Newcomers, explore these start-up options
Now that you’ve settled in Canada, you’re likely eager to open your company. In this country you’ll find three basic options to get into business:
• Buy an existing business for sale.
• Buy a franchise.
• Start your own.
Each option warrants investigation to find out which business start-up path is right for you. Your choice should reflect the decisions you’ve made about who you are, what you want to do, and how you like to work.
Here are some advantages and disadvantages of each business option:
1. Buying an existing business. You’ll enjoy immediate cash flow, loyal customers and a turn-key operation. A possible downside is that it may be difficult for anyone other than the seller to successfully run the business.
• In Canada, you can find businesses for sale by reading the classified section of most major newspapers, searching online marketplaces such as Craigslist and BizBuySell, and by talking with professionals such as lawyers, bankers and accountants.
2. Buy a franchise. An attractive option because the business model is already successful, as proven by other franchisees (be sure to talk to them). Plus, you’ll receive professional support and guidance from a franchisor that makes money when you do. Negatives may include a hefty upfront investment, ongoing royalty payments and operating restrictions.
• There are franchises for every interest and budget. Visit franchise shows in your area or contact the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) for assistance.
• If you like the idea of working within a proven business system, a franchise may be best for you.
3. Start your own. You’ll enjoy freedom to pursue your own business idea and build the business your way. You’ll be responsible for developing business systems, getting customers, managing employees and overseeing finances. While ‘starting from scratch’ is exciting, some people find it exhausting, expensive and confusing because the business is so new.
Any business option should be thoroughly researched. Speak to customers, suppliers and competitors to better understand the business opportunity.
When you are ready to proceed, increase your likelihood of success by taking the time to create a clear Business Plan. A good plan summarizes your market research, identifies your target customer, highlights the qualifications of your management team, presents your financial forecasts and describes how you will get your product or service to market. A business plan will guide your efforts and help you to obtain financing.
Which path into business will you choose? What excites you the most about owning a business in Canada? Please share your comments below.
By Roger Pierce