7 tips for a successful start-up Here are some tips
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    Target your market well
    Ideally, you should enter your products or services in a young and fast-growing market. In more established sectors, you will need a competitive edge to distinguish yourself (innovative product or service, unparalleled customer service, attractive prices, etc.).
It is a good idea to use a specialist research agency to gather as much information as possible to define your potential market - including the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and the time frame for developing your product. Remember that during this time you will not make any sales.
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    Surround yourself with people
    The members of your management team should have complementary skills. The most effective managers make sure they recruit top experts for each business area. Don't be afraid to hire people who know more than you do in their own field.
You should also consider external resources as an extension of your team. From a practical point of view, you will need technicians, salespeople and managers, but also a lawyer, an accountant and marketing or public relations specialists.
If you lack the resources to create a board of directors, you can form a strategy committee and invite an expert to sit on it to advise on management decisions. Also, there are a growing number of incubators in the high-tech sector with mentoring packages that will increase your chances of success.
Ultimately, the real test is the market. To reach customers quickly and effectively, consider bringing in marketing specialists at the outset. Marketing is often overlooked, but it is essential to the success of any business.
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    Think ahead
    Avoid putting out fires all the time and losing sight of your long-term goals. Make a list of all the factors that need to be taken into account in the immediate and medium term, especially if you expect to grow rapidly. To help you manage this growth, look at all the options available, such as buying or renting premises, furniture and equipment. Also consider outsourcing certain functions, such as human resources.
Along the way, you will need to consider growth factors, including energy and resources, raw materials, wages, financing and technology needs.
If you have carefully assessed your growth potential, it is legitimate to think big. For example, if your business serves a particular niche, it may only become profitable by exporting. To get a better idea of your export opportunities, consult national, provincial and regional export assistance services, including those of Canadian trade offices abroad.
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    Think about financing
    Business start-ups are often financed from the savings of the founders (and those of family and friends). In many cases, it is necessary to look for external sources of funding - angel investors, venture capital funds, aid funds or social economy granting agencies.
Prepare yourself carefully and know what the investors want from you. As one businessman who invests in companies himself said: "If you go knocking on a door too early, or not prepared properly, it may be closed to you later when you are really ready to go through it."
Talk to BDC about your start-up financing needs. The Bank offers customized solutions for businesses with high growth potential.
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    Use your time wisely
    Most businesses take time to establish themselves, leaving "down time". Use this down time wisely, for example by networking. Here are three networking strategies that may be useful, depending on the situation:
Entering a business plan competition for young entrepreneurs; Participating in trade shows or exhibitions; Connect with the business community by joining business organizations (Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Chamber of Commerce, etc.) or professional associations. 6. Take care of all the formalities Several requirements - often very technical - are essential to give your business a concrete existence: for example, the choice of a legal form, the design of the chart of accounts and compliance with labour law, occupational health and safety or training regulations.
In the commercial and industrial world, you can set up a sole proprietorship. A group can form a partnership (registered) or a company (incorporated) with very different articles of association, privileges and responsibilities. If you are part of a group with several partners, you need to draw up a shareholders' agreement setting out the code of conduct to be followed by everyone. You can also choose to set up as a cooperative or non-profit organisation.
Make sure your ideas are patented or at least protected by copyright, trademark or trade secret. Otherwise you risk infringing on the rights of another company in this respect. Check with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.
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    Write a "selling" business plan
    Make sure your business plan contains all the above elements. It should be short and to the point, describing your business idea and the means to achieve it. Write it yourself. After all, it is your vision that is developed. Expect to have to rewrite it many times before you get to the final version. Don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it. Submit your plan to experts, such as accountants and lawyers or other experienced entrepreneurs. Remember that a business plan is more than an accounting document. It is a tool to help you sell your idea to a potential investor.
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