TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 06/13/12 -- With school out for many Canadian students, BMO Bank of Montreal offers ten tips for "studentpreneurs" who are thinking about opening their own business this summer.
"Summer business ventures are a great opportunity to gain invaluable business experience, earn some money, and learn what it means to be your own boss," said Joe Collura, Small Business Area Manager, BMO Bank of Montreal. "While being your own boss has its advantages, starting a business is not for the faint of heart. There are many issues to contemplate before jumping in - including developing a strong business plan as a foundation. This is especially true for the kind of intensive or seasonal businesses launched by students, where there simply isn't a lot of time to adjust once they get underway."
To support budding "studentpreneurs" this summer, BMO offers the following 10 tips:
1. Know what you are good at and define your concept: If you have particular skills or interests, see if you can parlay these into a business venture. More often than not, doing what you know and love can help increase the likelihood of success. As with all new businesses, studentpreneurs should have a concept that will set the business apart, appeal to potential customers and allow it to be successful.
2. Have a Business Plan: It is imperative to have a business plan even for a short term venture. Stress-test your idea and research, including what your product or service and price point will be, who your audience is and what your sales targets will need to be to cover your cost. Two of the leading causes of business failure are undercapitalization and mismanagement. Having a well laid out plan will increase your chances of success.
3. Consider Duration: Your business plan should address longevity options for your venture. Is this a summer-only business or are you looking to create something that you can grow and continue to operate during the school year?
4. Build Awareness: How will you market your product or service? It is important to consider a networking strategy that is right for your business, through personal contacts, social media, events or flyers.
5. Think Through Distribution: Your business plan should determine whether your venture will require premises and/or a transportation vehicle. If it is e-commerce based, do you have the resources to create an online business?
6. Determine your Capital Needs: You will need to map out how you will fund your investments in your business. Will it require financing? Are there any services, programs and grants available to student entrepreneurs that you can use?
7. Have Time Management Expectations: Running a business takes a lot of time and energy. You should expect to be spending a large portion of your days dedicated to your business which won't leave much time for summer leisure unless you set a schedule which dedicates some time for non-business activities.
8. Consult an Expert: Speak to an accountant and a small business banker. Small business specialists can provide insight into setting up your business, market competition, personal and business finances and tax issues and how these may change over time.
9. Seek out Mentors: Having access to advice from seasoned entrepreneurs or experts in the field of business, marketing or social media is important. Do not hesitate to seek out mentors. They were once in your shoes and will likely be pleased to share their experience and wisdom.
10. Be Competitive: Find creative ways to get your business off the ground. Incentives and promotions to family and friends or to other local businesses to get the word out about your venture can help expand your customer base more rapidly.
For students thinking about starting their own summer business, BMO Bank of Montreal has a number of resources available at: http://www.bmo.com/home/small-business/banking/resources/business-resources.
About BMO Financial Group
Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $525 billion as at April 30, 2012, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.
Ron Monet, Montreal