This article was originally featured on the RBC Discover Blog Series and has been adapted for the Arrive Hub.
For newcomers wanting to start a business, there can be a few unique challenges in the beginning; limited contacts in Canada, language barriers, familiarity with business practices, and access to credit are some of them. A little bit of preparation can go a long way to help you overcome some of the challenges.
Here are some tips as you start to plan:
1. Build a credit history
Credit history is crucial to obtaining funds and a limited credit history can impact your access to financing. Unfortunately, your banking records from home country are not readily available to Canadian financial institutions. One of the easiest ways to start developing a Canadian credit record is to apply for a Canadian credit card and use it wisely.
At Arrive, we equip you with the tools and knowledge you need to succeed. For your finances, read more about Credit and Credit Scores in Canada.
2. Develop your network
One major challenge of starting a business in a new country is the absence of relevant contacts or connections. Some of the ways you can start building your network are:
- Look for an association you could join.
- Explore networking events you can attend; Eventbrite is a good site to get started.
- Identify potential clients and ask them for feedback on your ideas. The people you meet will be able to provide market intelligence, and they may also become close friends and business mentors.
- Stay up-to-date with organizations supporting newcomer entrepreneurs on LinkedIn. Follow and learn about companies like BDC and Scale Without Borders for actionable resources.
- Don’t forget to leverage your supplier/producer networks in your home country. This is an advantage you have as a newcomer.
3. Create a business plan
Creating a business plan is an essential step for anyone wanting to start a business. The research process will provide you with in-depth knowledge of a market that might be unfamiliar. You can also clarify your strategy and vision at this stage and pivot where appropriate. The financial planning and projections you develop in this process will also aid in securing financing.
Get started on your business plan now with this business plan template.
4. Research government support
The Government of Canada has several websites to assist newcomers in finding out more about starting a business in Canada. If you are in the planning process for immigrating to Canada, information about applying for the Start-up Visa will be useful.
With these initial steps, you’ll be in good shape to get started on your entrepreneurial journey in Canada! Check out the Arrive Hub for more resources on career, life, and finance.