By: Angie Mansfield
One of the most entrepreneur-friendly countries in the world, Canada ranked number five in 2012 in terms of share of high-growth firms.
With much of Canada's manufacturing operations being sent offshore for lower labor costs, the economy is becoming more and more knowledge-based. Online businesses and others where you can keep your overhead low while scaling both locally and globally continue to be the best bet for new business owners.
Where should new business owners look to when wanting a piece of the pie in the Great White North?
Best Sectors for Top Cities
Different sectors have better results in different parts of Canada. Here are a few good choices for different cities/markets:
* Calgary: Dining and retail are big in Alberta, making a restaurant a good choice for a startup. Other areas to consider include financial services and oil/gas consulting;
* Montreal: Government stimulus for infrastructure makes construction and infrastructure maintenance excellent new business choices. Other industries to consider include transportation, retail, and wholesale trade;
* Ottawa: A large government community makes Ottawa a stable place to start your business. The city also has a diverse economy and solid workforce, making it even more business-friendly. Tourism, retail, and any business providing products and/or services to the government are all solid choices here;
* Toronto: Home to more business headquarters than any other Canadian city, Toronto is another excellent choice for a new business. Legal firms, construction and home building, and financial services should all do well in this city.
Choosing Your Business
While the lists above give you a general idea of what sectors will do well in different areas, choosing the specific business you want to start takes a little more planning.
Start by taking an inventory of your passions, talents, and expertise. These different traits will help guide you to the right business for you.
A product or service you're truly passionate about will make it easier for you to stay with for the long term.
You may also have an easier time selling something you truly believe in. On the other hand, your work experience and expertise may make another business more suitable for you.
You also need to conduct in-depth market research in order to ensure you'll have customers for your new business. Assess things like demographics in the area you want to start your business, competing businesses and how they're doing, and industry trends that might affect your ability to succeed.
Once you've chosen your location, industry, and specific business focus, it's time to find funding to get your small business off the ground.
For some small businesses, such as sole proprietor consulting services, you may not need much in the way of funding, and your overhead may be low.
If you're starting a business that requires startup capital, you'll need to do a little more research into your choices. A great place to start is Service Canada's page on starting a business.
Canada has a welcoming atmosphere for businesses, including entrepreneurs.
With a little legwork and research, you can choose a successful focus for your new company.
About the Author: Angie Mansfield is a freelance blogger and copywriter covering a range of topics for small business owners and consumers, including doctor reviews.