You are here
Step 1: Take a Good Look at Yourself
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
Step 1: Take a Good Look at Yourself
Before you start with your business idea assess your capabilities, resources and personal characteristics. This helps you focus on your strengths as well as identify any additional tools, resources and skills you may need.
Time and patience: Do you have the time and patience to grow a business from the start-up phase to the point where it is established? Starting a business requires careful planning and preparation. It may take years before you make a profit! In the meantime, are you prepared to work long hours and make some sacrifices in your personal life?
Commitment, initiative and motivation: Are you committed to making your business idea work? Do you like taking initiative and making decisions? Do you have the creativity to solve problems or know when you need to ask for help? To make it through the start-up phase, you need plenty of initiative and drive. Your business will need constant care and management; and that takes real commitment.
Flexibility is key: Are you prepared for both the highs and lows of running a business? Circumstances can change rapidly. You have to remain flexible and adapt to new conditions; and you may have to adjust to an unpredictable personal income.
Know your risk tolerance: Not all businesses succeed, so it is important to understand the risks involved in starting a new business. If you are not willing to accept the risk, then you have to think hard and long if this business idea is right for you. Some entrepreneurs start their businesses part-time or after hours while still working at salaried jobs. If you have a business partner, perhaps one of you can run the new business, while the other retains his or her job and works part-time in the new business. This way, you have more security while your business gets started.
Skills and expertise: Do you have the knowledge and skills to make your idea a success? You will need to possess both organizational and management skills. You may have to perform many functions – sales, marketing, money management, production, administration, and managing people. If you are lacking in key areas, it may be in your best interest to team with a partner who brings a different set of skills to the venture. You may consider taking some training courses or delaying your business start up until you’re better prepared.
Enjoy what you do: Do you have a passion for your business idea? You’ll be spending time and money to make your idea work – having a strong attachment to your business will improve the chances of being a successful entrepreneur.
Personal and family considerations: Turning a profit and earning income may take some time. You will have to support yourself (and perhaps your family) while you get your business up and running. Do you and your family fully understand the commitment you are making? Do you all agree that this is what you will do? Does everyone know how much time, money, effort and personal sacrifice will be required in the early stages of the business?
Health comes first: You may have to endure a lot of stress and a heavy workload. Ensure you are in good physical and mental health so you can withstand the challenges of being a business owner.
Finding a business that is right for you
Where to find a good business idea? Where to start?
Ideas come from observing trends, determining what people or other businesses might want or need in the future, or simply from seeing a potential opportunity. In other words, you must find a demand in the marketplace for a product or service that other local businesses currently don’t supply
Where do the best business ideas come from? Usually it’s something in a person’s education, experience and personal interests. By considering your own talents, skills, and the sources of enjoyment in your life, you may find the beginnings of a good business idea
You may think that your experience restricts you from starting a business in a particular field. Don’t rule out applying your skills in a variety of areas. While there’s always a learning curve, good management skills can be transferred to virtually any business.
Industry Canada’s “Business information by Industrial Category” guide is a good place to read up on the characteristics of individual business types. See: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/ic-ic.nsf/eng/home. What types of businesses are operating in Nunavut? Look up http://www.nni.gov.nu.ca/business/search to see what businesses are registered in Nunavut.