Over three months ago, I made the decision - with a bit of prodding from my mentor - to go ahead and quit my nice, safe, 7-to-5 job to start my own business.
I think it would be a real shame if the lessons I've learned so far were to be lost, so I've decided to document them here. Hopefully someone else can benefit from them!
Get someone else to set up your business number, HST number, Trademarks, etc. It just isn't worth doing it yourself. I used Ontario Business Central. You can visit their site here: www.ontariobusinesscentral.ca. Keep in mind that this is for businesses in Ontario, Canada, only.
Get a business bank account set up right away. This is one thing I wish I did.
Resist the urge to buy stuff because you're setting up a business! Use your current computer. Do you really need monitors? (I did). And so on. You'll need cash to stay afloat.
While you're setting it up, you are technically unemployed. Apply for Employment Insurance - this will give you some protection cash-wise.
Get an office. A home office is very overrated, and if you find a good local one, you can bike or walk to work - bonus!
I'll add more as I go along, but I think the best way to finish this off is two quotes from Richard Branson:
"Starting your own business isn't just a job - it's a way of life."
And my favourite:
"If you don't know how to do something, say yes and learn how to do it later."