These days one of the questions I get asked more and more is about starting or buying a new small business. My DM is full of them. Also, when I'm at events, that's what people call me out to ask. I also get a lot of calls just on this. So, because I find myself repeating the same conversation over and over again, which is really unproductive, I thought maybe I could do some recording on it and that would be more helpful. That way I can direct anyone wanting such information to this episode.
These tips are from a general point of view based on my own experiences. So, do your own research and seek professional advice as may be applicable to your context. If you want more specific guidance based on my own personal experiences, I encourage you to book a discovery call with me at olawilliams.ca
I’d like to begin by saying I'm not a business lawyer, neither am I a business consultant. My recommendations are based on my personal experiences. So, please seek proper counsel as may be applicable to you.
Now whether you're looking to start a business from scratch, or you're considering buying an existing business, there are some common grounds which I believe knowing them beforehand could be very useful.
The first thing you want to do is to consider buying an existing business. This is because you gain traction more quickly. You trade on existing goodwill, processes, structure, relationships, and so on. The list is endless. There's a website called businessesforsale.com. Check them out to see if there is a business you can acquire in the industry in which you're considering doing business. You never know. Someone may be retiring and would like to sell. There are different reasons why someone may want to sell a business and if there is already an existing business you can leverage on, why would you want to do unnecessary hard work? But, I do appreciate as well that there may be a reason for you to start from the ground up. Therefore, depending on your circumstances, I will usually say consider that option.
Then the next tip I’d like to give is that, once you have identified the business you want to do, you want to get a business lawyer. Now, ISANS in Nova Scotia have partnerships with business lawyers and I believe they are relatively affordable when you look at it from the point of view of the risk you may be averting otherwise.
The next thing and almost simultaneously as the business lawyer is that you want to get a business accountant. Usually, your business lawyer can advise you on when it’s the right time to speak with an accountant. Now, I know these professionals are not free. They could be quite pricey, but from my experience, they are worth every dollar.
Now, the next tip is that when you're set-up, some alliances can be very beneficial such as being a member of CFIB - Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses. CFIB has negotiated with some institutions and financial institutions such that as a member you get significant discounts. Now, that significantly reduces the cost of doing business, don't you think?
The next tip I would like to say is on collaborations and networking. Personally, I don't see any drawbacks to networking. And the good news? Most of the time, it’s only your time that you're going to invest. And more good news is that investment is going to yield handsomely for you. So, why not invest in it? Some people have asked me “Ola, I don't know how to go about this networking thing. Where do I start from?” And I usually say “Start from Google. Start from search engines.” For example, using Google, just type “business networking events around me” in the search panel. You’d be surprised what information you're going to get. There is a networking group here in Nova Scotia that could be beneficial, and they are called “Centre for Women in Business (CWB)” Based in Halifax, membership is based on women business owners. CWB basically advocates for women entrepreneurs.
Another great group is BNI. And the lady in charge of this region currently is an amazing individual you’d want to connect with.
You know, I usually tell people that being an entrepreneur can be lonely. So, these networks provide needed fellowship and support systems. What Michelle Obama calls “your kitchen table”. They enable you to tap into local business communities and build momentum. You really need to build the momentum.
Another great tool, I would say, is reading local newspapers. I believe for the price you pay, you get valuable information. And remember, knowledge is power. You want to gain more knowledge.
Overall, consider if there’s an existing business you can acquire in the sector you want to do business in. Work with a business lawyer or business accountant and surround yourself with networks of business relationships. These are starting strategies that sound simple but can make the difference between success and failure.
Until next episode, cheerio!
This blog is about personal development based on the principles of fairness, compassion, and commitment. This includes the practice of 'speaking' positive affirmations, which can be a powerful tool to support self-development. Hopefully, you’re impacted positively in some ways. As we all know, personal circumstances are quite different. So, I encourage you to apply the lessons in line with your own context. Do continue to “Hola” to connect with people and remember “Let's continue to learn together and be encouraged to keep on connecting”.