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Let’s get started: 7 tips on starting your own business

By ATB Financial 29 October 2018 2 min read

Hey there, entrepreneur. Yes, we’re talking to you. One thing we know from listening to entrepreneurs like you is that you guys are pretty resourceful. You’ve probably Googled “how to start a business” more times than you can count, and skimmed article after article to learn as much as possible. So we decided to give you one more article that can hopefully help you along your journey.

But hey, don’t take our word for it—we wanted to hear another entrepreneur’s perspective, so you get the real deal. Here’s some top tips from Clay Bevans, owner of Edmonton-based Clay’s Industrial Supply.


1. Get some training, in your industry and beyond

"There are lots of courses that provide trade training—welding, mechanics, wood construction. Our whole market is based on those things. They're the bread and butter of business."

"And then take courses that will help you in the business environment, like typing, accounting, or law."


2. Get (relevant) experience

"I worked for four companies before I started this company. When I look back, if I didn't have experience in all those areas, I wouldn't have been well-rounded enough to start my own business."

"I didn't do it on purpose, but if you were to do it methodically, I’d recommend that you do a few different jobs that cover the spectrum of skills required—inside sales, outside sales, management, that kind of thing. Then when you've got a bit of experience, take the challenge of starting your own business."


3. Be on the lookout for opportunities

"There are always lots of opportunities to make a new product or make a living. You have to be aware of that."

"If you think you could do a better job, or offer a better service, that's your way in."


4. Identify how your business will run

"Make sure you have all your structure in place before you start. Structure is king. You create the rules, so you have to live by them."


5. Don't rush it

"Sometimes, if you take the challenge too early and you're not prepared, it can destroy your confidence. But, in fact, you may have the skill sets—you're just not ready yet."


6. But don't wait too long

"The only thing I'd change in my past is I would have started my business sooner. The sooner you apply yourself, the sooner you'll be in a more comfortable position [to get started]."


7. Once you're started, make yourself available.

"[To be successful in business], you have to have some smarts, but a lot of it is just making yourself available. Letting your customer know that you're always there. 'You call me if you need anything.' And after a while...your customers learn to depend on you. You create that dependency."

"Once you get to that stage, you have the wind beneath your wings."

Are you ready to jump to the next article on how to start a business? Hold up, because we have an entire guide made just for entrepreneurs filled with advice, templates and resources to help you start your business. Are you in? You can download it whenever you’re in the mood for more research.

Do you have questions around starting a business?

We’ll take you step-by-step through everything you need to know when starting a business in Alberta.

Need help?

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