Home-Based Business, Small Business

By Tony Copple

My estimate is that by 2025, 70% of the North American population will be self-employed and many in home-based businesses. Most of these businesses start as part-time, and only become full time if their earnings exceed those of the "day-job". Indeed, there are tax incentives that encourage everyone to run a business "on the side."

This page is a resource for small business owners, including home-based businesses.

Where we live, Kanata Lakes, there are hundreds of such businesses, so we've inaugurated the Kanata Home Business Directory. The first issue of the directory was published in the Kanata Lakes Community Association "Community News" so we (and fellow residents) know where to obtain high-quality consumer goods and services locally. I feel we should all support local entrepreneurs and their personal service rather than trot off down to the nearest big box.

Wishing to involve myself in local business, I formed a professionals' breakfast group in 1996, which I named The Kanata Group. We met once a month till May 2009 and it allowed us to keep abreast of local events and personalities. This is networking at a grass roots level, and it works.

How does one decide on a business and in which market to operate? Businesses that do well are often those that are positioned to meet the needs of several converging trends. For example, a business that provides health services for early retirees benefitted from the leading edge of the baby boomers, who turned 55 in 2001, and above all else wanted to hang onto the health and vitality they had enjoyed in the past. Also, anyone who retires at 55 has money to spend.

E-commerce has been a hot topic in recent years, and what a business to pursue from home! On the web, nobody knows if you are a dog, or how big you really are. Small can seem big! The Ottawa-based Shopify.com provides templates for any entrepreneur on the planet to get started. Shopify started another trend; their office is in the Byward Market, downtown Ottawa, rather than Kanata, where hi-tech firms have previously set themselves up, beginning with Mitel decades ago.

Do you read Success Magazine, the finest entrepreneurial magazine out there? All (would-be) business owners should! This is an example of continuing education that all business owners need. Sales and success are two fields that can be self taught from books and home study courses. Your Own Personal Business University is a low cost source of such education for people in the Ottawa area.

Of course, being successful in business requires ability as well as hard work. Do you have what it takes to compete in the marketplace when you probably aren't sure how good you are? Shear energy and drive won't necessarily substitute for capability. More attention in this area might reduce the high proportion of business failures. The latest research acknowledges that the business schools are failing to teach "street smarts."

Arts and crafts are the vehicle for many home businesses and cottage industries. Crafter's Marketplace is a splendid retail outlet for crafts.

You have probably noticed that there's a revolution going on in the retail industry. This is caused by cost-driven structural change in the distribution of most products and services to end-users. Also, more and more people want to shop from home. This upheaval is the major opportunity for the new home-based business industry, as it carves an increasing segment out of retail.

Financial planning can be largely done from home if you have a quiet area to sit down with clients, and more and more of my clients who live locally visit me in my home office to plan their financial strategies. Maybe a career in the booming financial services industry would appeal to you?

There's a great demand for franchises in home cleaning. Clean Living Specialists is a leading firm, based locally. Call Deanna Twerd at 860-0436 if you'd be interested either in buying a franchises or cleaning homes.

The Internet offers huge potential for the home business. Internet Helper may assist you in your home page development.

Capital Business Association - CBA, is an organization dedicated to the support of home business entrepreneurs in the National Capital region, and offers memberships with very obvious benefits to business owners.

Business loans for startups normally come from family and friends, unless you have a very good track record with your bank. In recent years, microcredit has provided opportunities in poorer countries for people to start businesses with very little capital. If you would like to sponsor a business needing microcredit, there are opportunities at Kiva.


N'Joy Ad - Digital signage
Shopify.com - Create an on-line store
Corporations Canada
Access Ontario - guidelines for dealings with disadvantaged people
CAFE - Ottawa Chapter  Canadian Association of Family Enterprise
EcoPhones - fundraising biz to recyle cell phones, Ink Jet Printer Cartridges, Portable DVD Players, Laptop Computers, MP3 Players, X-Boxes, Sony Playstations, Digital Cameras & Digital Video Cameras, Portable Navigation & GPS Devices, etc.
Home Business Association of the National Capital Region
Better Business Bureau - Ottawa
So you think you have a debt problem? - check the US debt clock
SOHO - Small office - home office
Canadian Money Saver - Personal finance magazine
On-line education
PayPal - an alternative to wire transfer
Investing - few Canadian investors actually have a clue - Ottawa Citizen, 1 Oct 2005
DEI Management Group - Sales Training Professionals
Forty Under 40 - Ottawa Business Journal awards
Canada.com Search, news, shopping, etc
Canadian Homeworker
Canadian National Christian Foundation and Advisors with Purpose
Credit Alert - track your credit rating, and Credit card fraud - very worrying
PF Markham & Assoc. Credit Counselling, Ottawa & Kanata
High Rise - advertize in high rise elevators
Hi-Tech companies, Management Consultants, Personal Coaches, and Venture Capital
Market intelligence
InfoUSA - market research data for business prospecting - USA and Canada
Import-Export Leads
Industry Canada
Notary Public, Ottawa - Notarization of documents
Trends - in business and society that should guide your choice of industry to work or invest in
The Kanata Group
Working and finding work
Skype voice over Internet, free! - including conferencing for up to 5
Tax helper - Income tax, etc.
Equifax - for your personal credit file
Micromedia - hotlinks to financial services directories
Personal Finance
Investors Group
Delbert R Smith Insurance Brokers - including the local agency for Eccliastical and their agent Chris Engbers, (613) 830-0550
Waddell & Reed - the U.S. version of Investors Group
Claiming a British old age pension - for ex-pats

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