With online business, you don’t have to worry about building a brick-and-mortar shop, dealing with employees, or even having your own office space.
You just need an internet connection, and boom! You can start an online business in Canada today! But how? In this guide to starting an online business in Canada, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about turning your side project into a full-time gig or expanding on what you already do so that you can quit your day job and go into business for yourself completely. Let’s get started!
Why you need to be on a business domain
Whether your company is big or small, people will search for you on Google. And if your business has a .ca domain extension instead of a .com, there’s a good chance they won’t find you.
But there are ways to solve that problem—and it all starts with having a business website on a Canadian domain.
It makes it easier for Canadians to find and trust your company and can make all the difference when trying to grow an online business in Canada.
What kind of products can I sell online?
Though you can sell anything online—websites make it possible to buy practically anything for sale on Earth and then ship it to your door—most new entrepreneurs tend to stick with relatively inexpensive items that don’t require a lot of up-front investment or storage space.
Simple things like books, music and movies or small-ticket items like clothing and collectibles are popular with online sellers because they have high profit margins.
Some people even use online sites to resell other kinds of products, such as furniture. If you aren’t sure where to start with your online business in Canada, we suggest you start by talking with experts about what will work best for your business type before jumping in headfirst.
The top reasons why businesses fail in their first year
According to a recent study by Phoenix Marketing International, one-third of all new businesses fail within their first year.
The reasons for failure can vary greatly from business to business and from industry to industry; however, there are some commonalities that exist across a wide range of different ventures.
Here are some of top reasons why startups may have failed over time: (1) Many entrepreneurs underestimate how much it will cost to start their own business – This can easily lead to cash flow problems when startup costs (especially inventory costs) are greater than anticipated.
(2) Lack of planning or preparation – There is no substitute for good planning. Entrepreneurs who spend enough time developing a solid plan before launching their venture stand a much better chance of success than those who don’t.
A thorough plan can help prevent many potential pitfalls that might otherwise derail your business before it even gets off the ground.
(3) Poor location selection – Location is key to any retail operation, but especially so with online businesses where customers often shop based on proximity rather than price or quality alone.
If you choose an inconvenient location for your store or office, you could be sending half your potential customers elsewhere every day.
Need help with how to start your own business?
The Startup Visa Program was launched on January 1, 2013. This unique program is a new way to attract immigrant entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and create jobs for Canadians.
The Government of Canada is committed to attracting world-class talent that will grow our economy. Entrepreneurs bring experience and talent from around the world and help grow Canadian companies into global leaders.
The Government of Canada works with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to process applications under The Startup Visa Program.
Don’t forget about social media marketing!
One mistake that many business owners make is ignoring social media marketing; especially if you’re just starting out.
Social media can be an important component of your online marketing plan—and because it’s free, there’s no reason not to use it for your online business. For example, Facebook has over 1 billion users worldwide and Twitter has over 300 million users worldwide.
This means that even if only a small percentage of these people are interested in what you have to offer, there’s still a large number of potential customers.
To start using social media marketing today, set up accounts on all major platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and share links to your website or online store regularly with relevant hashtags and keywords.
Don’t forget about YouTube either! Many online businesses are built around video tutorials or how-to videos so don’t forget about video content as well!
Don’t forget about blogging for your customers.
Most people start blogging to build their own business. However, blogging can be used as a customer service tool. For example: Most companies have a telephone number or email address listed on their website.
Many customers prefer sending emails instead of placing phone calls because they are too shy to talk on phone or they want to get answers quickly without having to go through lengthy hold times and wait times.
When we reply with useful content that matches up with our products/services, we not only improve customer service but increase conversions as well.
So before you forget about blogging for your customers because you’re busy building your own online business – remember that there is more than one way to skin a cat and blogging is not mutually exclusive from your own online business so use it while you create it.
How to get started with setting up your own website.
The biggest mistake you can make as a new online business owner is setting up your online shop and then waiting around for customers to magically appear. That’s not how it works.
At least not if you want to turn your part-time side gig into a full-time source of income. There are tons of things you need to do once you’ve got your online store set up—things like marketing, advertising, PR and more—but one of them should absolutely be building relationships with influencers who can promote your brand on social media.
Getting started on writing content for your blog.
It’s easy to start a new online business today. With all of the information out there, and simple software like WordPress to help you get up and running quickly and easily (so you can be successful), it’s no wonder that people are making a living online.
While it won’t happen overnight – unless your name is Beyonce – anyone can make money from their passion or hobby by setting up a website or social media account.
No matter what niche you want to work in, if there is already demand for that service or product out there somewhere then all you need to do is put yourself out there and take advantage of your opportunity.
I hope that helps answer your question about whether you should start an online business.
Remember to think about building an email list from the beginning.
Email is one of your most powerful online marketing tools. Even if you don’t have any product or service to sell just yet, it’s important to start building your email list as soon as possible.
This way, when you do launch a business down the road, you can send out email newsletters and notifications about sales and special events to your current subscribers—and build even more credibility as an authority figure in your industry.
But how do you get people to sign up for these emails? The easiest (and cheapest) way is to set up a landing page for your business idea on a platform like WordPress or Squarespace.
Then all you need to do is come up with a compelling headline that will encourage visitors to enter their email address. Include some benefits that they’ll receive by signing up, such as exclusive discounts or access to subscriber-only content.
Then, once someone has entered their information into your form field, use an autoresponder program like Aweber or MailChimp to send them a welcome message and follow-up reminders over time.
It takes some work upfront but having an established email list before launching your online business will pay off in spades later on!