If you are planning to start a business in Toronto, Canada, you must consider the general economic perspectives and the sector where you want to locate the venture, the market trends, and the digital change that new technologies are generating.
In particular, it is convenient that you do it in a planned way, following a basic process of defining the activity, the business model (how it generates income), and how it will be marketed, among others.
Define the Business
Determine the business idea, what it will be engaged in. Make your list of options, starting with your hobbies, that you like to do, that you know and have talent in, but that is of interest or necessary for others.
Make a Plan
When you have defined what to do, write a business plan, a guide, that includes:
- What will your business be, and what will you sell (products, services).
- Who your ideal customers will be: men, women or both, ages, interests, income level, where they live, how they currently obtain that product or service, what opportunity exists, what their tastes are, what things they buy, and where they buy them (in Internet, in social networks or in physical stores), what their needs are, if they have any problems and how your product or service can solve it.
- How you will reach them: social networks, magazine advertising, flyers in their mailboxes, the Internet, text messages, emails, and others.
- What are the competitors: who are they, what do they offer, at what price, under what conditions and what do they not offer. How will you differ from them?
- Your business will be on the Internet, in a physical location, in both.
- What are the equipment, materials, and expenses (to create a budget ).
- How will the project be financed: investors, savings, family, crowdfunding.
Register Your Business
Toronto is one of the most accessible places to start a business. According to the World Bank, it’s a one-step process in Canada versus six in both the UK and the US. New companies can register through Enterprise Toronto.
Check on License Requirements
Business licensing is separate from registration, and it is only necessary for specific types of enterprises. The application process is handled by the city’s Municipal Licensing and Standards Division, which is simple. Photo identity, proof of employment, copy of the registration, and if applicable, notarized controlling interest documents are necessary.
Look for Financing
From the beginning, you will need financing, so to begin with, you must have the money with which to start and maintain the business until it generates income and reaches the break-even point.
Having a clear budget, which includes possible income and expenses, will allow you to answer with certainty what volume of resources you will require.
Choose the Location
Considering the business plan, the budget, and the resources to start, you can choose the location of the business. If customers buy through the Internet, a domain and a hosting service must be purchased for the online store. If customers usually shop at brick-and-mortar stores, a physical location is needed, and a location and venue must be chosen.
Whether you offer services or products, you will require suppliers of different inputs.
In the case of services, you will probably require equipment (computer, cell phone, laptop, mobile data connection) and a fixed Internet connection, as well as a Wi-Fi network for your home office.
In the case of products, it will require machinery, raw materials, and equipment (computer, cell phone or landline and Internet to communicate and for administration, billing, and accounting).
Define how you will publicize your business, your products, and your services. Rely on the customer profile that you created when you defined the business plan.
The marketing plan must include:
- Objectives and goals: attract customers, retain them, achieve sales volume, etc.
- Strategies: traditional advertising, social networks, discounts, events, contests, promotions, seasonal offers.
- Media: which channels will you use (traditional, digital, or both).
- Schedule: when you will perform each activity.
- Budget: how much will you invest in marketing.