6 Tips for Your First Year in Business

1. Develop a great business plan: A business needs a plan to succeed. You need to work out the crucial elements to your business: finances, marketing, management, and strategy. Getting everything organized before you get your business going can increase your  odds for success.

2. Market your business: Successful business owners use marketing professionals who understand the industry and know which channels will effectively reach their  target audience. You must also  use advertising through online marketing, social media and other digital resources.

3. Know your customers: Your first customers are key to the success of your business. They help legitimize your idea and show a market for your products and services. Getting paid is equally important. Use tools that help you know who your best customers are.  Who pays you on time, and who takes longer will help you grow.

4. Monitor your competition: Every business has competition. Keep a close eye on your competitors to help manage changes in your marketing strategy and pricing structure. Watching what your competitors are doing can help you to be successful. With a full understanding of the other players in a market,  you can stay a step ahead.

5. Supplier relationships: Your vendor relationships are key. Know who gives you the best payment terms, and those with the best service and support. These relationships will help carry you through your first year, and help to inform your spending, on everything from inventory, and equipment, to professional services.

6. Seek professional help: Develop a relationship with a financial professional for advice and strategic insight. Working closely with trusted business advisors throughout the year enables them to better understand your business needs as a whole and get you the best results.

For help with government funding for your business and to achieve your goals please contact the National Business Finance Centre at: