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5 Keys to Running Your Small Business Successfully

Moving to a new country can mean new challenges but also new opportunities. Scotiabank wants to ensure that newcomers who are looking to become small business owners take advantage of all of the resources at their disposal. Here are five key pillars to support you in growing your small business while also helping you navigate Canada’s business regulations and requirements.

  1. Before You Start

    If you are a newcomer to Canada, it’s important to ensure you’re meeting all legal regulations as you begin the journey of starting your own business. Understanding your legal status and confirming your ability to legally own and operate a business is essential. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is the only department that can officially inform you of your status and you can easily contact them using the information found here.

    It’s also important to understand your fiscal obligations as a small business owner. This includes different types of taxations that your business may incur. The way you structure your business has a direct effect on the way income is reported. Here you can find an overview of key procedures required to register your business and ensure it’s running efficiently and functionally. We understand that being a business owner is a multi-dimensional job so the Government of Canada has created this checklist to provide guidance for a variety of business owners.

  2. Developing a Business Plan

    Understanding what is required for your business can help you succeed. Once you’ve completed this, the next step will be developing a plan for your business. A business plan is a document that outlines a business’s objectives and strategies for achieving them. When creating a business plan, consider who your business is meant to reach and how your product or service will meet the needs of that audience. It is also important to identify the key decision makers in your company and determine how much time they’re going to be directly involved with the business. It is also a good idea to establish the main goals of the business. Ask yourself, “Where would I like to see the business in 5-10 years, and how will I get there?”

  3. Making Connections in Canada

    While it can be tempting to dive headfirst into business development, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the competitive landscape you’re planning to enter. Becoming well-versed with your industry can help you as you work out the details of your business plan and it can potentially protect you against any surprises you may encounter once launching your business. Developing connections with other business owners and experts in your field is a great way to gain insight into what you should expect in your industry. This also creates a support system that you can turn to for any questions or concerns that you run into. ACCES Employment offers a great program with information sessions that can assist you throughout this process.

  4. Borrowing Money

    An essential component to successfully meeting your goals and keeping up to date with your business plan is obtaining financing. A common mistake when it comes to borrowing money is relying too heavily on other businesses, your family or your friends for advice. Your Scotiabank Small Business Advisor can support you in deciding which lenders and what types of loans are best suited for you and your business. Before making this decision, it’s important to review your statements and understand the different types of loans: what do your transactions look like? How often are you making transactions?

    Revolving vs. Un-Revolving Loans

    • A revolving loan is like credit card: you use it, you pay it back and you use it again.
    • An un-revolving loan is like a mortgage: there is a fixed loan amount and you will need to make fixed payments to pay it back.

    In order to increase your borrowing potential, it is also important to build up your credit score. See our previous article for everything you need to know about credit and building a credit history. When borrowing money, it’s essential to maintain a healthy cash flow. Cash flow is the incoming and outgoing cash that is put towards the operation of your business. This is extremely important for a couple of reasons. First, you want to ensure you have enough cash available to buy the supplies needed to sustain your business and help your business grow. Second, managing your cash flow is necessary to ensure that you have enough money to pay your taxes at the end of the year.

  5. Working with a Small Business Advisor

    A Scotiabank Small Business Advisor will help you with all of your banking needs. Whether it’s day-to-day tasks or borrowing and investments, a Scotiabank Advisor will take the time to get to know you, determine your business challenges and recommend specialized products and services tailored to your business needs. Your Advisor will provide relevant advice on regulations for your field and offer straightforward solutions and strategies to help your business succeed. Scotiabank Advisors understand how valuable your time is as a Small Business owner, so they also provide the option to come to you for a consultation.

Owning – and growing – your small business can feel overwhelming at times, but Scotiabank is there every step of the day to help you succeed and reach your goals. Feel free to check out Scotiabank’s Small Business Centre to access more information.

Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only. It is not to be relied upon as investment advice or guarantees about the future, nor should it be considered a recommendation to buy or sell. Information contained in this article, including information relating to interest rates, market conditions, tax rules, and other investment factors are subject to change without notice and The Bank of Nova Scotia is not responsible to update this information. All third party sources are believed to be accurate and reliable as of the date of publication and The Bank of Nova Scotia does not guarantee its accuracy or reliability. Readers should consult their own professional advisor for specific investment and/or tax advice tailored to their needs to ensure that individual circumstances are considered properly and action is taken based on the latest available information.