Tips for turning your small business idea into a reality

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Entrepreneurship can provide freedom to work creatively, build community and turn ideas into reality, but entrepreneurs will want to have financial tools and information at their disposal in order to launch a viable and sustainable startup.

Together with TD, we’ve rounded up some tips to help would-be entrepreneurs tackle a few of the more intimidating aspects that come with owning and operating a small business, from securing financing to understanding your business banking options, to managing and optimizing your capital.

1. Create a realistic business plan

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An effective business plan can serve as a reliable roadmap, providing step-by-step guidance for initiating, and then overseeing your new venture. Utilizing tools like TD’s Business Plan Template can help you clarify your idea and get it in writing.

Mapping out your ideas ahead of time is key in helping you both refine your vision and identify financial needs and goals, which in turn could make it easier to explain to potential stakeholders. Having a well-considered, well-thought-out business plan isn’t just a crucial first step in getting organized, it can also be an asset when seeking financial support for your business.

2. Secure financing

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Capital can help entrepreneurs invest in essential infrastructure, hire skilled talent and execute effective marketing strategies. While the task of securing funding for your business may seem daunting at first, there are a number of options to consider, such as bank loans or government grants and loans.

By connecting customers with Fundica, a search engine that matches businesses with relevant government funding programs, TD helps provide clients access to an innovative solution to an age-old problem: how to find government funding based on your unique business situation and needs. The service helps educate business owners on various municipal, provincial/territorial and federal funding options, including government grants, loans and tax credits.

Entrepreneurs can also use TD’s Small Business Loan Calculator to run the numbers on various financing options, compare interest rates and calculate monthly payments to help determine the right loan for their business.

3. Select the right business banking products for your business

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Choosing the right bank account for your small business means selecting a product that corresponds to your specific needs. Start by evaluating the fees and benefits associated with each option, ensuring they align with your expected transaction volumes.

Look for accounts that offer features designed for small businesses, such as unlimited transaction fees, a fee rebate, or low monthly fee. Review what account might work best for your needs by checking out the TD Account selector tool.

Tip: Before selecting your business banking products, determine your cash flow using TD’s Cash Flow Calculator. This handy tool could make it easier to understand how much money you’ll be spending and saving each month.

4. Set up a merchant payment processing system

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Whether you’re operating a restaurant or a real estate business, a payment processing system is a necessary tool in accepting payments for your sales. Point-of-sale (POS) solutions are technology systems that enable business owners to accept payments from customers and clients in person.

Alternatively, TD Online Mart enables business owners to accept payments online and over the phone. This option is especially useful for businesses that want to operate a web-based checkout terminal, process recurring payments, or that will find value in using fraud mitigation tools. Not sure which is right for you? Reach out to a TD Small Business Banking Specialist to receive personalized help and advice.

5. Don’t hesitate to ask for help

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Owning and operating a small business requires a firm grasp on financial management, but not every business owner is a business expert—and that’s OK.

When in doubt, consult with a Small Business Banking Specialist for clarity on your business’ banking matters. Whether you’re looking for help starting, growing or managing your business, there’s no need to go it alone. A dedicated Small Business Banking Specialist can help make a complicated process a little easier, by working with you to make informed banking decisions, so you can focus on why you got into this business in the first place: your big idea.

With banking advice for every stage of your business, learn more about how TD Small Business Banking can help.

Visit the Yahoo Canada x TD Small Business Banking Hub for more.