Thursday, November 8, 2012

Be your own boss!

Job searching can be kind of a bummer…and even when you get a job, it might not feel like the one. You know what I’m talking about. The perfect, idyllic, dream job that you’ve been waiting for your whole life. Sometimes I wonder to myself…why don’t I just start my own bakery? I mean, how hard could it be?

While it’s not the easiest path in the world, entrepreneurship is a growing field. Nearly 2.5 million Canadians are self-employed! I bet it feels awesome to see your business grow and prosper, and know that it was the result of your hard work.

If you have ever considered starting your own company, or you’re thinking about starting one now, there are a few steps you might want to consider:

Step 1: Entrepreneurial Self-Assessment
Realistically assess your potential as an entrepreneur. Figure out the qualities and skills you need to have to run a successful business, and whether you have those skills. Make sure you understand what kind of an impact this might have on yourself, your family, and your finances.

Step 2: Explore New Business Ideas
Here’s where my cynical side comes out: don’t take your first idea as the perfect idea. Not every idea translates into a realistic business. Consider the following questions:
- Does the idea solve a consumer want or need?
- Is there a demand for the good or service?
- Will this be profitable?

Step 3: Feasibility Study
Evaluate whether it’s possible to turn your idea into an actual product.

Step 4: Develop a Business Plan
You need to figure out an action plan for your business. This will answer the questions: where do you want to go, and what are you going to do to get there?

Step 5: Secure Financing/Funding
You’re going to need some source of funding to get your business going. Popular sources include:
- The Summer Company program from the government of Ontario may qualify you for a loan of up to $3,000. Check out for more information.
- The My Company program, also from the government of Ontario, may qualify you for a loan of up to $15,000 for a full-time business. Check out for more information.
- The Business Development Bank of Canada is Canada’s small business bank, and they offer financial and consulting services, amongst others.

Step 6: Education and Development
There’s no such thing as too much education, especially if you want to start your own company! A popular way to gain some more insight into the business world includes joining clubs. Student in Free Enterprise (SIFE), Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE) and the University of Toronto Entrepreneur Club (UTEC) are all clubs at UofT that you can check out.

No matter what you choose to do, I'm sure you'll meet success! 

- Farihah


Anonymous said...

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headhunter said...

Great tips! I've learned a lot here. Of course many of us want to experience how to be a boss. Glad that you shared this post. It really helps.