The entrepreneur in you has awakened and you are now thinking about starting your business. But is your project mature enough to allow you to take the plunge? So, in this article, we will tell you each and everything you need to know about creating a startup business.
1. Your Product or Service
It’s the starting point. You have an idea that turns into a product or service. This generally arises from an observed problem (for example, a difficulty in communicating between a store and its customers) to which you propose to provide a solution. The first step is to ask yourself about the added value of your offer compared to what already exists on the market. To do this, you must be familiar with the industry you are entering into and think about building your business model accordingly.
Will people be willing to pay for your product or service?
A great idea can only turn into a successful business if people are willing to pay for the product or service offered.
- First, you need to clarify who is the target market for what you are offering. Do you plan to sell it to young people or to seniors? Is your product primarily aimed at women, men, or both? Is it a product of necessity or a prestigious item? Are you going to sell to individuals, other businesses or the government?
- Once you know who you are going to sell to, it will be helpful to determine the price the target market would be willing to pay for your product or service.
- If you determine that your product or service would appeal to people, but they would not be willing to pay for it, you may want to consider other business models. Some companies, especially in the service industry, offer their service for free or at low cost, but are able to make money through other means, such as advertising.
2. Your Customers
Who would be likely to buy your product or service? To answer this question, it is important to establish the typical profile of the customers you are targeting. Thanks to this research, you can even geolocate it and consequently determine the best location to set up your office or business in order to reach your customers effectively. This research will also allow you to anticipate the reasons why these customers would buy from you and not from your competitors.
3. Your Business Plan
A business plan is essential for turning your ideas and capital into a profitable business. It is a valuable tool that gives you a clear vision of your future prospects: assessment of your financial resources, the strengths and weaknesses of your project, opportunities and threats that lie in wait for you (such as the competitive context, poor assessment of income anticipated or working capital requirements, etc.). It is also this document that you will present to lenders and investors in order to obtain financing.
If, from one project to another, the structure of the business plan may change, here are the elements that should always be included:
- Business strategy
- Marketing strategy
- Operational plan
- Financial forecast
- Market analysis
4. The Legal Form of Your Company
How to choose the most appropriate legal structure for your project? Certain elements will naturally influence your decision, such as whether to start alone or with partners; costs relating to the creation and operation of the business (a joint-stock company is, for example, generally more expensive); risks, financial type or related to the field of activity; liability, especially in the event of bankruptcy (in a sole proprietorship you are personally liable for both profits and debts); the complexity of bookkeeping; the tax rate; protection of the business name; etc.
5. The Various Basic Recordings
Business Numbers – You will need to register with government authorities, who will provide you with your business numbers, at the provincial level with the NEQ (Quebec Business Number), and at the federal level with the BN (Business Number). Why go through these steps?
- The NEQ simplifies and accelerates relations between businesses and the various departments and agencies of the Government of Quebec. In particular, it facilitates the registration of businesses for various government programs and services.
- The BN will be your unique account number for you to interact with the government for GST / HST, imports, exports and other activities.
6. Start-Up Assistance Resources
There are many economic development organizations whose mandate is to provide support through consulting services, training and financing. The efforts to spot them can be arduous, but oh so beneficial in accelerating your business development.
Directory of organizations
It is also important to surround yourself with experts in order to make informed decisions by calling on professionals in accounting, law, taxation, etc.
Business Legal Resource Center
A business start-up is above all a well thought out project. The purpose of the research you have done upstream is to verify whether your initial idea will lead to a profitable company. The motto in this area is as follows: there is no point in running, you have to start on time.