Congratulations! If you’ve decided to start a business, you just took the first step on an exciting journey. Maybe you’re following your dream business idea, or perhaps this is the next logical step for you to build a career with more flexibility. Whatever your reason is, you’re embarking on an entrepreneurial adventure, and that deserves applause. However, when you’re new to the business world, knowing where to start can be overwhelming (to say the least!) Our brokers are committed to helping Alberta entrepreneurs in any way we can, which is why we’ve pulled together our top ten tips to help you build a successful business in Alberta.
Just Go Ahead and Start
One of the top pieces of feedback successful entrepreneurs will give you is that they started before they felt ready. They didn’t feel like experts in their field, they didn’t have entrepreneurial experience, and they certainly did not have all the answers. The reality is that everyone has to start somewhere. So if you’re feeling nervous, take comfort in knowing that most people new to business feel that way at the beginning.
Create a Business Plan
Our next piece of advice is to create a business plan. If you don’t have a plan laid out, how will you know where you will go with your business? Not only will your plan give you direction in terms of developing your ideas, but it will also give you added credibility. If you plan to apply for a loan, grant, or investments, your potential partners will want to see that you have a vision and a road map to get there.
Register Your Business Name
The name of your business is vital because your customers need to remember it. Your business name is what your customers see first. It will be featured on your website, on your business cards, on your store signage, and all your merchandise. If you’ve already come up with your business name, we highly recommend that you register it. If you’re still deciding on a name, that’s fine, but as soon as you make a decision, go ahead and register it.
Get the Right Business Insurance
Once you start a business, you’ll want to apply for business insurance. The amount and range of coverage you’ll need will depend on the type of business you start. At Cornerstone Insurance Brokers Ltd., our brokers will work with you to find the best insurance coverage for your business. We work with several insurance companies to find a range of policies for all business types. To find the insurance quote that is right for you, contact our insurance experts.
Look into Commercial Liability Insurance
All businesses need liability coverage to some extent. If you’re selling a service or a product, you’ll want protection against legal claims. The most common legal claims customers make include:
- Design defects in products.
- Manufacturing defects in products.
- Product or service does not deliver as promised.
Depending on your business model, you might also need product liability insurance, commercial general liability insurance, or a combination of both. Where product liability insurance protects you from legal claims against your products, commercial general liability insurance helps protect you from things like bodily harm, copyright infringement, property damage, reputational harm, and advertising injury. The investment in liability coverage can save you significant amounts of money in the event you’re ever sued and taken to court.
All of this can be overwhelming when you have many decisions to make. Contact our insurance advisors to find out which liability coverage you need for your business and get a custom insurance quote for your new business in Alberta.
Find Entrepreneurial Support
Creating a business is more fun when you have entrepreneur friends. That’s why we recommend finding entrepreneurial support. Join a business club or a mastermind group to get support from other entrepreneurs with more experience than you. As a small-business owner, there will always be new things to learn, and your fellow business owners will have a wealth of knowledge to share, even if they work in different industries.
Attend Networking Events
One great way to introduce your business to new people is to attend networking events. Most communities will have a business network that hosts events, whether it’s a virtual event or an in-person one, or both. You could even join a business networking club to find committed partners that will support your business in exchange for support for theirs. It’s easier to grow with endorsements and referrals from others, and as a new business owner, the perks of an established network can pay off.
Create a Website
Having an online presence makes your business official. While the Yellow Pages may still exist in some communities, your future customers are far more likely to search your business name on the internet for details such as your business hours, what you do or offer, and where you’re located. As we mentioned earlier, you want to register your business name with your home province, but you should also register your business with Google or whoever your main search engine is. This will help your business turn up in general inquiries such as “bakeries in Edmonton,” resulting in more leads and customers.
Build a Brand
Now that you have your business name registered, a website up and running, and a network you belong to, you can continue to establish yourself in your community by building your brand. We recommend consulting and hiring professional brand experts to help with this stage. Having a unique logo and cohesive brand identity will help make you memorable and connect with your customers in the long term. This is one of the reasons the Cornerstone Insurance brand has been so successful! Our clients know, recognize, and trust us.
Invest in Marketing
Finally, we recommend investing in some marketing for your new venture. Once you have a business name and some branding, you’re ready to start placing some ads, printing business cards and flyers, or whatever path you choose to take. Most business owners find the marketing pieces to be challenging, so we suggest consulting with experts or hiring professionals to assist you with your marketing efforts.
Finding the Right Small Business Insurance in Alberta
At Cornerstone, our brokers enjoy helping small business owners find the right insurance for their small businesses so they have one less thing to worry about as they embark on a new journey. Contact us today to get started on comparing insurance quotes so you and your business can be protected, both bow and well into the future.