Are you ready to start a small business this year?

If you’re like many Canadians, you might have decided to finally start a small business in 2024.

Exciting!

But wait a minute. There are lots of very important things to figure out beforehand. Here are some questions that, in our years of educating entrepreneurs, we’ve identified as 13 of the most important ones prospective entrepreneurs should ask themselves before starting a small business.

Are you ready to start a small business?

  1. What’s most important to me in running a small business – making money or doing what I love?
  2. Do I have management or technical experience in a business similar to the business I want to start?
  3. Do I have any accounting or bookkeeping knowledge?
  4. How well do I handle risk?
  5. How do I cope with stress?
  6. Are my finances strong enough to support me if my small business doesn’t see income immediately?
  7. Do I have the support of my family and friends?
  8. Am I willing to work longer than usual to start my small business?
  9. How well do I lead or manage others?
  10. How adaptable am I?
  11. How do I make difficult decisions?
  12. Do I have a long-term plan for my small business?
  13. Do I have a business model?

If you’ve answered “no” to any of these questions, it’s actually a good thing! Knowing what you don’t know is important, and can help you find – and fix – critical gaps in your knowledge. Small business training will increase your odds of success. Nearly half of all small Canadian businesses fail within two years, so getting essential small business skills is really important.

How can you find out if you’re ready to be an entrepreneur?

Download our free Self-Assessment for Entrepreneurs to take an honest look at your situation right now. Take your time and do as much research and training as you can before you start your small business – it may make all the difference to your success.

Good luck!

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canadian home based business

Home-based business advice from Canadian entrepreneurs

Our GoForth Experts have fielded lots of questions about home-based businesses over the years, and have answered questions about things like zoning, permits, the home-based business lifestyle – and more! Here are a few home-based business questions our expert entrepreneurs have answered:

Have a question of your own? Search our database of over 1,000 small business questions and find answers from our expert entrepreneurs.

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Small business blog posts we liked this week

Happy December! Whether or not winter weather has arrived where you are, we hope you can take a moment to pause and read some interesting small business articles and blog posts we’ve read recently.

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7 ways to wind down your year as an entrepreneur

December already! It’s a time to think of slowing down and taking stock. Whether or not your small business has a December 31 year-end, these 7 ways to wind down your year are useful for every entrepreneur.

Ways to wind down your year as an entrepreneur

  1. Review your 2023 business goals. What worked well and what didn’t? In 2024, do more of what worked in 2023, and evaluate the things that didn’t.
  2. Develop a strategic plan. A roadmap for getting from point A to point B can help your business immensely. If you don’t have a strategic plan, we’ve got a free one-page business plan template you can download at our website.
  3. Review your marketing, human resources management, financing and operations. Is there anything you could do better? Get working on some ideas to become more effective.
  4. Discover new ways to reach your audience. Social media and marketing are always evolving, so it’s a good idea to make sure what you’re doing still works for you and your business. As a starting point, check out our tips for generating brand awareness on a small budget!
  5. Clean up your contact information. Remove old contacts and duplicate records, and update current contacts in your professional networks.
  6. Update your productivity and technology tools. Download updates and templates and make sure your current apps are still benefiting your business.
  7. Tidy up your data. Delete old files. Get rid of spam emails. Back up your business records or hire a company to do it for you on a regular basis. Set up a good online file folder system so you don’t have to scroll through three months of emails to find something your accountant wants.

This time of the year can be a weird mix of relaxing and busy, but these seven things are worth doing. It’s valuable to take time to look back at your year in small business, and get yourself prepared to hit the ground running next year.

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