I Want to Work for Myself: How to Start a Business at a Young Age
You might not like the idea of sitting in a cubicle from nine to five, typing away at investment reports or calling back a list of customers to ask them if they’re ‘happy with their service’ (ugh). How great would it be if you could be your own boss? It would probably be fantastic, you might think. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows and it requires a lot of hard work – especially if you want to start this business at a young age. It’s not impossible though, you can definitely do it if you use the right tools and plan the right way. It all starts with a good idea.
Do your research and Draft a Business Plan
The business plan is arguably the most important part of beginning your business. This plan will draft what your business is, the product or service it offers, and how you plan to grow your business. It also looks at an analysis of the market you’re working in (whether it’s a baking company, a computer repair service, etc.), funding plans, and financial projections. This is why you need to do a lot of research while drafting your plan, create a focus for the plan and for your business. Investors are going to ask about your business plan, so you’ll want to make this your strong first step forward that documents every aspect of your business with great detail. Try to anticipate pitfalls and investor questions and include the solutions and answers into your plan. Since your customer base may change over the next five years, ten years, etc., your business plan should be adaptable and try to anticipate these possible changes.
Secure Funding for your Business
Now that you have your business plan in place, you need to get a couple sources of funding to get it off of the ground. Upfront costs of starting a business can be pretty steep, depending what market you’re trying to break into. Luckily, you have quite a few options in the start-up-loving world of business. You can persuade investors to purchase a stake in your company or fund your startup costs (if investors see that you have a solid business plan with a thought-out exit strategy, then they will be more likely to invest in your business). You can also rely on a small business loan which is offered across Canada. These are funds you will have to pay back, however, so it’s not a good idea to think of it as ‘free money’. If you have a good idea that would be of interest to the general public, crowd-funding may be a good option to help get your business off of the ground.
Get All of the Necessary Paperwork
Depending on which kind of business you’re looking to break into, you will need certain licenses and permits. Do research in your respective industry and make sure that you’re operating legally and have all of the paperwork necessary. Register your small business within the province you plan to operate in and make sure that everything checks out.
Promote your business
We live in a time where connecting with your customer base has never been easier. Establish a client base and then keep growing with promotion, promotion, promotion. This means getting a logo together, advertising in different content streams, etc. Make sure that your business is reaching out to the right people and that you’re getting your name out there.
After you complete these steps, the rest is trial and error. Operate leanly on a modest budget and assess what your client base will be. Once you get going, begin expanding your business and trying different things to stay relevant.