Seven facts new entrepreneurs should consider before starting a business

Know what to expect before launching your business

Canadians coast to coast leave their jobs every day to pursue their own businesses for personal and professional reasons. According to Manulife’s 2016 Small Business Owner Study, a survey of Canadians who currently run their own business, the top three reasons for starting a business are:

  1. Being your own boss (60%)
  2. Seeking financial independence (42%)
  3. Self-fulfillment (29%)

(Respondents were allowed to choose more than one response).

While business ownership can be fulfilling, it comes with its own unique stressors. The study confirmed that Canadian entrepreneurs feel personally satisfied with their business, but nearly half say they face greater stress now than when they started their company.

If you’re thinking about starting a business, or if you’re in the planning stages, make sure you’re ready by reading these seven key findings in the survey from other business owners:

  1. Failing to make better informed business decisions, seeking advice and being better financially prepared are some of the things business owners wish they had done differently when they started their businesses
  2. Managing a healthy work and life balance is a major challenge. More than three-quarters of the business owners surveyed work more than 40 hours per week
  3. More than three in 10 small business owners say the biggest challenge they face in running a small business is cash flow
  4. One-quarter of small business owners say they made a significant investment in the business before they launched
  5. More than eight in 10 agree that talent retention is a significant challenge for their industry and business
  6. Business decisions, such as hiring human resource specialists and setting up group disability insurance, group life insurance or group wellness programs to retain talent, tend to occur soon after the first year
  7. Six out of 10 small business owners work with a financial advisor and rate their advisor’s services as valuable in helping them run their business

Be better prepared as you start your business, use the findings of Manulife’s 2016 Small Business Owner Study as your guide:

  • Have a financial plan and be prepared
  • The hours may be long to start, but try to keep a work-life balance
  • Keep an eye our your cash flow, save when you can
  • Invest in your business and be sure to invest for your self
  • Hire the right people and treat them right to keep them
  • Be prepared for the human resources challenges you face after the first year
  • Work with a financial advisor as your business grows to make the best decisions for your finances

You can also speak to a financial advisor who can offer advice about services or products that may provide more value to your business.

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