Blog entry

Setting up Camp vs. Setting up Shop

It’s your first time heading on a camping expedition, you wouldn’t just take off without some basic “how to” camping knowledge? The same goes for opening a small business, you wouldn’t “Set up Shop” without basic knowledge of the basic startup steps.

Campers should jot down a basic necessities checklist before “Setting up Camp”. Ask yourself, are you looking for backcountry or a full amenities campout?  Have you mapped out the location/ destination that you want to set up camp, are you using a tent, cabin or RV? Much is the same when setting up shop you will ask yourself a similar range of questions, where do you want to set up your shop, will you operate  urban or rural? Will you be operating the business from home, mobile or a storefront location?

When planning your perfect campout research what permits you will or will not need. Do you require fishing or hunting permits?  Are there regulations specific to the area you are camping? If it’s a provincial campsite, can you have fires? Or for an urban campground, what are the noise restrictions? When researching your small business location, look into the required permits for your municipality and any regulations in the area you are looking to operate your business. 

When packing up for trip, you might pause and ask yourself what do I “need” to bring; the outdoor necessities verses camping luxuries? For example you need first aid supplies, water, food, matches, additional you might want to bring a propane stove or outdoor shower. For small businesses you also must identify between your “needs” and your “wants”. You need to have your business name registered; you need to have a business license and a business bank account. You might want to hire an accountant, a lawyer or opt to carry business insurance.

If you’re heading on a camping fishing trip, you’ve probably done your research on the type of fish your looking to hook, what kind of bait are you going to use to hook them in, what reel is the best to pull them in, or the best hours for fishing. In small business you will also research your clients are and what target market are you aiming to serve? What is the best marketing / sales tactic to get those clients interested in your product and services?  What are the best days and hours to have your business open to the public.  

Identifying risks you could be exposed to and a back-up plan in case things occur unexpectedly is not to be overlooked.  It would be a letdown to put so much time and effort mapping the perfect location only to find the access road is blocked from a recent storm.  Would you turn back or would you just change the course of your path find another place to set up camp. Risk planning is important at all stages of your  Small business startup, what happens if the lease agreement for that perfect storefront falls through or your contractor says renovations are pushed up a month due to permit issues? Do you give up or do your reroute your path and continue onwards? 

Just as you would for any outdoor venture, in the quest of entrepreneurship and to ensure a successful startup you should always have a basic start up list and backup plan.



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About Community Futures

For over 25 years, we’ve been fostering entrepreneurship in rural BC. We offer small business loans, business counseling and specialized programs to help you start or grow a business, and to help communities become more resilient and dynamic.

266 Oliver Street
Williams Lake, BC
V2G 1M1

Phone: (250)392-3626
Toll free: (888)879-5399
Fax: (250)392-4813