Are you thinking about starting a business in Canada?

If you answered a resounding “YES”, you’ve come to the right place. Small business is the backbone of Canada’s economy and according to The World Bank 2019 Doing Business Report, Canada is the third easiest country in the world to start a business in.

Small and medium-sized businesses have a significant influence on the economy as a whole.  According to the BDC, they represent 99.7% of all businesses in Canada, contribute 41% to Canada’s GDP and employ 9 in 10 people who work in the private sector.

While it may be easy to start a business in Canada, survival is a different story.  According to Industry Canada, approximately 85% of businesses that enter the marketplace survive one full year, 70% survive for two years and 51% survive for five years.

So what can you do to increase the odds of success for your business? In my experience, the two largest contributors to business success are (1) having a plan – a comprehensive strategic framework and roadmap, and (2) getting outside advice from experts as well as other entrepreneurs who have done what you are trying to do.

Doing business in Canada will be different than doing business in your home country.  Knowledge of how business is typically done in Canada is a critical skill for success for newcomers.   It includes understanding local business culture as well as the regulatory, legal and financial systems.  Other critical skills are understanding where to access information and resources.

Developing a large local network of professionals, mentors and peers will be invaluable to you.  Consider joining a program that will give you access to expert business knowledge and advice from other business owners who have faced and overcome the challenges you are experiencing.  Jigsaw’s Peer RoadMap Groups bring together small business owners to build business plans together with the support and guidance from a Business Strategist.

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