Start your Own Businessadmin2019-04-03T23:57:04+00:00
SUCCESS STRATEGIES FOR STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS
Start your Own Business Quiz
Check your answers below.
1. Easy Question:
Owning a business in Canada is the same as owning a business in another country.
a) True b) False
2. Easy Question:
The main difference between Canada and other countries is
a) land size b) language c) population size
3. More Difficult:
The key to a successful business is
a) good quality product b) marketing c) lower price
4. More Difficult:
Being generous is an important success strategy in Canada.
a) True b) False
How many Canadians see eating out (at a restaurant) as a luxury?
a) 13 % b) 33% c)63%
For your business to be successful, finding your niche/your best customer and actively engaging them online and in person
a) is a new trend b) is a good idea c) is a necessity
Check your answers below.
SUCCESS STRATEGIES FOR STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS
Some immigrants decide to start their own business because they used to have their own business in their first country. Others decide to do it because it’s not easy to find a job in Canada. However, owning a business in this country can be very different compared to their country of origin. For this reason, a lot of those new businesses fail. Many immigrants invest all their savings in opening a business and often lose it all. However, this doesn’t have to happen to you – if you take time to do your research and create your marketing strategy.
The biggest difference is that Canada is a big country with a really small population. It means that if you just open a store or a restaurant, people are not going to flood in. In fact, your restaurant can stay empty for weeks and nobody will walk in. Statistically, restaurant business is one of the hardest businesses to succeed in. There is simply not enough people here, unless your business is a franchise (for example a Tim Hortons) and people know exactly what to expect inside. In Canada, the key to success is marketing and building relationships with every customer to ensure they come the first time and then back again.
Your First Step: Find people who can mentor you
Your knowledge from your first country will not be enough. To learn what unique challenges businesses face in Canada, you will need to connect to other business owners here. Besides the questions about challenges, the most important question you will need to ask is about marketing and promoting your business. When reaching out to other entrepreneurs, explain to them that you are new to Canada and you are doing your research.
You’re probably thinking: “Why would they help me if I’m their future competition?” You are right. Do not approach those business owners who will be your direct competition – talk to the ones who have a similar business or those who operate in a different location. For example, if you are planning to open a small business in Vancouver, find a mentor from Toronto. Nowadays, it is easy to connect to people online – you can use LinkedIn or other social media. People in general are happy to give you some advice. Why make your own mistakes when you can learn from other people’s mistakes? This is your shortcut to success!
Your other option would be to find organizations that help people who want to start their own businesses and rely on their expertise. If you are completely new to the process, they could help you with all the legal side of registering a business too. Among the legal steps you will need to take are choosing the legal structure of your business (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or co-operative), getting a business number and registering your business name and/or trade name. If you can afford it, incorporate your business not to be personally liable for debts. It is also easier to get grants and loans if you are incorporated. If your business is part of a regulated industry (financial services, agriculture, childcare, construction, food, etc.) you will need to learn about required permits, licences, standards, codes, etc. If you want to apply for financial assistance, you will also need to write a business plan. As you can see, there is a lot to accomplish, so don’t do it alone!
Your Second Step: Smart Strategic Marketing
No clients means no business. It’s that simple. So how do you find and attract clients? Create a marketing plan that will work for your type of business. Not sure what marketing strategies to use? It’s easy: google search “marketing strategies for a restaurant/clothing store/online business”. However, the real secret to success is determining who your potential clients/customers are and targeting them. Ask yourself if you should market to students, single women, families with kids, wealthy people, lawyers, gamers and target that specific audience.
Here are some culture-based tips that should help you focus your attention on the right areas:
1. Provide a stellar customer service.
Learn what a professional customer service means in Canada because it is not the same as in your first country! For example, greet a customer with a warm smile, offer them help but do not push. Do your research on how to communicate with customers/client in this country. Your goal is to turn your first time customer into a repeat customer.
2. Get a website and get on Facebook.
No matter how small your business is, you need a website. It is also a good idea to have a Facebook page and presence on one or two other social media channels where your potential clients spend time (Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, etc.) On your website, it’s a good idea to have a blog so that the content is constantly updated. Also, depending on the nature of your business, learn about SEO (search engine optimization) and use it to your advantage.
3. Be generous.
Promotions, discounts, coupons, giveaways and generous portions (if you own a restaurant) are good ways to get people telling their friends about this new amazing business – yours! Nothing is more powerful than the word of mouth.
Develop a customer referral program where you would give your existing customers a free product for referring new customers.
Create a YouTube tutorial to share some knowledge. Offer a free consultation, a free trial or a free class/webinar. Give something to your potential clients to turn them into actual clients.
4. Listen to your customers and clients.
Invite them to write reviews about your business and products on your website and social media.
In Canada, customer is king. Do your absolute best to keep your customer happy. One unhappy customer will tell ten people (or more in this technological age) about their negative experience and you will lose many potential customers.
5. Learn about other marketing strategies suitable for your business.
There are dozens of marketing strategies that could be used for small businesses. Which ones would work for you? Research these ideas and decide which ones would work for you depending on what type of business you intend to run.
– Email Marketing
– Direct Mail Marketing
– Partnering with Other/ Local Businesses
– Advertising on Facebook
– Offer coupons on Groupon site
– Get a Google My Business account
– Be visible at local social events
– Sell your product on eBay or Amazon
– Post Craiglist and Kijiji ads
– Guest post on industry blogs
Here are some more ideas:
Host your video content on YouTube
Respond to online reviews
Connect with Influencers consumers trust
Create Lead Magnets
Get a Sandwich board
Try Pay Per Click advertisement
Donate to a Local Charity (and get noticed by potential customers)
Create a Brochure
Get your business cards printed
Create an Infographic
Collect clients’ business cards to do a Prize Draw (and get their email addresses)
Vehicle Branding – get a sticker for your car
This is not an exhaustive list of all possible strategies but this should give you a good idea of the existing possibilities.
Restaurant Business: Facts to consider
63% of Canadians see eating out as a luxury, only 16% saw it as an everyday activity.
A restaurant daily visit is an occurrence for 1 in 15 Canadians.
23% of Canadians eat out once a week. 17.3 % will eat out once every 1.5 to 2 weeks.
Franchises and Food Chains
The largest market share in Canada belongs to franchises and food chains. Canadians prefer to eat at Tim Hortons, Subway, McDonalds, Starbucks, A&W, Pizza Pizza, etc. The top 10 Canadian chains control a third of the market — much more than the US chains, which only claim 15%.
These companies are quickly embracing technology and are offering digital ordering via mobile apps knowing that Canadians favour convenience. Coffee, fast-casual, quick-service restaurants, and delivery-only chains are doing a better job adapting to changing consumer preferences. On a typical day, Canadians make about 17 million restaurant visits: they stop for a coffee on their way to work, they go out for dinner to celebrate an anniversary, and they order in to feed a crowd (e.g. order pizza in for a birthday or a New Year’s party).