Starting your Business

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Find out what it takes & how to make it happen

Are you ready?

Starting a business is an exciting, but often overwhelming undertaking. Many times people choose self employment because they think it will be easier than working for someone else. The idea of being the boss and making more money than they ever dreamed is appealing but misguided. Entrepreneurship requires more than a good idea. It demands an endless drive and willingness to try again when plans go awry.

Are you ready to start a business? Take the Entrepreneurial Self-Assessment Survey.

Do you have the next big idea?

An initial product or service idea may be good but well thought out revisions can take an idea from good to incredible. Entrepreneurs often generate many ideas. How do you know which idea is the best? A solid business idea provides value to the customer by solving a problem or meeting a need. The idea should have a competitive advantage over similar products or services. Not only must it be competitive, it has to sustain the competitive advantage in the face of an ever changing industry. Of course there also must be a market for the product with sufficient demand to make your business financially viable.

Creating the business plan

The business plan is necessary part of your business development. From start up to scaling, the business plan helps guide your vision and assists you in meeting your company goals. Business planning determines what actions your need to take and what human and financial resources will be required. As well as attracting investors, a well thought out business plan will establish your strategy for growth.

Canada Business Ontario offers a host of easy to follow business planning tools and market research information. ONE-Source for Business is another great business planning resource. A variety of startup kits, permit and licensing information, as well as a financing portal are available. Bizpal provides user friendly access to municipal, provincial, territorial and federal permits and licensing requirements. As well, there are many online business plan templates available. All of the major banks and credit unions in Oxford County offer online templates and starter kits.

In person support for business planning is offered through local small business supports centres. Visit the Woodstock and Area Small Business Enterprise Centre or the Oxford Small Business Support Centre. Meet with an advisor or join in on one of the many seminars or specialized workshops.

During the business planning process, and even well after, you may find that you need very specific professional advice. Contact the Accountant Referral Service at 1-800-668-1454 Ext 243. For legal support contact the Lawyer Referral Service at 1-800-268-8326. The Western Business Law Clinic offers legal advisory services and can be contacted at www.law.uwo.ca or 519-850-2966.

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