If you have entrepreneurial spirit and but are a little gun-shy about launching your great business idea, rest assured that starting your own business in Canada doesn’t have to be difficult. It doesn’t even have to be all encompassing. You can do it in your off hours from your home, while working a full time job.
Starting a side hustle, that may one day turn into a full-fledged career, is totally doable these days. In fact, it’s currently cheaper and easier to start a business than ever before. Thanks to affordable and easy-to-use ecommerce platforms like Shopify, and the availability of helpful online business tools like the Paypal and Canada Post integration, it’s never been easier to run your business in the 5 to 9 when you’re busy at work during the 9 to 5.
Side-hustles in Canada
Establishing a profitable side-hustle is the next big thing in business, and lots of people from all walks of life are giving it a go. Your grandma might even have one!
A staggering 2.5 million Canadians are currently leading profitable side businesses. That means that nine per cent of adults in Canada are side sellers; running an income-generating business in addition to maintaining a full-time job. Their efforts have added a whopping $2.5 billion to the country’s economy in the past year.
Why you should start a business
There are countless benefits to starting a business in Canada. Some of the standouts include: being your own boss; choosing your own working hours, rates and availability; working from home (if you choose to); hiring people you want to work with or going it alone; choosing your own clients or customers; the potential to become a high-earner; and autonomy. Overall, being an entrepreneur can feel pretty liberating and can be incredibly lucrative in comparison to a 9 to 5 day job.
Why you might not want to quit your day job – yet
There is a high degree of risk involved in entrepreneurship. When you run your own business, you are directly responsible for just about anything that goes wrong. While you probably can’t be fired or laid off, you can go bankrupt, loose clients and customers, and have to deal with returns and refunds etc.
The responsibility of handling work headaches solo aside, most entrepreneurs will tell you that the rewards of entrepreneurship far outweigh the risks.
What it takes to start a Canadian business
If you’re a Canadian hoping to start a business, you’re in the right place at the right time. Canada is currently ranked the third best country in the world to start a business, and more than half of small businesses here are established with less than $5,000.
It doesn’t take long to get a business going here, either. Approximately 3 in 5 entrepreneurs said it took them just 1 year or less to get their business off the ground.
Compared to 15 years ago, the time it takes to start a business has declined globally by more than half, and the amount of money required to start a business (calculated as per cent of income per-capita) is less than a quarter of what it used to be.
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Finding start-up funding in Canada
While there are many side-hustles that you can start with little-to-no start-up capital, funding your particular dream business may require more than you have in your savings, or on your credit card. If you’re in need of financing, the Canada Small Business Loans Financing Program is the flagship program for financing both start-ups and established Canadian businesses. There are also many other government-sponsored and non-profit agencies that provide small business loans – from Community Futures Development Corporations, through women’s organizations.
You can also obtain financing through private loan sources in Canada, such as investor’s groups. Check out these 10 Small Business Loan Sources to learn about providers of small business loans that aren’t traditional banks.
Selling and marketing online
Whether you want to sell your own products or services, or someone else’s, doing it online is the way to go when you start out.
It’s never been easier to build an online store, advertise your products, accept payments, and arrange shipping. You can get up and running with ease, and grow, thanks to easy-to-use ecommerce platforms like Shopify, free social media platforms like Instagram (that let you promote your business for free), handy payment tools like PayPal, and shippers who specialize in small business like Canada Post.
Get Michele Romanow’s best tips for launching, sustaining and growing an ecommerce business.
If you have the entrepreneurial fire inside you, what’s holding you back? Start your own business or a side-hustle today. We know you can do it.
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