One of our goals is to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and provide the tools to achieve success. By supporting entrepreneurialism, Halton Region’s Small Business Centre aims to boost the potential of increased employment opportunities in communities across Halton. We work with entrepreneurs and small business owners in all stages of their business venture. Part 1 of this blog series focuses on the first two stages – Thinking of Entrepreneurship and Starting Your Small Business. Next week we’ll delve into the third stage – Growing Your Business.
Thinking of Entrepreneurship?
Exploring the option of entrepreneurship can be an exciting time. However it is also a time that requires careful consideration, and thorough planning and research.
Your first step should be determining whether you are the entrepreneurial type. Take the entrepreneurial self assessment tool offered by The Business Development Bank of Canada.
If you decide that entrepreneurship is for you, your next steps should be to invest the time to complete market research and properly plan your business venture. Plan to attend one of our Market Research seminars in 2011.
The Small Business Centre offers Getting Started Sessions every Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m. During this one hour session, you will get an overview of all the rules and regulations you need to know if you are thinking of starting a business in Halton. These are casual, informative small groups of five or less. There is no charge for these sessions and you can register online.
After you have attended a Getting Started Session, our business consultants are available to meet with you and discuss questions relating to entrepreneurship and business ideas. There is no charge for consultations. To book your appointment, contact our office.
Starting a Small Business
Congratulations for taking the first step of entrepreneurship! At this stage, you need to understand business ownership structures, business name registration, government regulations that may apply to your business and how to develop a business plan.
Halton’s Small Business Centre has created online learning tutorials that feature specific topics including business ownership structures and business name registration.
Developing your business plan is a critical document on your road to success. It is the road map for your business, showing you where you will take the business and how you will get there. Halton’s Business Planning Template and Financial Package provide a basic outline for business planning purposes. Please feel free to use, modify, and enhance this outline as you see fit. Most business plans cover common topics, but formats tend to vary; this is simply one way to look at the business plan and cover off all of the critical sections in a format that is easy to follow.
Our business consultants are available to meet with you at this stage of your business to review your business plan and also discuss issues you many have in the business ownership structure you have chosen and getting your business name registered.
For more in-depth information on a variety of business start-up topics, plan to attend one of the many seminars and events we host throughout the year, including Starting a Small Business, Building a Business Plan, Bookkeeping and e-Business.
For more information about any of Halton’s Small Business Centre resources and services, contact us at 1-866-4HALTON (42-5866), www.halton.ca/business, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville.