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A little bit of preparation can help you overcome some of the challenges newcomers face when starting business.

For newcomers starting a business, there can be extra challenges in the beginning, such as limited contacts in Canada, language barriers, familiarity with business practices and access to credit. Here are some tips as you start to plan.

Build a credit history.

A limited credit history can impact your access to financing. Unfortunately, your banking records from another 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.

Develop your network.

One major challenge of starting a venture in a new country is the absence of relevant contacts. To start building contacts, look for an association you could join or networking events you could attend. 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.

Don’t forget to leverage your supplier/producer networks in your home country. This is an advantage you have as a newcomer.

Create a business plan.

Creating a business plan is not unique to a newcomer hoping to start a successful business, but it is perhaps more crucial. The research process will provide you with in-depth knowledge of a market that might be unfamiliar. You can also clarify your strategy and visionat 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.

Research government support.

The Government of Canada has several websites to assist you 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.