costs if you do employ/outsource any of the work to ensure you can afford to do that.

The basic tasks relating to most small businesses could be:

  • Building and maintaining a website.
  • Printing, marketing materials etc.
  • Answering the phone, emails, enquiries etc.
  • Purchasing.
  • Accounting.
  • Networking
  • Meeting clients.
  • Social Media
  • Sales

Build strong foundations from day one, as you would if you were building a house.

As well as the above basic tasks involved you will have to work on your business, such as making your products, ordering them, and actually doing the work involved.  As for the services you offer you will be the person, as a sole proprietor who does that. A few examples could be a business coach, an electrician, an IT person, to name a few.

The barter system might work well in the first year, but eventually you will want to make a profit on your products and services. You may decide to outsource your basic book keeping so that you have less to do in that arena and can concentrate on what you do best.

Some business owners leave their accounting until the last minute, maybe because they don’t enjoy that kind of work. Not only does this take your valuable time away from what you should be doing, you may become stressed which leads to health issues.

The Face of Your Business

If you are the face of your business, you are representing your brand, this not only takes a lot of work, preparation and time, it may take some of your budget also. If you are a person who does not want to be the face of the business you may have to outsource that work.  Be careful who represents your brand and ensure they know your cultural and business ethics well in order to share a consistent message to your target market.

The Boring Tasks

I won’t offer examples of what I consider to be the boring tasks where running a business is concerned. This is because we all have a different opinion on this topic. But, unless you can outsource the tasks you feel are boring, you will have to do them yourself.  Obviously you can ignore those tasks, but eventually they will catch up with you and then you will have a decision to make.

Make or Break 

Thousands of small businesses exit in their first year. Typically, and it does depend on the type of business you are operating, it takes 5 to 7 years to build a successful, profitable business.

The challenge in todays economy is that the small businesses who did have clients and who decide to walk away within that first year or two, create massive trust issues for the rest of the small business owners. Clients may decide not to choose a small business just in case the decide to close down and leave the client without any follow up, customer service assistance or warranty.

Start a Small Business For The Right Reasons

I am not going to lecture you and share a list of the right reasons. They are different for everyone.

But, at least research, explore, ask questions and don’t rush the process. Even with a healthy budget small businesses can fail.

Planning, preparation and prioritizing, are three of the most important things to think about before you even think about moving forward. Your business plan is a great help and it will change over time. The financial planning ahead of time, even with no budget, will be a good guide for you. Deciding if you need a bank loan, or if your partner/spouse can continue to pay the regular household bills are a couple of examples.

Ask For Help

Never be afraid to ask for help. Today mentors are definitely out there ready to assist. They can’t do it for you but they can guide and be a sounding board. Family, friends, free resources are all there for you.

I Did It!

I have been there, done it and I am still operating two small businesses, enjoying every minute and learning new ways to do things every day.

You can do it, good luck and feel free to email me, or leave comments if you have any feedback, questions or tips, thanks!