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Statistics show that small businesses contribute considerably to Canada’s private labor force, accounting for close to 70% of its employees in 2019. The majority of the nation’s private employers are small or medium enterprises. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur hoping to join these ranks, these tips from Fahim Moledina can help launch you on the path to success.
1. Know the Terrain
Learn business basics first. Take college or online courses, talk with acquaintances and friends who are entrepreneurs, consult counselors at 3+ Corporation or connect with people in similar situations to you through forums or online groups.
Research the market you envision yourself going into; it will reveal valuable information such as what locations your desired clientele prefers and if there is a need for your goods or services. Perform a competitive analysis of your competition. Learn what they offer, what tactics they use, what they do right, and what they do wrong. Search out the products, services, and extras your competitors do not provide that customers want by reading reviews and using online tools like polls.
2. Maintain Yourself and Your Environment
It is easy to be overwhelmed by all of the responsibilities and time constraints pulling you in
separate directions. Taking care of your physical and mental health and optimizing your work and home environments can help ward off burnout while raising the quality of your work. Setting aside time for self-care (resting, exercising, pampering yourself, meditating, preparing healthy meals, etc.) can improve your cognitive ability and focus, thus leading to more productivity.
Your surroundings also have a profound impact on your mood, motivation, and overall health. Keeping both your work and home environments tidy and organized helps promote peace and mental wellness. Set up in a space with a source of natural light, such as a window or skylight, and obtain potted plants to offer a bit of indoor nature. Use scented candles or air fresheners to fill the atmosphere with your favorite scent. Repaint the walls or get decorations in colors like blue or yellow, which are associated with calmness and cheerfulness, respectively. Invest in a comfy chair, a standing desk or an exercise ball to help offset the negative effects of too much sitting.
3. Develop an Effective Communication Network
Being an entrepreneur necessitates interaction with others — workers, suppliers, consultants, contractors, and customers. Establish a system to keep in contact with everyone, whether that be through email or a messaging app like Slack, but be consistent. Ensure there is at least one path through which you can always be reached in an emergency. Create a way for your employees to notify you anonymously about suggestions or complaints, such as a notes box or regular boss reviews. Encourage open communication by listening closely, showing you value discussion, being approachable, and asking questions frequently.
4. Have the Right Attitude Towards Your Employees
Your employees are arguably your most valuable assets. However, they are people, not tools, and need to be treated accordingly. Understand that they have a life outside of work and do not infringe on that by harassing them outside of normal hours.
Be what you want your employees to emulate: Never ask a worker to do what you are not willing to do yourself. Offer flexibility such as options for working remotely some days or four-day workweeks with longer days. Institute perks like snacks and a break room and incentives like company picnics to celebrate reaching goals. Acknowledge achievements and progress publicly. Set clear benchmarks and encourage innovation and creative solutions.
By taking steps to procure the right knowledge, attitude, and environment, you set yourself up for success as a business owner.
Fahim Moledina is the Principal Consultant for Opti-Syn Consulting and is a business leader with expertise in project/change management, finance, lean/agile methods, as well as marketing and sales. Reach out today to get started!