It’s 2021 and home businesses are on the rise, the pandemic plays a big role in the wave of people who are discovering that they can have their career cake and eat it too (sort of…). Home businesses were commonly owned by stay-at-home parents or retirees; so much has changed since those days. If you are considering opening your own business that will be headquartered at home in Canada, then here are 8 great tips to do that.
1. Find Your Niche
One of the biggest pros in opening a home business in Canada is finding your niche isn’t too difficult. Canada is a multicultural economic hub, filled with people from all corners of the globe. By now you’ve probably found something that you are particularly good at making or doing, something that is unique to your particular skillset. Finding a market for what you are naturally good at is easy in Canada, everyone is online.
2. Choose Your Space
If you’re lucky enough to live in a house big enough to run your home business from the garage, then I highly recommend doing that. You can easily convert your garage into a home office, pick a paint colour you love and insulate it from the cold of the outside winters. Having your office in a spare room or study space is perfectly fine too; I just find it easier to separate my work life from my home life.
3. Draw Up A Business Plan
Just because you have a great home-based business idea doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t have a proper business plan drawn up. Having a good idea isn’t going to magically bring itself to life, especially if it only ever lives in the darkest corners of your mind. Having a professional business plan will allow you to establish a business focus. The main reason for having a business plan is to establish what your plans are for the future. Having an actual business plan documented will also help you to secure funding for your brilliant idea, should you require any. Your plan needs to include your five-minute elevator pitch (executive summary) for potential investors (or your bank), as well as market research and strategies – amongst other things.
4. Check If You Need A Permit In Your Area
So many people who are considering Moving to Canada from the US forget about checking to see if they require any permits to start a home business there. The laws and permits vary depending on your particular location so it is best to check with your Canadian town or city council. Many businesses require a state-issued license; home based businesses can be the same, depending on the nature of your chosen business.
5. Find Employees
Starting a home business may seem easy at first, but it can be equally as much work as working from an office is (or even more work, to tell you the truth). Trying to balance your home life and your work life can be incredibly tricky, especially when you’re trying to launch a brand new business at the same time. Be prepared to need an extra set of hands very early on for help with admin, packaging, design etc. You need to have everything set up in advance to ensure you’re legally covered to hire employees in Canada.
6. Get Additional Business Insurance
Your business may require additional insurance beyond the legal requirements of employment insurance. It is important to mention that you will likely need your own home office insurance, especially if you intend on keeping any business stock at home. Your standard household insurance policies will probably not cover you, you should check with your existing insurance company and they will advise you if you need to take out additional insurance for your home business.
7. Keep Records
As with any other business, record keeping is vitally important. Keep good records from the moment you open your business, this will help you with your accounting and taxes later on once you start making money. Canadian tax laws could work differently from what you’re used to so it is best to consult with a Canadian tax specialist before you open to make sure you have all your ducks in a neat little row.
8. Prepare Your Family
Your family is probably used to having all of your attention all of the time, which will need to change. It is so important that you set healthy boundaries with your family and make sure that they respect them. This is why I prefer a space outside of the main house so I can work in peace and without interruptions. Get in extra help if you need to, or reach a compromise with your spouse – whatever you need to do. Don’t feel guilty about it, it isn’t that you love your family any less; it just means that you’re investing your time in your home business – you’ll need to do this if you want it to thrive.
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- How to Create a Home Office that Works
- Work-Life Balance for the Home Business Entrepreneur