When you’re setting up a new business in Canada, you want to do everything you can to ensure you get off to the best possible start. There are a number of things you can do to help achieve this and set your business up for future success. In this post, we will cover some recommendations for new business owners and dos and don’ts when it comes to good business planning. Keep reading to find out more.
Create A Business Plan
The first step in establishing your business is putting together a solid business plan. This will be useful both for yourself and for using when seeking any outside investment either in Canada or across the globe and business partnerships. Your plan should detail the outline of your business, the products or services you will offer, future goals and targets for your business, and any potential plans for expansion in the future.
You should also create a budget plan as well to cover finances. Both you and investors need to have a strong, well-planned business plan in place. It shows that you have thought about the initial setup of the business and the future going forward as well. Investors will be more likely to invest in you if you show that you have a good understanding of the market you’re going into, so make sure you include plenty of market analysis too. You can then draw on how you would adapt your business to meet market demands and any areas of the market where there is a gap you can utilize.
Create A Budget Plan
An important part of the business plan will be your budget plan. This needs to detail things such as your predicted revenue, predicted fixed payments, variable payments, and one-off payments. Although useful to show to investors, your budget plan is also an invaluable tool for yourself as well. You can use it to plan future business decisions and investments and organize how the money will be spent within the business. Your budget plan will look different depending on if you’re in a remote-based workplace or a whether you have physical premises. If you operate from premises, remember to include the costs involved, such as utility costs, rent or mortgage payments, insurance, etc.
How To Calculate Your Taxes
One of the more daunting aspects of setting up a business is filing your tax returns. As a business in Canada, you should understand the Canadian tax requirements. This doesn’t have to be as complicated as you think. Using online tools such as the 2021 Ontario tax calculator that Wealthsimple has put together can help you establish your tax return. Calculating taxes can be a time-consuming process, but using the tools at your disposal will help to make the process easier and simpler.
Always remember to file your tax return on time, as late returns can lead to fines, depending on how late they are. The deadline for tax returns in Canada usually falls at the end of April each year. Try to avoid making any mistakes and double-check all your returns to avoid filing an inaccurate tax return.
Assess Your Business And Employee Performance
Checking up on the performance of your business is important, as a well-performing business usually means more profit and a happier workplace. When checking the performance of your business, look at the overall performance for the month or year, then take a closer look at individual components such as employees and specific areas of the business. For example, is your marketing department producing the results you were hoping for? Is HR performing effectively? Conducting performance reviews with your employees will help both you and them understand if there are areas in which there need to be improvements.
Conducting Performance Reviews
Performance reviews with employees should be conducted so that you highlight areas for improvement from their work and highlight things they have done well. It’s a good idea to hold them regularly, for example, every three months at least. If they have a poor performance record, make sure you give them very clear instructions, targets, and goals to work towards to improve their performance. Guide them in the actions they need to take to reach these targets and a timeline in which to achieve them.
Reassess how things have progressed in the next performance review and whether they have managed to meet the guidelines. Consider asking for their feedback to ensure they feel they have everything they need to carry out their role and if they feel supported enough to do this. Make it clear to the employees how their performance will be assessed and what targets you have in place for the business to reach. If employees repeatedly fail to perform well, after being given all the guidance and support they need, you may have to involve HR in giving them a written warning.
Create Clear Targets And Goals For Everyone To Reach
Setting clear targets and goals for your team of employees will benefit them as well as the business. It gives them clear guidance for their day-to-day workload and an understanding of the direction of the business and what they need to do to contribute to it. Lead by example and set a good standard of work ethic for your team. Being positively involved will help to motivate your team and encourage them in their performance.
Creating Team Morale
Having a good rapport with your employees and boosting team morale will help them and your business to perform well. A happy workplace will function more effectively as employees feel fulfilled and motivated with their work and have a positive attitude towards the business. If employees don’t feel like valued team members, they will struggle to perform well and meet targets. Dissatisfied staff are also more likely to resign, meaning a high turnover, affecting how smooth running and well-functioning the business can be. Ways to boost staff morale include:
- Praising their good work
- Team bonding exercises and days out
- A comfortable work environment
- Regular breaks and time for themselves
- Realistic and fair workloads
- Support from management and yourself
- Regular training
Ensuring you have a good HR department in place will help ensure your team has someone to go to if they feel like there are issues they need to raise or questions they need answering. If issues or workplace grievances are raised from employees, make sure you face them head-on. Handling workplace grievances with patience and attentiveness can help save a difficult situation from worsening. Make sure to listen to the issues raised, and if it includes more than one employee, then hear both sides of the story. Try and reach a conclusion that helps both employees if possible. If an employee has reacted in an inappropriate manner, then take action to end their employment with your business to benefit the rest of the team. Make sure to record all necessary information raised in meetings for evidence.
Automating And Outsourcing Processes
Automating some areas of your business processes can help to make your business run more smoothly and efficiently. Common areas that can be automated include accounting and payroll, customer service, lead management, and some aspects of marketing. Automating processes helps to free up the workload of your employees, allowing them to focus their attention on other tasks that can’t be automated. Automation can help your business see a boost in performance and take the burden on overwhelming workloads off your employees. Another way to do this is to outsource some of your work to agencies.
For example, you could use a recruitment consultant to source and communicate with potential candidates when hiring new employees. Or, for digital marketing, you could use a marketing agency to handle the bulk of the marketing workload and social media. IT services are another popular choice for businesses to outsource, as it prevents them from having to have the expense of their own in-house IT department. If your business involves sales and you need to meet demand, you can hire outside sales agencies to take on some of the tasks to meet demand without hiring additional employees.
Have A Strong Digital Marketing Department
Having a strong digital marketing presence is incredibly important for your business in this day and age. A lot of consumers will initially become aware of new businesses through online advertising, social media, and their own online research. This is why having a strong social media presence, excellent website, and strong traffic to your site will all prove to be highly beneficial to your business and profits. Investing in your digital marketing both when initially launching your business and further along will be essential to help you reach your target audience and increase brand awareness.
Make sure your website is interactive and has a user-friendly interface. It needs to list all the information about your business in a clear and organized format, so it’s easy for users to navigate and find what they need to know. Consider having customer service features such as robot-advisers to answer common queries from customers and take some of the burdens off your customer service department. Remember to conduct SEO and keyword research to help boost your website’s online presence.