21 Feb Reality Check – The Other Resources Ontario Entrepreneurs Should Know About
The purpose of this post is to create additional clarity on what I will be working on. Chances are, if you are an up & coming, or current business owner that has little to no knowledge on digital marketing topics such as making a website, getting your website to rank better in Google, and building a community/attracting leads online, then you’re going to get value out of following along.
With that said, it’s important to remember that even though I am starting a REAL business in an industry I know nothing about, the process I am documenting is about marketing. Although I will provide some general “starting a business” information, this is not a comprehensive “starting a business’ guide. It is not meant to replace the process of creating a proper business plan.
Here are some subjects that may be important for your business, which will receive little to no coverage:
- Creating a business plan / business viability
- Licensing/legal requirements in your industry
- Tax registration & requirements
- Insurance obligations
- Workplace / employee safety
- Creating contracts & terms of service
- Merchant services / how to get paid
- More items that are slipping my mind, right now
As you can see, there’s a lot involved in starting a business. Here are some resources that might help you fill in some of the above gaps, if you’re interested:
- Small Business Centre – Your city may have a resource called a Small Business Centre, or a Small Business Enterprise Centre. In London Ontario, our Small Business Centre is a great place to start for those who are looking to start a business, and need to learn more about what’s involved. They will typically consult with you for no fee, and will suggest a variety of resources, some of which are free & some may require a small financial investment. Here is a list of all Small Business Enterprise Centres in Ontario. In the future, I’ll discover the name for this in other provinces & will provide a link to all of them
- Business Incubators – Your city may have a number of business incubators, which could be a good resource for you. If you are a London, Ontario student at Western University, or Fanshawe College… you’ll have access to these great resources at your school: Propel @ Western University & Leap Junction @ Fanshawe College
If you believe you’ve already got a lot of the business planning & research part of things covered, you may also be interested in learning about opportunities to receive financial assistance, while starting your business.
Here are some resources that may be able to provide financial assistance, for your startup:
- Ontario Works Self Employment Benefit Program
- Starter Company Grant Program
- Futurepreneur Canada
- Summer Company
You can read more about the above programs by visiting this article I previously wrote for GoDaddy, or you can also contact your local Small Business Enterprise Centre (mentioned earlier) for more information.
With business planning & finances sorted out, I know you’ll get a lot of value out of this series. I’ll be starting at a point I know many small business owners get stuck. They have the idea. The have a product or service they want to sell. They’ve done the research & due diligence to ensure they’re making an informed decision to move forward. Then, they’ve gotta figure out the marketing stuff.
What you will learn can be explored in this article, and as we start to dive into the nitty gritty of things, here is what you can expect to learn more about, in the near future:
Module 1: Register a business & get all the basics (contacts, logo, etc.) established
- Registering a business in Ontario
- Registering & Choosing a domain name
- Getting a logo
- Getting a business phone number & professional email address
- Getting business cards
- Introduction to marketing your business
What are your most pressing questions you’d like to see answered in the upcoming weeks? Are there any subjects you feel stuck on?