Generally Eclectic
Economics
Business How-To Knowledge Base

Thinking of starting a business? Wondering what you need to know? North American governments and agencies provide short a number of short how-to guides. A list of guides from the Small Business Administration (SBA) in the United States can be found on its Site Map. Guides from the Government of Canada (GOC) can be found by drilling through pages under Business and Industry - Services and Information. The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDBC), created by the Government of Canada, also provides guides at Articles and Tools. The topics covered from these sources are listed below, with sources indicated.

1. Before You Start

1.1. Considering entrepreneurship GOC

1.1.1. Is Entrepreneurship For You? SBA

1.1.2. 20 Questions Before Starting SBA

1.1.3. 10 Steps to Starting a Business SBA

1.1.4. What does it take to be an entrepreneur? BDBC

1.1.5. What do I need to do before starting a business? BDBC

1.1.6. Small business survival statistics GOC

2. Getting in to a Business

2.1. Start or Buy

2.1.1. Start or buy BDBC//Buying a business or starting your own GOC

2.2. Buying a Business

2.2.1. Should I buy a business? BDBC

2.2.2. How do I find a business to buy? BDBC

2.2.3. How do I evaluate a business that's for sale? BDBC

2.2.4. What are the steps involved in buying a business? BDBC

2.2.5. What should I do after buying a business? BDBC

2.3. Start Your Own Business

2.3.1. How do I get my business up and running? BDBC//Start your business BDBC </p> <p class="> 2.3.2. Find a Mentor or Counsellor SBA

2.3.2.1. Women's Business Resources SBA

2.3.3. Developing your Business Idea

2.3.3.1. Developing your business idea GOC//How to Start a Business SBA

2.3.3.2. Understand Your Market SBA

2.3.3.2.1. Business Data & Statistics SBA

2.3.3.2.1.1. General Business Statistics SBA

2.3.3.2.1.2. Consumer Statistics SBA

2.3.3.2.1.3. Demographics SBA

2.3.3.2.1.4. Economic Indicators SBA

2.3.3.2.1.5. Employment Statistics SBA

2.3.3.2.1.6. Income Statistics SBA

2.3.3.2.1.7. Money & Interest Rates SBA

2.3.3.2.1.8. Production & Sales Statistics SBA

2.3.3.2.1.9. Trade Statistics SBA

2.3.3.2.1.10. Statistics for Specific Industries SBA

2.3.4. Planning a Business

2.3.4.1. Planning a business GOC

2.3.4.2. How do I prepare a business plan? BDBC//Writing a business plan SBA//Create a Business Plan SBA

2.3.4.2.1. Executive Summary SBA

2.3.4.2.2. Company Description SBA

2.3.4.2.3. Market Analysis SBA

2.3.4.2.4. Organization & Management SBA

2.3.4.2.5. Service or Product Line SBA

2.3.4.2.6. Marketing & Sales SBA

2.3.4.2.7. Funding Request SBA

2.3.4.2.8. Financial Projections SBA

2.3.4.2.9. Appendix SBA

2.3.4.3. How to Make Your Business Plan Stand Out SBA

2.3.5. Types of Ownership

2.3.5.1. Types of business ownership GOC//Choose Your Business Structure SBA//Choose your business type GOC

2.3.5.1.1. Sole Proprietorship SBA

2.3.5.1.2. Limited Liability Company SBA

2.3.5.1.3. Cooperative SBA

2.3.5.1.4. Corporation SBA

2.3.5.1.5. Partnership SBA

2.3.5.1.6. S Corporation SBA

2.3.5.2. Before you register GOC

2.3.5.3. Registering your business with the government GOC//Register GOC

2.3.6. Business Name

2.3.6.1. Choosing a business name GOC//Choose & Register Your Business SBA

2.3.6.1.1. Select a good name GOC//Choose Your Business Name SBA

2.3.6.1.2. Find out if the name is taken GOC

2.3.6.1.3. Register your business name GOC//Register Your Business Name SBA//Register With State Agencies SBA

2.3.7. Business Location

2.3.7.1. Choosing a location for your business GOC//Choose Your Business Location & Equipment SBA//Tips for Choosing Your Business Location SBA

2.3.7.1.1. Basic Zoning Laws SBA//Home-Based Business Zoning Laws SBA

2.3.8. Financing your Startup

2.3.8.1. Preparing to Get Financing

2.3.8.1.1. Estimating Startup Costs SBA

2.3.8.1.2. Financial Tools ? Making Your Case for Financing

2.3.8.1.2.1. Business Financials SBA

2.3.8.1.2.2. Preparing Financial Statements SBA

2.3.8.1.2.3. Developing a Cash Flow Analysis SBA

2.3.8.1.2.4. Break even Analysis SBA

2.3.8.1.2.5. Is Your Business Fiscally Fit? SBA

2.3.8.1.3. Using Personal Finances SBA

2.3.8.1.4. What kind of financing best suits my needs? BDBC

2.3.8.1.5. Getting business support and financing GOC//Financing your new business GOC//Finance Your Business SBA//Acquiring Financing SBA//Get financing BDBC//Money and Finance BDBC//How do I finance my new business? BDBC

2.3.8.1.5.1. Borrowing Money for Your Business SBA//Loans SBA//Getting a business loan BDBC//Business Loan Application Checklist SBA

2.3.8.1.5.1.1. SBA Loans SBA//SBA Loan Application Checklist SBA

2.3.8.1.5.2. Grants SBA

2.3.8.1.5.3. Venture Capital SBA

2.3.8.1.5.4. SBIC Directory SBA

2.3.8.1.5.5. Business USA Financing Tool SBA

2.3.8.1.5.6. Special Financing Situations

2.3.8.1.5.6.1. Financing a business acquisition BDBC

2.3.8.1.5.6.2. Buying and financing equipment BDBC//Leasing Business Equipment SBA

2.3.8.1.5.6.3. Buy or lease commercial real estate BDBC//Leasing Commercial Space SBA

2.3.8.1.5.6.3.1. Assessing my needs BDBC

2.3.8.1.5.6.3.2. Leasing commercial real estate BDBC

2.3.8.1.5.6.3.3. Buying commercial real estate BDBC

2.3.8.1.5.6.3.4. Financing commercial real estate BDBC

2.3.8.1.5.6.3.5. Closing my commercial real estate deal BDBC

2.3.8.1.5.6.4. Other//Regional business support GOC//Women entrepreneurs GOC//Starting a social enterprise GOC//Starting a co- operative GOC//Innovation funding and support GOC

2.3.9. Regulatory Stuff

2.3.9.1.1. Applying for business permits and licences GOC//Business Licenses & Permits SBA//Federal Licenses & Permits SBA//State Licenses & Permits SBA

2.3.10. Special Types of Business//Business Types SBA

2.3.10.1. Green Businesses SBA//Startups & High Growth Businesses SBA//Home- Based Businesses SBA//Online Businesses SBA//Franchise Businesses SBA//Buying Existing Businesses SBA//Self Employed & Independent Contractors SBA//Women-Owned Businesses SBA//Veteran-Owned Businesses SBA//People with Disabilities SBA//Young Entrepreneurs SBA//Encore Entrepreneurs SBA//Minority-Owned Businesses SBA//Native Americans SBA

3. Operating a Business

3.1. What should I do after I start my business? BDBC//Maintaining Your Business GOC

3.2. Strategic Planning

3.2.1. Research and Business Intelligence GOC

3.2.1.1. Conducting market research GOC

3.2.1.2. International trade data GOC

3.2.1.3. Industry sector intelligence GOC

3.2.1.4. Financial performance data GOC

3.2.1.5. Intellectual property business intelligence GOC

3.2.1.6. Small business research and statistics GOC

3.2.1.7. Labour market data GOC

3.2.1.8. Customizable portal for statistics data GOC

3.2.2. Strategic Concerns//Corporate social responsibility GOC//Greening your business GOC//Making your business bilingual GOC

3.2.3. Define your strategy BDBC//Business strategy and planning BDBC

3.2.4. Why is strategic planning important? BDBC

3.2.5. Developing a strategic plan BDBC//Planning a business GOC

3.2.6. Making my business more sustainable BDBC

3.2.7. Planning for emergencies and disasters BDBC

3.2.8. Implementing a strategic plan BDBC

3.2.9. Evaluating a strategic plan BDBC

3.3. Management, leadership and strategic planning GOC//Manage your business BDBC//Entrepreneurial Skills BDBC

3.3.1. Improving my business management BDBC//Entrepreneur Toolkit BDBC

3.3.1.1. Leadership skills GOC//Be an effective leader BDBC

3.3.1.1.1. Developing the skills to be an effective leader BDBC

3.3.1.1.2. Managing my time more effectively BDBC

3.3.1.1.3. Delegating more effectively BDBC

3.3.1.2. Become a better communicator BDBC

3.3.1.2.1. Improving my communication skills BDBC

3.3.1.2.2. Improving internal communication in my company BDBC

3.3.1.2.3. Creating a communication plan BDBC

3.3.1.3. Improve your networking BDBC

3.3.1.3.1. Improve your networking BDBC

3.3.1.3.2. Growing my network BDBC

3.3.1.3.3. Improving my networking skills BDBC

3.3.2. Strengthen your management team GOC

3.3.3. Organizational design GOC

3.3.4. Finding advice for my business challenges BDBC

3.3.5. Online Training SBA

3.4. Hiring and Managing Employees GOC//Hire & Retain Employees SBA//Employees BDBC

3.4.1. Hire a Contractor or an Employee? SBA//Recruit BDBC

3.4.2. Recruiting and hiring GOC

3.4.2.1. Job Analysis GOC//Identifying hiring needs BDBC

3.4.2.2. Writing Job Descriptions GOC//Job Description Components GOC//Writing Effective Job Descriptions SBA

3.4.2.3. Screening and Interviewing Job Applicants GOC//Pre-Employment Background Checks SBA//Finding the best candidates BDBC

3.4.2.4. Steps to hiring employees BDBC

3.4.2.5. Evaluating and Testing Job Applicants GOC

3.4.2.6. Employee Referrals GOC//Hire Your First Employee SBA

3.4.2.7. Bringing new employees on board BDBC

3.4.3. Payroll and benefits GOC

3.4.4. Human resources management GOC//Manage BDBC

3.4.4.1. Keeping employee records GOC

3.4.4.2. Human resources administration tools GOC

3.4.4.2.1. Required Employee Benefits SBA//Optional Employee Benefits SBA

3.4.4.2.2. Evaluating and compensating my employees BDBC

3.4.4.2.3. Telework GOC

3.4.4.3. Managing employees GOC//Managing my employees BDBC

3.4.4.3.1. Employee Handbooks SBA

3.4.4.4. Retaining employees BDBC

3.4.4.5. Training employees GOC//Training and developing my employees BDBC//e- Learning GOC

3.4.4.6. Managing employees during difficult times GOC

3.4.5. Departing employees GOC

3.4.5.1. Terminating an employee BDBC

3.4.5.2. Record of employment GOC

3.4.5.3. Employer obligations when an employee leaves GOC

3.4.5.4. Conducting exit interviews GOC

3.4.6. Labour market data GOC

3.4.7. Human resources regulations GOC

3.4.7.1. Payroll GOC

3.4.7.2. Employment standards GOC

3.4.7.3. Equity and human rights in the workplace GOC

3.4.7.4. Employee health and safety regulations GOC

3.4.7.5. Employer obligations when an employee leaves GOC

3.5. Maintain your corporation status GOC

3.6. Managing your finances GOC//Planning my company's finances BDBC//Managing my company's finances BDBC//Manage your finances BDBC

3.6.1. Financial planning and budgeting GOC

3.6.2. Budgeting and forecasting GOC

3.6.3. Bookkeeping and accounting GOC

3.6.4. Financial bench marking tools and ratio calculators GOC//Evaluating my company?s financial performance BDBC

3.6.4.1. Reducing costs BDBC

3.6.4.2. Increasing profits BDBC

3.6.5. Financial Management Issues

3.6.5.1. Dealing with your banker and other lenders GOC

3.6.5.2. Insolvency for business GOC

3.6.5.3. Getting paid by your customers GOC

3.6.5.4. Accepting credit card and debit card payments GOC

3.6.5.5. Vehicle lease or buy calculator GOC//Compare the costs of financing or leasing a vehicle GOC

3.7. Planning your business operation GOC//Operations BDBC//Operational efficiency BDBC

3.7.1. Time management GOC

3.7.2. Quality assurance GOC

3.7.3. Production planning GOC//Planning production/processes BDBC

3.7.4. Working more productively GOC//Assessing my efficiency BDBC//Assessing the health of your business GOC Reducing my costs BDBC//Increasing my output BDBC

3.7.5. Completing your project on-time and on budget GOC

3.7.6. Using technology in your daily operations GOC//Operations management software BDBC

3.7.6.1. Daily management systems BDBC

3.7.6.2. Electronic work instructions BDBC

3.7.6.3. Field service management software BDBC

3.7.6.4. Manufacturing e-Dashboards BDBC

3.8. Supply chain management GOC

3.8.1. Transportation, distribution and logistics planning GOC

3.8.2. Purchasing BDBC

3.8.2.1. Finding and managing suppliers GOC//Managing my relationship with suppliers BDBC//Finding a Canadian supplier GOC

3.8.2.2. Reducing my purchasing costs BDBC

3.8.2.3. Optimizing my supply chain BDBC//Optimizing your supply chain GOC

3.8.3. Inventory management BDBC

3.8.3.1. Why is inventory management important? BDBC

3.8.3.2. Inventory management strategies GOC//Choosing an inventory strategy BDBC

3.8.3.3. Reducing my inventory costs BDBC

3.9. Marketing and sales techniques GOC//Market, Sales and Export BDBC

3.9.1. Marketing BDBC//Marketing basics GOC

3.9.1.1. Conducting market research BDBC

3.9.1.2. Defining my target market BDBC

3.9.1.3. Developing my marketing plan BDBC

3.9.1.4. Creating my marketing budget BDBC

3.9.1.5. Branding and positioning my business BDBC//Promoting and advertising your business GOC//Advertising and competition rules GOC

3.9.1.6. Choosing the right distribution channels BDBC

3.9.1.7. Implementing traditional marketing strategies BDBC

3.9.1.8. Implementing digital marketing strategies BDBC//Creating a website to attract new customers GOC

3.9.1.9. Improving customer loyalty BDBC//Sales and customer relationship management GOC

3.9.1.10. Measuring ROI BDBC

3.9.1.11. Optimizing my strategies and tactics BDBC

3.9.2. Sales BDBC

3.9.2.1. Developing my sales strategy BDBC

3.9.2.2. Increasing my sales BDBC

3.9.2.3. Selling online BDBC

3.9.2.4. Improving customer service BDBC

3.9.2.5. Optimizing my sales process BDBC

3.9.3. Investment and Trade GOC

3.9.3.1. Export BDBC//International innovation GOC

3.9.3.1.1. Am I ready to export? BDBC

3.9.3.1.2. Developing my export plan BDBC

3.9.3.1.3. Identifying my target market BDBC

3.9.3.1.4. Doing business with large companies BDBC

3.9.3.1.5. Developing my export marketing strategy BDBC

3.9.3.1.5.1. Trade data and market intelligence GOC

3.9.3.1.5.1.1. Global market trends GOC

3.9.3.1.5.1.2. Global tariff information GOC

3.9.3.1.5.1.3. Agriculture and food market intelligence GOC

3.9.3.1.5.1.4. International market research GOC

3.9.3.1.5.1.5. The steps to follow when researching foreign markets. GOC

3.9.3.1.6. Entering a target market BDBC

3.9.3.1.7. Delivering my goods BDBC

3.9.3.1.8. Financing my exports BDBC

3.9.3.1.9. Managing online sales and exports BDBC

3.9.4. ISO and other certifications BDBC

3.9.4.1. Why are certifications important? BDBC

3.9.4.2. Which ones are right for my business? BDBC

3.9.4.3. How do I become certified? BDBC

3.10. Planning for business growth GOC//Manage your growth BDBC//Planning for growth BDBC

3.10.1. Things to consider before expanding your business GOC//Am I ready to grow my business? BDBC

3.10.2. Identify opportunities arising from your current business GOC

3.10.3. Business planning GOC

3.10.4. Ways to grow your business GOC//Choosing the right growth strategy BDBC

3.10.5. Business activities to achieve growth GOC

3.10.6. Organizations and resources for growth GOC 3.10.6.1. Financing my growth BDBC

3.10.7. Review your business performance GOC

3.10.8. Prepare a business plan for growth GOC

3.10.9. Challenges of growing a business and how to meet them GOC

3.10.10. Strategic planning demystified GOC

3.11. R&D and innovation GOC//Innovate BDBC

3.11.1. Why is innovation important? BDBC

3.11.2. Developing new products BDBC

3.11.3. Making my business more innovative BDBC

3.11.4. Innovation funding and support GOC//Financing my innovation projects BDBC

3.11.5. Research and development (R&D) collaboration GOC//Collaborating for innovation BDBC

3.11.6. Commercialization and licensing opportunities GOC

3.11.7. Research technologies and innovative solutions GOC

3.11.8. Research and business intelligence GOC

3.12. Intellectual Property and Copyright GOC

3.12.1. Intellectual property basics GOC

3.12.1.1. Understanding the basics of intellectual property GOC

3.12.1.2. Protecting your brand GOC

3.12.1.3. Protecting your innovation GOC//Protecting my intellectual property BDBC

3.12.1.4. Protecting your artistic creation GOC

3.12.1.5. Intellectual property as a business tool GOC

3.12.2. Trademarks GOC

3.12.2.1. Understanding trademarks GOC

3.12.3. Patents GOC

3.12.3.1. Understanding patents GOC

3.12.4. Copyright GOC

3.12.4.1. Understanding copyright GOC

3.12.5. Industrial designs GOC

3.12.6. Integrated circuit topographies GOC

3.12.7. Plant breeders' rights GOC

3.12.8. Intellectual property databases GOC

3.12.9. Services for patent and trademark agents GOC

3.12.10. Commercialization and licensing opportunities GOC

3.13. Technology BDBC

3.13.1. Invest in technology BDBC

3.13.2. Why invest in new technology? BDBC

3.13.3. Choosing technology solutions BDBC

3.13.4. Finding the right software BDBC

3.13.5. Obtaining financing to buy technology BDBC

3.13.6. Managing technology risks after an implementation BDBC

3.14. Build or optimize your website BDBC

3.14.1. Create your website BDBC

3.14.1.1. Why should my business have a website? BDBC

3.14.1.2. What kind of website do I need? BDBC

3.14.1.3. How do I create a website? BDBC

3.14.2. Find free to low-cost software BDBC

3.14.2.1. Funding and budget tools BDBC

3.14.2.2. Marketing and sales tools BDBC

3.14.2.3. Productivity tools BDBC

3.14.2.4. Web tools BDBC

3.15. Protecting Your Business GOC

3.15.1. Learn About Business Laws SBA

3.15.1.1. Advertising & Marketing Law SBA

3.15.1.2. Employment & Labor Law SBA

3.15.1.3. Finance Law SBA

3.15.1.4. Intellectual Property Law SBA

3.15.1.5. Online Business Law SBA

3.15.1.5.1. Collecting Sales Tax Online SBA

3.15.1.5.2. International Online Sales SBA

3.15.1.6. Privacy Law SBA

3.15.1.7. Environmental Regulations SBA

3.15.1.8. Regulation of Financial Contracts SBA

3.15.1.9. Workplace Safety & Health Law SBA

3.15.1.10. Foreign Workers & Employee Eligibility SBA

3.15.1.11. Contact a Government Agency SBA

3.15.1.12. Assistance with Regulatory Compliance SBA

3.15.1.13. Economic Development Agencies SBA

3.15.2. Emergency and disaster planning GOC

3.15.2.1. 8 steps for planning your emergency and disaster plan GOC

3.15.3. Business continuity planning GOC

3.15.4. E-business security, privacy and legal requirements GOC

3.15.4.1. Protecting your clients GOC

3.15.4.2. Security GOC

3.15.4.3. Privacy GOC

3.15.4.3.1. Privacy policy GOC

3.15.4.4. Credit and debit card handling GOC

3.15.4.5. Legal requirements for e-business GOC

3.15.5. Keeping your business cyber safe GOC

3.15.6. Anti-spam information for business GOC

3.15.7. Fraud awareness for commercial targets (FACT) GOC

3.15.8. Filing a competition related complaint GOC

3.15.9. Small business insurance GOC

3.15.9.1. Why do I need business insurance? GOC

3.15.9.2. Types of insurance GOC

3.15.9.3. Get the right insurance for your business GOC

3.15.10. Resolving small business legal issues GOC

3.15.11. Workplace hazardous materials GOC

3.15.12. Risk management GOC

3.15.13. Anti-dumping and countervailing GOC

3.15.14. Privacy and your business GOC

3.15.15. Intellectual property as a business tool GOC

3.15.16. Agricultural Business Management GOC

3.16. Filing & Paying Taxes SBA

3.16.1. Is It A Business or a Hobby? SBA

3.16.2. Obtain Your Federal Business Tax ID SBA

3.16.3. Determine Your Federal Tax Obligations SBA

3.16.4. Determine Your State Tax Obligations SBA

3.16.5. Determine When the Tax Year Starts SBA

3.17. Exiting your business GOC

3.17.1. Change of Ownership BDBC

3.17.1.1. Plan your succession BDBC

3.17.1.2. Why should I plan for business succession? BDBC

3.17.1.3. Choosing an exit strategy BDBC

3.17.1.4. Transferring my business BDBC

3.17.1.5. Choosing and preparing my successors to take over BDBC

3.17.2. Sell your business BDBC

3.17.2.1. Am I ready to sell my business? BDBC

3.17.2.2. Determining the value of my business BDBC

3.17.2.3. Finding a buyer BDBC

3.17.2.4. Ensuring a successful transition BDBC