There was a time when the majority of the population was perfectly happy going to work for someone else. In many cases, this meant steady work, consistent pay and a positive working environment.

But times are changing. Instead of finding the most comfortable path to full-time employment as possible, many, particularly young millennials and recent graduates, are taking the chance of being an entrepreneur.

What should you know if you want to jump into the world of working for yourself? Here are seven things.

  1. Do Your Research

Just like any other major endeavor, it’s critical to do your research before diving in and starting your own company.

  • Conduct Market Research: It’s important to have accurate insight into your target demographics and prospective customers. There are plenty of methods to use when gathering this sort of information, including historical studies, current research and future forecasts. Some new startups use all of these strategies to gain even more insight into their audience.
  • Perform Ongoing Research: Your initial research isn’t enough to ensure your success over an extended period. Instead, you’ll want to lead numerous research initiatives before and during your business’ lifespan. This lets you adapt to any new breakthroughs, standards or trends in the industry while simultaneously keeping you ahead of your competition.
  • Utilize Your Research: Conducting research is one thing, but it’s crucial to integrate your research into your business plan. This helps you determine your general company image and culture, establish price points for your products and create advertising campaigns both now and in the future.
  1. Are You a Corporation or LLC?

From a legal standpoint, creating a brand new business is tricky. Many entrepreneurs rush headlong into the field, only to be faced with excessive taxes because they listed their business incorrectly. The different types of businesses are:

  • Sole Proprietorship: This is the most basic kind of business you can run. A sole proprietorship typically doesn’t require legal documentation, fees or filings apart from the mandated business permits on the local and regional levels. Depending on your business structure, you might not be eligible to claim a sole proprietorship.
  • Corporation: Listing your business as a corporation sets your business assets apart from your personal assets. Some are under the false impression that a corporation requires more than one person, but plenty of individuals own and operate corporations.
  • LLC: A limited liability company, or LLC, is your third option. The LLC provides many of the advantages as a corporation, including separation of business and personal assets. LLCs also offer versatility and flexibility when it comes to paying the owners.
  1. Choose Your Location

Any good real estate agent will tell you that location is everything. It can mean the difference between running a successful business or failing within the first month or two, so it’s important to pick the right place. You’ll also want to:

  • Determine Overhead: The first step in choosing a location is to calculate your overhead. This includes rent, taxes, utilities and insurance. Depending on your budget, this could be the most important factor in deciding on a location.
  • Assess Local Interest: There’s no sense in setting up shop where there is no interest for your product, so it’s also important you’re located in a spot that is accessible to your target demographic.
  • Source Local Materials: Some companies rely on raw materials on a day-to-day basis. If this describes your business, take the time to source materials before investing. Some regions are too isolated from certain materials to make it cost-effective, while others don’t have the proper access routes for large shipping trucks.
  • Look at Your Competition: How is the competition near your desired location? Too much competition can make it difficult to thrive, while too little competition might leave your business in relative obscurity.
  1. Register Your Business

Now it’s time to register your business, or in other words, obtain the proper permits and licenses from the government.

  • Determine Your Permit Needs: Different businesses call for different permits. Tobacco retailers, for instance, need more licensure than those who don’t carry tobacco products, so it’s important to do your research to make sure all of your bases are covered.
  • Find out About Agricultural Permits: If you run an agriculture business, there may be other permits or certifications that are required.
  • Learn About the Fair Trading Act: Businesses that cater directly to consumers must follow the standards of the Fair Trading Act. It’s worth taking some time to familiarize yourself with these regulations before launching your new company.
  1. Build a Workforce

This is one of the most enjoyable phases of starting your own business. There are some important details to cover here, but it’s easy to have fun when you’re staffing a new business.

  • Hiring Employees: Although there is a lot of freedom in the process, there are some rules and regulations to be aware of before you begin your recruitment efforts.
  • Maintaining Employee Records: If your business has more than one employee, it’s crucial to maintain detailed employee records. This information includes education, work history, current salary and benefits and list of skills.
  1. Pay Your Taxes

You’ll also be responsible for paying taxes on your new business. This is an area that is quite confusing, even for established professionals, so you might consider seeking the help of an accountant:

  • Determine How Much You Owe: This is the first step in getting your taxes in order. It’s difficult to pay a bill if you don’t know how much you owe or when it’s due, so make sure to find answers to questions like this as early on in the process as possible.
  • Tax Credits and Breaks: Many businesses in Canada are eligible for certain tax credits or breaks. Not only will this save you a lot of money in the end, but it could help you afford that ideal location.
  1. Create an Online Community

Although an online community isn’t necessary, it can help your new business reach its pinnacle even quicker. This is a great way to forge new industry contacts, create new partnerships and attract new customers to your business.

Knowing Everything There Is to Know About Running a Business

There’s a lot to know about running a business in Canada. Between taxes, recruiting employees and choosing the right location, there’s much for the novice entrepreneur to tackle. While it may not be the easiest route to full-time employment in the country, it certainly is one of the most fulfilling.

Written by: Sarah Landrum, Punched Clocks, Guest Blogger

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