5 tips for starting your own small business

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(NC) In recent months there’s been a real upset in traditional business communities, but new needs and lifestyle changes mean there are plenty of opportunities for new entrepreneurs to seize. If you’re ready to take the next step and start your own business, here are some tips to consider:  

Choose a strategy 

Once you have your business idea, you’ll have to decide how you want to structure your business operations. Learn about the benefits and drawbacks of sole proprietorships, general partnerships and corporations, and what the implications are for your assets and liabilities.  

Develop your brand.  

Your brand is an important part of your marketing strategy. Physical elements of your brand include your logo, colours and fonts as well as trademarks, copyright and registered designs – but a brand is more than these elements. It’s what sets you apart from your competitors and it’s your promise to your clients and customers. Insurance can provide protection for both your brand and any issues regarding your business’ intellectual property.   

Manage shipping risks.  

Today, both brick-and-mortar and online shops rely on shipping to send goods directly to their customers as the backbone of their business. That’s why you need to understand what factors can affect your shipments, what will cause setbacks, and what can both increase your costs and damage your reputation. Learn how to mitigate the impact of weather delays, damaged goods and even cargo theft. 

Get the right insurance. 

Discuss your business plan, including your succession plans, with your insurance broker and insurance company, who can help ensure your business has appropriate protection. Any changes you make to your business plan should always be discussed with your broker to ensure you remain properly covered. According to Aviva Canada, small businesses should consider property and liability coverage and also consider additional options like equipment breakdown or crime coverage, if there’s a need. Find more information at aviva.ca/en/business. 

Protect against cyber threats. 

Cybercriminals don’t just target large corporations and organizations to gain access to their systems, obtain sensitive information and demand ransoms. In fact, over 70 per cent of data breaches occur within small businesses, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance. Help to protect your business by investing in security software, insisting on strong passwords and regularly backing up important data.