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RedStrip
Entrepreneurship
is now Canada's hottest career choice.
Take the 5 minute Running Start for business tool!

Starting a small business requires careful planning and lots of commitment and energy. By offering this Running Start for business tool, we hope to make it easier for you to take the next steps to realize your dream to become self-employed and achieve business success.
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Question 1
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So you池e thinking about starting your own business.
How far has your idea progressed?
CheckBox  I知 just starting to think about starting a business.
CheckBox  I have an idea but I知 really not sure if it will work.
CheckBox  My business plan is complete and I知 ready to get going.
CheckBox  I am in business now.
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Question 1:Feedback
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You answered:
I知 just starting to think about starting a business.
You致e come to the right place. By continuing with this Running Start for business tool, you値l receive a step by step approach, best practices and resources to help you plan your business.

First things first - gather some information that will help you decide if Small Business ownership is right for you.

Things to think about:
  What are the practical realities of running my own business?
  What skills and abilities should I focus on to be successful?
  Does my business idea really excite me?
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Question 1:Feedback
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You answered:
I have an idea but I知 really not sure if it will work.
You池e on the right track. Thinking through the potential of an idea is an important part of starting a business. By continuing with this Running Start for business tool, you値l have a step by step approach that will help you plan your business and make decisions about how you can succeed.

It痴 important to research your idea. Gathering good information can help you decide if your business idea will work.

Things to think about:
  What are the practical realities of running my own business?
  What skills and abilities should I focus on to be successful?
  Does my business idea really excite me?
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Question 1:Feedback
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You answered:
My business plan is complete and I知 ready to get going.
You池e ready to take the next steps to make your self-employment dreams come true! By continuing with this Running Start for business tool, you値l receive a step by step approach, best practices and resources to help you execute your plan.

Check to make sure your business plan addresses all of the issues identified in this checkup.
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Question 1:Feedback
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You answered:
I am in business now.
Moving from planning for a business to running a business is a big step.

Don稚 forget to go back and revisit and update or, if need be, adjust your business plan on a regular basis.
Consider the following:
  • Are you willing to take risks? Starting your own business means giving up many benefits and possibly going without a regular salary, especially in the early years.
  • Are you willing to work long hours? If you enjoy the 9-5 lifestyle and taking annual vacations, starting a business may not be right for you.
  • Have you determined start-up costs and where you might be turning to for financing?
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Also, take some time to read about or talk to other small business owners. Learn from their experiences and apply
their advice to your circumstances.
  • Take some time to read about or talk to other small business owners. Learn from their experiences and apply their advice to your circumstances.
  • Wondering how to connect with other small business owners? Consider attending events held for Small Business owners like Small Business Week. Also, many local charities and service clubs hold events during the year. These events can help you network with other business people, find mentors, get involved in your community, and even discover opportunities to build your business.
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Question 2
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Have you done the research you will need to make
good business decisions?
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I have done my research, including the local market, my competition, the demand for my product or service and the price at which the customer is willing to pay.
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I have done some preliminary research.
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I have not started to research yet.
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Question 2:Feedback
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You answered: I have done my research, including the local market, my competition, the demand for my product or service and the price at which the customer is willing to pay.
You have developed a thorough understanding of your target market and your competitors.

  • Surveys and/or interviews with potential customers to test the viability of your product or service.
  • Gathering data from public sources that will help you understand factors that will affect your success.
  • Competitive research will help you understand strengths and weaknesses of those who sell competing products or services.
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Question 2:Feedback
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You answered:
I have done some preliminary research.
Great, you are on the right track. Consider various types of research to make sure you have a complete picture.

  • Surveys and/or interviews with potential customers to test the viability of your product or service.
  • Gathering data from public sources that will help you understand factors that will affect your success.
  • Competitive research will help you understand strengths and weaknesses of those who sell competing products or services.
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Question 2:Feedback
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You answered:
I have not started to research yet.
The more information you collect about the market and your competition, the easier it will be to make good decisions about your business.

  • Surveys and/or interviews with potential customers to test the viability of your product or service.
  • Gathering data from public sources that will help you understand factors that will affect your success.
  • Competitive research will help you understand strengths and weaknesses of those who sell competing products or services.
Conducting customer surveys is an important part of starting and running your small business.

The types of questions you may ask will depend on the product or service. You should always include questions to determine:
  • Preference (flavours or features)
  • Consumer behavior (塗ow often would you use such a product?)
  • Pricing (塗ow much do you currently pay for this service?)
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Don稚 forget! Your research efforts should be ongoing.
Regularly collect your customers feedback. Also, keep researching industry leaders, competitors and similar businesses to see what others are doing in the market space.
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Question 3
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Are you ready to decide if you have a
business idea that will work?
CheckBox  Yes. I think this will work and I知 ready to start!
CheckBox  I知 not quite sure yet.
CheckBox  I don稚 think this idea has what I知 looking for.
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Question 3:Feedback
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You answered:
Yes. I think this will work and I知 ready to start!
Once you致e decided business ownership is right for you and you have determined your idea has potential to succeed, you池e ready to move into the true planning phase of your business start-up.
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Question 3:Feedback
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You answered:
I知 not quite sure yet.
When you池e not sure, it痴 best to park the idea and revisit it every now and then. Perhaps there will be a right time, but not just now.
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Question 3:Feedback
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You answered:
I don稚 think this idea has what I知 looking for.
Making a decision not to proceed is often wise. Doing careful research and being honest about your personal situation and expectations can raise realities that are impossible to overcome. When that happens, the best
choice is to wait for the right opportunity to come along.
To get started, you値l need to develop a sound business plan. Your plan will include, along with other things, the following:
  • The type of business you are starting.
  • The goals of your business (both short and long term)
  • How you intend to accomplish those goals.
  • An understanding of the marketplace, the competition and your
    potential customer.
  • How you intend to finance your business.
Keep your eyes open for new information or ideas that might help you make adjustments to your idea, and potentially make it more viable.

Make sure to stay current in the marketplace by continuing to research, read relevant articles and following industry leaders.
Balance enthusiasm and realism. Sometimes the best decision is to not pursue a good idea because it does not have the potential to create a successful business.
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Question 4
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Do you have a short and long-term
vision for your business?
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I have developed a vision statement describing what I would like my business to become.
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My vision for my business is still a 層ork in progress'.
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I have not considered developing a documented vision of my business yet.
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Question 4:Feedback
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You answered: I have developed a vision statement
describing what I would like my business to become.
You have defined what you want your business to become in the short term (2-3 years) and over the longer-term. (Up to 10 years).

Write down your vision statement. Live with it for a while, and make sure it captures your true vision of what you want your business to become.
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Question 4:Feedback
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You answered:
My vision for my business is still a 層ork in progress.
Establishing a vision statement is a critical step in business planning. Before you create a business plan that defines the steps you will take to achieve your goals and objectives in business, you must have a clear vision of what you expect your business to be in the future.

A good vision statement defines what you would like your company to become in 2, 5, and 10 years.
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Question 4:Feedback
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You answered:
I have not considered developing a documented vision of my business yet.
Before you begin your business plan, you need to define your vision and write it down. Your vision is what you want your business to become in the future short and long-term.

A good vision statement defines what you would like your company to become in 2, 5, and 10 years.
Ensure you business vision is also aligned with your personal vision
and goals.
  • Your vision statement should be succinct, vivid and inspiring.
  • Your business vision should align with your personal vision and goals.
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Question 5
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Have you developed a Business Plan?
CheckBox  Yes.
CheckBox  No.
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Question 5:Feedback
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You answered:
Yes.
You recognize that having a plan is essential to raise start up funds for your business and to guide your actions.
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Question 5:Feedback
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You answered:
No.
A business plan will set out your short and long term business objectives, guidelines, and milestones on paper. The most important purpose of your business plan is to help you be sure your business makes financial and operating sense. It is essential when sourcing business financing.

Use the Scotia Plan Writer for business and get started on your business
plan today!
Use the Scotia Plan Writer for business to review your plan and make sure you致e included all the necessary information.

Make sure your plan includes the following key sections:
  • Business description
  • The marketplace
  • Sales and marketing
  • Operations
  • Financials
Your plan should include, along with other things, the following:
  • Business description
  • The marketplace
  • Sales and marketing
  • Operations
  • Financials
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Question 6
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Do you have advisors to support you
with your business?
CheckBox  Yes.
CheckBox  No.
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Question 6:Feedback
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You answered:
Yes.
You recognize that your business will be more successful if you surround yourself with trusted advisors.

Have you considered the various advisors you値l need, such as:
  Lawyer
  Accountant
  Small Business Advisor
  Professional Business Coach
  Volunteer Business Mentor
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Question 6:Feedback
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You answered:
No.
Small business owners are called on to wear many hats when running a business. Advisors can help you be more successful by giving you access to their skills and abilities, in addition to your own.

Involve the right advisors early:
  Lawyer
  Accountant
  Small Business Advisor
  Professional Business Coach
  Volunteer Business Mentor
Make sure you致e considered the following when selecting
your advisors:
  • Qualifications
  • Specialization
  • Compatibility with you
  • Fees
  • References
Consider the following when selecting your advisors:
  • Qualifications
  • Specialization
  • Compatibility with you
  • Fees
  • References
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Question 7
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Have you arranged the financing you need
to start your business?
CheckBox  Yes.
CheckBox  No.
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Question 7:Feedback
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You answered:
I have arranged all my financing.
Having sufficient money to launch and run your business until you get going will ensure you get off on the right foot.

Make sure you know how you will finance each asset you will need to purchase as well as provide working capital to run the business on an
ongoing basis.
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Question 7:Feedback
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You answered:
I am working on financing but have not finalized it yet.
Investigate all of your financing options before deciding which one suits your needs. You may decide to use a combination of financial sources to raise the money to launch your business.

Source of financing to consider:
  Personal resources
  Term loans and credit lines
  Credit cards
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Question 7:Feedback
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You answered:
I have not thought about financing yet.
Investigate all of your financing options before deciding which one suits your needs. You may decide to use a combination of financial sources to raise the money to launch your business.

Source of financing to consider:
  Personal resources
  Term loans and credit lines
  Credit cards
Identify where any emergency funding will come from, for those unplanned circumstances which are often a reality for new businesses.

Make sure your business plan includes a cash flow forecast that tests a few different sales levels so you understand how much you will need to borrow based on higher than expected sales levels, as well as lower than expected sales levels.
To prepare for getting financing make sure that:
  • Your business plan is up to date and has clear measureable goals.
  • Your financial statements give an accurate picture of your business and personal finances.
  • It痴 also a good idea to have your accountant review your statements.
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Don稚 forget!
Your personal finances need to be in order too.
Congratulations!
You致e completed the Running Start
for business Tool.
The print report will contain a recap of this tool
and recommendations.
We invite you to visit your closest Scotiabank branch to learn more about our comprehensive resources. We致e developed them all to help you meet your business and personal financial goals. Make sure to also check out getgrowingforbusiness.com
to find helpful articles, tools and advice.

Find your closest advisor by visiting: http://sba.scotiabank.com/
Please select an answer before continuing.