So, you’ve come up with a business idea, congratulations! Now it’s time to make it official. You’ll need to build out a strategy to reach your audience and figure out how much it will all cost so you can set yourself up for financial success. Often at this stage, it can feel overwhelming to know where to start so we’ve provided some common questions to help you start thinking about what will be most helpful.  

Want to learn more about different stages of business and the milestones? Check out our business growth roadmap. 


How do I choose what to focus on to help me reach my growth goals?

  • Essentialism by Gret McKeown — Learn how to prioritize and apply selective criteria to focus on what really matters
  • Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo — Learn how to retrain your brain to think more creatively and positively in the face of setbacks so you can focus on your goals

How do I turn my hobby into a business?

How do I know if I can quit my day job?

How do I make time for my business?

How do I set a yearly strategy plan with measurable goals?

  • Delivering Happiness: Zappos by Tony Hsieh — Purpose/Vision/Values 
  • Daring Greatly by Brene Brown — Personal Development 

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How do I increase my profit margins?

How do I develop processes to help me streamline and standardize my business?

How do I ship heavy items?

How do I avoid having too much inventory?

How do I manage products as a Maker?

When do I need insurance and what are my options?

How and why should I file for GST?

How and why should I register my business (sole proprietor vs incorporation)?

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Marketing & Sales

How do I consistently share with my audiences?

How do I capture great product photography?

How do I advertise and promote my business when I’m short on time?

How and when should I create my own website?

  • The Digital Economy Program (DEP) is designed to help small businesses take their businesses online. Helps small businesses in Alberta undergo digital transformations and adopt eCommerce practices free of charge including training and advisory support towards digital strategy development, Google My Business assistance, social media posts, and taking awesome pictures for your businesses.

Which marketing tools will help me save time and reach my audience?

How to choose where to market my product/service?

How can I have a great market or in-person sales experience?

How can I collaborate with other small businesses?

How to choose where I should sell my product/service and how to get into retail spaces?

How can I improve my sales skills?

  • Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  • To Sell is Human by Daniel H. Pink

How and why should I create a marketing plan?

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Should I have a separate bank account for my business?

How do I file taxes for the first time as a new business?

How do I track monthly cash flow?

  • Pandemic Cash Flow by Blaine Bertsch — Learn simple strategies to track your cashflow weekly, monthly and yearly as well as how to manage your finances.

How do I budget for costs without missing key pieces?

How much should I charge for my services/products?

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Ideation StageGrowth Stage