Small Business Ideas Start with You

In many of the information sessions I am asked to deliver as part of my role at the Halton Region Small Business Centre, I ask participants to come up with the Six Big Steps for Starting a New Small Business. Of course there could be hundreds of individual tasks that need to be completed, which are unique to each individual start-up; however most of the tasks will fall into this six step process.

The six steps are:


1. Generate Idea
2. Research, Research, Research
3. Write Business Plan
4. Secure Financing
5. Know the Rules, Regulations and Registration Steps
6. Take Action!

Most clients arrive at the Small Business Centre with an idea. The ideas may still need to be researched, the assumptions about a consumers’ willingness to consume the product or service still require validation, the details of how the idea will be taken to market are still to be determined, but the starting point is there.

On occasion a new client comes to us without a specific idea. They may feel they are generally entrepreneurial, or have a need to create an employment opportunity for themselves.

My typical conversation with these clients starts with these four questions:

  1. What are you good at?
  2. What are you trained in?
  3. What do you enjoy doing?
  4. What unfulfilled need do you see in the market?

While there is no magical answer to what business you should start, spending time seriously considering these four questions could allow opportunities to take shape. All of the steps that follow require some kind of initial vision. The idea might be entirely based on assumptions, but a clear understanding of your initial idea will give you a specific path in order to move on to the second step of validating your idea through research. 

The consultants at the Halton Region Small Business Centre provide one-on-one consultations, free of charge, to entrepreneurs at all stages of starting or growing a small business, including entrepreneurs exploring and evaluating their ideas.For more information about Halton Region’s Small Business Centre resources, services and how we can help direct you to the right resources, contact us by dialing 311, 1-866-442-5866, online at, or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville.  Follow us on Twitter at

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