The technological world moves fast – one day, we’re impressed by a new version of an iPhone, and the next day Elon Musk is developing brain implantation devices as small as a coin to treat paraplegia.
So when that idea, that unique product or service that could impact society like never before, pops into your head, you have to move quickly before the tech world moves on to the next “big thing”.
It’s easy to move that fast when you’ve been around the business block before. But what if you haven’t? Where do you even begin?
Renno & Co. is here to work with you and your new business, from the ground up.
Every successful business venture begins with a plan of action. Simply put, a business plan is a written description of your company – who you are, what you plan to do and how you plan to do so. It will outline your business strategy for the beginning years of operation.
In order for your business to succeed, you need to be working towards a goal —but you can’t do that without first outlining the necessary steps to reach that goal. Not to mention, the ability to secure finances (from banks, investors or even from friends) correlates with how strong and descriptive your business plan is. People want to know what exactly they are investing in, and the potential success rate of the company.
How you structure your business can crucially impact your success. Preparing a business plan will help you see what objectives you are trying to achieve, and thus help you decide what kind of ownership is required to do so.
For instance in Ontario, there are 3 main types of ownership structures for new businesses:
1. Sole Proprietorships – you and your business are one! (legally speaking), which means profits come to you (but so do expenses and debts)
2. Partnerships – 2 or more people own the business, which means profits (and debts) are now shared amongst partners, as well as financial resources (it’s not all on you anymore!)
3. Corporations – the company is managed by directors and officers, and shareholders have a bundle of rights associated with the company, depending on how much they invest in it.
There are, of course, advantages and disadvantages to each structure of ownership. This is why it is important to know what you want to gain from this new business venture, and how much risk you are willing to take on to earn that.
Securing finances for your new business venture can be a daunting task, but luckily for you there are more funding options (link to David’ article “Funding Your Start-up") today than ever before.
Business ideas and plans differ, so the funding option you choose will too. Always keep in mind your own business plan and what you are trying to achieve. Here are just a few funding options to start thinking about:
So, you have a business idea, you created a plan, and you secured finances; now what? It’s time to start bringing the business to life by giving it a name. Try to make it something unique and easy to remember – you'll notice these days, more companies opt for one-word names to help stick in consumer brains.
Also, it may be useful to make the name related to the industry you are entering.
Let’s say I want to start an investment company. My name idea is “BREAD”.
By law, your business name cannot be the same as, or very similar, to an existing corporate or trademark name. This would cause confusion, and has been dealt with in court many times.
To save yourself the legal problems, all you have to do is search! The Government of Canada created a combined search tool for business names and trademarks called NUANS. Simply input the information about the business you are creating, and then you’ll be free to propose your name and search for results.
In Ontario, you can also use the Enhanced Business Name Search tool online to search for existing business names (this is only available Monday-Friday, whereas the Integrated Business Services Application is available at any time).
You don’t necessarily have to register your business name, but in some circumstances, you do:
Your business idea may have come to you for free, but the registration process is not.
To register a new business name (or even to renew your name), it costs $80 according to the Ontario government, and within 20 days of this payment you will receive you Master Business License.
This is applicable for sole proprietorships and general partnerships.
Incorporating a business is a very different undertaking (but luckily for you, Renno and Co. know where to begin). To help you begin understanding, here are some basic components of the incorporation process to keep in mind:
To incorporate your company in Ontario, you must file Articles of Incorporation, Form 1 and other documents with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. To do so electronically requires a $300 payment fee, but it is more cost-effective (and efficient) to do it online versus in person. As well, first directors (people who are appointed directors at the beginning of incorporation – you may have more as you continue to grow) must complete a Consent to Act as First Director, Form 2.
Incorporation is not something to do without proper research first. This part of our guide only scratches the surface in terms of incorporating a business. Contact one of our professionals at Renno & Co. to dive deeper into this process, or check out information here.
You’ve now built a company from scratch and so, the sky is the limit
Well actually, there’s just one cloud left floating in your way of endless business opportunities: the marketing cloud.
As a Startup it can be a bit too pricy to hire a marketing team, so some people decide to do it themselves and learn the craft, or hire an agency to help them. If you wanted to take on the task of marketing yourself, here are some steps to follow:
FOR EXAMPLE: Part of your marketing plan could be creating a website and social media platforms, all of which share the same information, logos, and slogans. As long as you convey the same message across the board, your customers or clients will understand the company’s objectives. If you want to buy your own domain name, maybe even consider applying for domain shortcuts to help link people to your website faster -- like Google’s .new! <-- Link sharing article hyperlinked
Usually, a marketing plan should be prepared annually, assessing the goals and objectives for the next year, and also needs to be integrated in your company’s long-term strategic plan.
Be clear, be consistent across all the platforms and constantly be online. The stronger your active presence, the more likely you will drive attention to your website and thus your company.
Starting your business can seem like a lengthy and complicated process. But it doesn’t have to be. Here at Renno & Co., our business is to help your business, so let’s build one together.