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Fun Facts

 

Introduction
Starting on the Right Path
Seven Steps for Help You Start Your Business

1. Take a Good Look at Yourself
2. Identify Your Customers
3. Build a Support Network
4. Make it Official
5. Facilities and Staff
6. Write a Business Plan
7. Obtain Financing

Keep It Going
Appendices
Contact Information
Fun Facts

 

Fun Facts

You Should Know

  • Developing a marketing strategy can allow a business to concentrate its limited resources on the best opportunities to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.
  • Hiring staff to do work that you, as the business owner, can do, adds to your cost, and reduces your profit. Pay yourself first and only hire when your business operations require the additional employees.
  • Iqaluit makes up about 25 per cent of Nunavut’s population, but has about half of all the businesses in the territory.
  • We all know about Inuit ideas that became the basis for profitable businesses for others, for example kayak and clothing designs. Businesses can use trademarks and patents to secure their intellectual property. For more information, visit the Canadian Intellectual Property Office online: http://cipo.gc.ca
  • Despite the challenges, business start-ups in Nunavut have increased by 50 per cent since 1999. This reflects the desire of both Inuit and non-Inuit entrepreneurs to participate in Nunavut’s rapidly growing economy.
  • In Nunavut, there are specific niches where opportunity may exist within specific industries: mining, arts and crafts, tourism, the fishery, transportation and retail. Find your niche and decide what will make your business special for your customers.
  • Risk is an essential part of business, and that’s what makes success so satisfying. That’s because there is no guarantee of business success – the possibility that your business may lose money or fail is always present. You reduce the level of risk by doing your research and taking care with your expenses and finances.
  • Customer loyalty is the behavior that customers exhibit when they make repeat purchases. If customers receive good service and a quality product they will likely continue to do business with you in the future.
  • Economic Development Officers (EDO) are a useful source of information and support for local business, and one of the first people you should talk to about your business idea. Economic Development Officers are located in every community in Nunavut, usually at the hamlet office. Refer to the contact information in Appendix C to find the EDO in your community.
  • Article 24 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement states: “The Government of Canada and the Territorial Government shall provide reasonable support and assistance to Inuit firms in accordance with this Article to enable them to compete for government contracts.” Firms that qualify under Article 24 are found on the NTI Inuit Firm Registry.
  • Your business plan will become outdated as your business changes and grows. Be sure to keep it up-to-date. This is important if you need more financing for a planned expansion, but it’s also a good way to analyze your successes and difficulties, and adapt your goals based on what you’ve learned.

Reality Check

  • Many business services are provided in English only, and this can be frustrating to business owners in Nunavut who want to work in the Inuit language. Most online services, banking institutions and federal government departments provide their services only in English or French
  • Businesses need services and support that are not readily available in many Nunavut communities. These services range from a source of office supplies to bookkeeping services, and most importantly, a local bank.
  • Estimates put the number of businesses for every 1,000 population at 21 for Nunavut, well below the Canadian average of 35. What does this tell us? First, these statistics show that starting a business in Nunavut isn’t easy; but they also tell us there is a great opportunity for business growth in the territory.
  • Labour costs are generally higher in Nunavut than in other parts of Canada. The higher cost of living in Nunavut contributes, in part, to higher wages. Business in Nunavut must compete for skilled workers with government, Inuit organizations, and major resource developers, who pay top hourly rates.
  • Nunavut has a small population, and that means there are a small number of local customers for business. To reach a larger market, you must export, and deal with the high cost of transportation and communications. The development of e-commerce has helped some Nunavut businesses reach more customers outside the territory.
  • In Nunavut, it’s difficult to find institutions or individuals who will invest in your business or provide financial advice and support. Without personal savings or a community lending institution it is difficult for many small businesses to obtain financing. The lack of financing options can make it hard for local entrepreneurs to move forward with their business ideas.
  • Nunavut is one of the most expensive places to do business in Canada. Commercial power rates and insurance costs, and above all, the cost of transportation, are the highest in Canada.
  • Estimates put the number of businesses for every 1,000 population at 21 for Nunavut, well below the Canadian average of 35. This gathering of businesses in a major metropolitan centre is typical throughout Canada. However, in Nunavut, with a decentralized government structure, and major resource development projects planned by the private sector near other communities and entrepreneurs outside Iqaluit have new opportunities for business growth.
  • Customer loyalty is the behavior that customers exhibit when they make repeat purchases. If customers receive good service and a quality product they will likely continue to do business with you in the future.
  • Doing business means daily bookkeeping! You must keep complete records of your financial transactions including details and copies of invoices and receipts, bills and bill payments, payroll and bank statements.

Tips

  • Remember that your network works for you! Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. It’s important that your feel comfortable with all the details of your business.
  • Do your homework! The more you know about your customers the easier it will be to offer the appropriate products or services and to develop strategies to improve customer service.
  • Stay on top of your taxes! Many entrepreneurs have run into big problems because they didn’t keep track of all the taxes they must pay. If you’re not sure what to do, contact the Canada Revenue Agency, or hire a bookkeeper or accountant who can help.
  • The Canada Business Service Centre offers help starting a business through its “Business Start-Up Assistant,” available online at www.canadabusiness.ca/eng/page/3422/ . You can call the Nunavut office at 1-877-499-5199 to get assistance. Another excellent “how to start a business” guide can be found at the Business Development Bank of Canada website: https://www.bdc.ca/en/articles-tools/start-buy-business/start-business/p....
  • When you talk business, you’re talking a new language. Business uses many special words. This guide includes a listing of some of these, with their definitions, in Appendix B.
  • Research, planning and self-honesty are the foundations of a successful business. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you know it all right away.
  • Focus on realistic goals. Dream big, but start small. Unrealistic expectations are a common cause of business failure.
  • Write your Executive Summary of your Business Plan last after you’ve had a chance to write all the other sections. Make it interesting. If readers are interested, they’ll read further and be more likely to work with you.
  • Industry Canada’s website and the Canadian Bankers Association website discuss potential sources of financing for small business. See: www.cba.ca/en/consumer-information/45-small-business-services/474-small-....
  • You can always plan for expansion. But don’t expand until you are sure that your income can support the added overhead expenses. Let your sales income lead you into expansion, not just your dreams.
  • Focus on realistic goals. Dream big, but start small. Unrealistic expectations are a common cause of business failure.
  • Take advantage of technology and keep up to date. Use social media to reduce your advertising costs.