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Should you be a boss or work for one?

Climbing the corporate ladder and working for someone else isn't for everyone. If you have a growing side hustle or idea for that next big business success, here are some things to consider before becoming your own boss.

Do a test run. Confirm there's actually a market for your product or service. You might think your idea is brilliant but test it out first by polling friends and soliciting feedback from your target customers. Look into whether similar businesses exist and how well they have fared. With your research done, the next step is to register your business.

Ask for advice. Look for guidance and mentorship from business owners you know, or connect with a business development centre in your city. Online platforms are great places to find networking opportunities with other business owners or entrepreneurs, but also check out your local chamber of commerce and co-working hubs. A team of advisors and peers will help you feel more confident about taking the business ownership plunge.

Have a financial plan. Launching your own business can be expensive. Have an emergency fund to cover three to six months' worth of expenses “just-in-case” to help ensure a steady cash flow while you grow your business. Taking on a new loan may be tempting but difficult without an established credit history or if your credit score is low. If your business is incorporated and you are looking to raise capital from outside investors, carefully consider how much of your company's equity you're willing to give up.

Make a business plan. Being a boss means you'll need a good business plan that includes financial statements, a marketing plan, and short- and long-term goals for your business. This will help you decide whether starting a business is right for you, and if so, help guide how you run your business.

If business ownership is for you, take the first step and register your business.

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