The quality of planning and the amount of research you do is directly correlated to how much financial assistance you can qualify for your new business. You must be able to demonstrate your understanding of every aspect of your business and its ability to generate a profit to secure funding from investors and financial institutions.
A business plan is documentation that outlines your business strategies and objectives, financial forecasts, and target market. Your plan will help you focus on the logistics of your new business and help communicate your vision to others. You can find templates for business plans online. It is helpful to gain an understanding of who your target clients are and how you can reach them. You can do this by going directly to them (primary research), or use information that is already out there (secondary research).
Canada Business Ontario
Contact this government agency for help with secondary market research. They can give you the following information:
- International trade data
- Sample business plans
- Canadian consumer spending demographics and stats
- News articles about business, consumer, and industry trends
- Information about manufacturers, suppliers, competitors, and business associations
This information is offered for free and available for entrepreneurs at any stage of the business process in Ontario.
Business Advisory Services
If you would like to attend seminars and gain access to business publication in-person about Ontario’s small business community, visit your local office’s website. They can provide you with detailed information pertinent to your area.
There are several avenues you can take to help finance your business. Common business financing sources are:
The Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP)
They can help you obtain up to one million dollars to start, grow, update, or improve your small business with the help of your financial institution. As long as your company does not gross more than $10 million annually, you can apply for the program. The loan can help you finance:
- Business equipment
- Commercial vehicles
- Buildings and land
- Improvements for a franchise
You cannot use the loan on:
- Franchise fees
- Research and development
- Working capital
Contact an approved bank or credit union to apply for the program. They will have final say on loan approval.
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
If you can prove that your small business has sales potential, you might be able to apply for financing and management services through the BDC. They have programs that can help pay:
- Starting costs of a business
- Buying a business
- Working capital
- Advisory services
Community Futures Ontario
If your business is in northern Ontario or the rural parts of southern or eastern Ontario, you could be eligible for a loan amount that is up to $150,000. Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) grants funding for new or existing business with start-up, growth, or stabilization plans to help maintain and create employment. They also offer several business support services like:
- Entrepreneurial training
- Extra support
- Business advice, information, planning, referrals, and counselling
Services will vary based on regional needs, so it is best to call ahead or visit your local office’s website for more information.
Futurpreneur Canada Start-Up Program
You could receive up to $15,000 from this program as long as you meet these requirements:
- Own at least 51% of your business
- Work alongside a mentor for two years
- Create a business plan that demonstrates your company will employ you full time
- Are between the ages of 18 and 39
- Some other conditions apply.
You could also get additional funding of up to $30,000 through a partnership with the BDC if you are approved. To apply for the loan and for more information, visit their website.
Your municipal government may also have programs for small business funding in your area. You can check on the Association of Municipalities of Ontario website to see what is available in your region.
For help with business taxes and accounting, contact S&W LLP Chartered Professional Accountants. Our professional accounting team have more than 50 years of experience in financial consolidation, bookkeeping, tax consulting, and controllership. We can crunch the numbers and ensure your money is not being wasted.