Becoming an entrepreneur nowadays is seemingly more cool then being a rock star or a doctor, as many people want to live a lavish lifestyle and be perceived as successful. Now being actually successful and looking successful are 2 entirely different things altogether. And with that said we are going to help you navigate the thought process and details associated with becoming a business owner and starting a company in North Vancouver.
The first thing to keep in mind is that just because you have an idea and it makes you happy, does not mean it is going to be financially viable or turn into a profitable business. Everyone has ideas, but what it takes is execution. And when you execute at a high level you have to accept hearing the word ‘no’ and dealing with failures along the way. Developing thick skin and learning to table your emotions are critical. As everyone you interact with will not think the same way that you do. There is a difference as well with being self employed versus being a business owner with staff.
The second thing to keep in mind is clear communication and organization are the forefront of launching a successful business. Take notes and keep yourself organized and when you communicate with others try to do so in writing so you can archive your communications and reference them in the future. You never know when you need to verify what you said between 2 parties as a function of business clarity, especially with regard to legal areas.
The third thing to keep in mind is you need to do market research and write a business plan. Using facts and data and working backwards from your goals to create a tangible calendar of business functions to work through. If you cut corners here you will be essentially throwing darts in the dark trying to hit a moving target that you have not defined.
Small Business BC – this is where you will register your business entity, either a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or other framework. If you want to be self employed a sole proprietorship would work. If you think you will have staff or other stakeholders, consider a corporation. It is useful to speak with a lawyer at this stage before spending money establishing your entity. Many lawyers will have reduced rates for a 1 hour consult so come prepared with your questions in advance of the meeting.
North Vancouver Chamber – has a great amount of resources and literature about how to proceed with starting your business and we also suggest that you setup a meeting with them to introduce yourself and your idea so you can get information that will be useful and specific to North Vancouver. Becoming a member of the Chamber is also advisable for the many perks.
City of North Vancouver – on top of using Small Business BC above you will also need a City of North Vancouver business license to legally operate your company locally. They have great resources and contacts that you can leverage, so also contact them and setup a meeting to go over your idea. Taking the time to do this properly and develop a relationship with City Hall is a great way to build trust and grow your wisdom about the community.
Accounting and Taxes – once you get going you will be taking payments from customers, and having a bank account, paying taxes, perhaps even have staff and insurance costs and much more. It pays to have a sound accountant on your side and we suggest the great people at Cahill CPA for your financial needs. They work locally so on top of the financial guidance, you can work with them to get referrals and other great contacts in the community.
Website Hosting and Domains – when it comes to business in 2019 you will need website hosting and to register a domain. We suggest using a .ca domain for your main business website, and also buying the .com version while 301 redirecting that to the main domain. And when you pick your website domain ensure you have the same brand available on social media so your @username matches your website domain for brand clarity in the marketplace. WordPress content management system is ideal for your website development.
Marketing and Advertising – you will want to have a mix of everything available to you, and keep in mind that even customer service is technically marketing. The landscape has changed greatly but that does not mean you should discount the value of print marketing or radio. Even though social media seems easy and free, it has the lowest conversion rate of most marketing as it is saturated with content from big brands that can dilute your potential. Working with North Shore News is a great idea on top of the reach that our Lonsdale Avenue magazine offers local businesses in the corridor. The holy grail of marketing is email marketing so ask for your customers email addresses.
Lastly, if you are considering opening a business or even currently operating one locally here in North Vancouver and you have technical or business related questions or problems to solve. You can contact us and we will help you find the answers you need to succeed. We are truly here to help you and building trust is important to us, so give us a shot at guiding you in the right direction. Dozens of local businesses have already received tons of value from working with us.