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Five tips to get your small business off the ground

Five tips to get your small business off the ground

Five tips to get your small business off the ground

(NC)-In the last decade, small businesses in Canada have been a key engine of economic growth. In fact, six in 10 Canadians work for small or medium-sized enterprises.

Are you ready for the challenges and rewards of trying out your own dream? If you're considering a small business venture, here are five great tips to get you started on the road to independence.

1. Have the drive to succeed

Being your own boss has significant advantages: you are free to use your own ideas, set your own hours and focus on your goals. Making your small business work will require self-confidence, drive, dedication and commitment.

2. Understand your business

Have a full understanding of your situation. What skills, special talent, or specific training do you apply to your business area? Is there a market for your product or service? The more research you do, the better. No business ever failed because the owner knew too much.

3. Investigate your market

You can begin online and also talk to others in the field. The government of Canada has a number of websites that can help you in market research. Industry Canada, www.strategis.gc.ca, and Statistics Canada, www.statcan.gc.ca, have demographic research on markets and business trends. The Business Development Bank of Canada, www.bdc.ca, provides tools to get you started.

4. Create a plan

A business plan is the cornerstone of any successful enterprise. It doesn't need to be complicated at first, but it should include:

. Your skills and expertise and how they apply to your business

. A defined need for your product or service

. Your value proposition - how your product or service will add value to your customers

. How you plan to create the business (infrastructure, suppliers) and how you plan to finance it

5. Meet your banker

One of the most important long-term relationships that you'll have is with your banker. Financing and advice for your venture is crucial. Speak to a small business banker who can help guide you through the pitfalls of start-up and beyond.

Scotiabank has the knowledge and resources to help small business owners succeed. With a small business expert in every branch, Scotiabank is here to help small business owners find the money to reach their goals. For more information, see your local branch or visit: www.scotiabank.com/smallbusiness.

- News Canada