Always Keep Your Money, Love Life and Next Move a Secret
On March 8th every year, women globally, raise a toast to each other and drop some serious estro-hoorah! Posts about classic recognition, flood social media feeds —highlighting how each of us fit into our respective worlds. A great day that has a bonus-birthday kind of feel, if you’re in the she-club. Secret Tip Time.
Currently, there are over a million small and medium sized businesses in Canada and fewer than 16% are women-owned, according to the Government of Canada. In Alberta we’re going on year 4, out of living in the flush bubble that $100 oil provides.
This leaves many wondering if NOW’s the time to deep dive into their great business idea that warmed their “someday” dreams for so long. That someday feels more and more like today and the last stop at the train station, in terms of supplemental income streams. If you’re ready to make that jump, here’s a few of my favourite and unconventional pieces of startup advice.
1 – Pipe Down and Ignore the Nay-Sayers
Seen time and again, gals who get excited about their new business idea and soon dish about it at their next wine-mom-club-sesh, only to be met with well-intended, yet unsolicited advice. Ugh! You’ve just taken a couple baby-steps in the entrepreneur arena and now you’re wondering if you should scrap 3 months of secret plan hatching. Talk about deflating and totally avoidable. Keeping your next moves to yourself, allows you to focus on your brilliant ideas. Family and friends are great, but not everyone will understand your unique vision or how your approach is going to shake up their lives. Of course it will be sensational come time of debut, so work on that kind of reveal with your friends and family. Showing is better than telling, always! Doubly important is selectively approaching the right audience if you’re crowd-funding or needing startup capital. Excise caution, research the right people to approach, consider they sign your non-disclosure agreement if needed.
2 – What Kind of Business Structure Do You Need?
While you draft a tight business plan, ask yourself what kind of income do you reasonably expect to reap in your first year of operation? How will you handle tax responsibilities? Should you incorporate when maybe a sole proprietorship would suffice? Do you have a partner? If you’re looking for a straightforward incorporation—dinner for 1, consider avoiding the classic slap a number on it shelf corp preparations that your lawyer offers. Instead, try the ultra affordable Ownr App* approved by Revenue Canada to incorporate your business and get a fast Business + GST number, on the cheap. It is still highly advisable to head to your lawyer when dealing with partnership based corporations (they’re trickier) so they can expertly assist all operating partners in the event that your corporation needs to: Buy out your partner, guarantee debt , or deal with the 3001 plausible things that could happen to your business. Take advantage of free and readily available tips geared towards Canadians at BDC** online. Their Entrepreneur Toolbox is chock-full of cool calculators and templates to use.
3 – Plan For a First Quarter Win
Your company is born now, the ink is dry. You’re actively employing your marketing plan to sell your products and services. This is a fun, and busy time! If you’re off to a lacklustre start, consider targeting a community project that you could break-even on that allows you to get your first big win under your belt. Look for projects that highlight your brand and show your chops and that you’re here to play. Works every time *wink.
Lastly, Lady, know that you’ll be welcomed into the #bossbabe club with open arms and that us gals stick together in business. Solopreneurs need not fear, we got ya, let’s grow together!
*Ownr.co | Launch Your Business Today
**BDC.ca | Financing, Advising, Smarts