Increasing numbers of students are setting up their own businesses after graduating from colleges and universities. A survey conducted by Pollara in July, 2013 asked 602 Canadian post-secondary students about career prospects and their aspirations to own their own business. Almost half of Canadian post-secondary students surveyed ’ 46% said they see themselves starting a business after graduation. Pollara said that some see their planned new business as a primary source of income while others see it as a secondary source. By region, the greatest percentage of respondents who say they planned to start their own business was in British Columbia, at 50%. According to Statistics Canada, approximately 130,000 new small businesses are created in Canada annually. These businesses are the key to driving employment, with more than 40% of Canadians working for an organization with fewer than 100 employees.
Here are a few steps that you need to think about before you start your own business:
- Get ready by doing the research and planning that will help you launch your project.
- Find out how to write a business plan and access templates, sample business plans, market research information and statistics.
- Find out about available sources of financing for your start-up business.
- Find out about the requirements to register your business with different levels of government.
- Learn about permits, licences and regulations that apply to your business.
- Think about location for your business
Once you have a plan and a location, you should also consider networking within your new career field to find experts who can give you advice. Some of the most valuable knowledge you can acquire will be from people who have tried to start a business similar to yours and failed in the process of doing so. Save yourself time and money by not repeating their mistakes.
The advantages of owning your business are numerous and include:
- The personal freedom in being your own boss
- The satisfaction in pursuing your own interests
- Option of a more flexible lifestyle
Keep in mind that starting your own business can also have downsides like long hours, often not just at the start but for the life of the business. You are responsible for everything and there is no benefit package, no pay check unless you make it happen.
I recommend the following resources that will help you in starting your own business:
- Start your Own Business by Rieva Lesonsky
- The Business start-up Kit by Steven D. Strauss
- Startup from the Ground Up by Cynthia Kocialski