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How to scale up your small business

(NC) Thanks to the internet, starting your own business has never been easier. If you’re a small business owner and want to take your idea to the next level, here are some tips to grow your success.

Find a versatile payment processor. As you expand your operations, you’ll likely start selling your products in many spaces, including in-store, online or even on-the-go if you’re a contractor or artisan. To make sure you can accept credit cards, debit cards, cash and more, wherever your business takes you, look for a payment processor that offers all-in-one solutions.

Protect your intellectual property (IP) assets. You wouldn’t hesitate to get insurance or other protection for your physical assets, like your store or merchandise. But you likely also have valuable IP assets worth protecting, such as a business name or logo. If you protect them, they can give your business a competitive advantage over other players in the market. Your IP assets have the potential of making you a great deal of money, especially if you’re exporting globally.

Start thinking globally. Exporting to an international market can be an exciting way to expand your business, but you need to take the necessary steps to do it right. Start developing a plan by asking yourself some key questions: Will I be operating my business in other countries besides Canada? If so, which ones? Do I think I will ever export or manufacture outside of Canada? Do I have the financial resources to obtain intellectual property protection in other countries?

Tip: If you’re in the earlier stages of business development and have an online store, you can start by selling your products that way. When it comes to bricks-and-mortar operations, start by testing and refining your business model in your home country before exporting.

Learn how to manage, protect and leverage your IP with the resources, tools, services and information available at canada.ca/ip-for-business.