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  • Jun 19th, 2019 5:04 am
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[OP]
Newbie
Apr 29, 2019
5 posts
1 upvote
Ontario

Most Profitable Small Business?

I have been toying with an idea of starting up a business for some time and am still having difficulty finding the right business. What are the most profitable and stable small businesses to start up in Ontario.
I know also the risk with starting up a business but is there any that are less risky?
24 replies
Deal Addict
May 12, 2014
1948 posts
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Montreal
Profit is (in part) a compensation for risk, so generally speaking the more profitable the more risky.

If you want something "guaranteed" to make money, and low chance of loss (so presumably small investment needed), profits will almost certainly be low.

Finally, "a business" is very broad. What are your skills? Likes? Knowledge?
A coffee shop, property management company, dollar store, ... Are all small businesses but are very different. What do you want to do? How much time and capital can you invest?
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 29, 2019
5 posts
1 upvote
Ontario
FrancisBacon wrote:
May 1st, 2019 5:20 am
Profit is (in part) a compensation for risk, so generally speaking the more profitable the more risky.

If you want something "guaranteed" to make money, and low chance of loss (so presumably small investment needed), profits will almost certainly be low.

Finally, "a business" is very broad. What are your skills? Likes? Knowledge?
A coffee shop, property management company, dollar store, ... Are all small businesses but are very different. What do you want to do? How much time and capital can you invest?
I guess that was very open question and not very specific. I was looking in mostly hospitality sector including restaurants, cafes, small inns and boutique hotels and golf courses. I am not interested in any franchises and want to create my own brand so is it better buying an existing business or get a new location and start from bottom up.
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Aug 2, 2010
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vidosale wrote:
May 1st, 2019 10:12 am
I guess that was very open question and not very specific. I was looking in mostly hospitality sector including restaurants, cafes, small inns and boutique hotels and golf courses. I am not interested in any franchises and want to create my own brand so is it better buying an existing business or get a new location and start from bottom up.
If you buy an existing business you are paying for work someone else has done and that has a mark-up, but the risks and profit may be lower. If you start from the bottom up your cost can be lower but the risk is higher and hopefully the profit.

There's no sure thing in business or businesses that are 'the most profitable and stable'. If there was, as I said before, everyone would be doing them. The more something is a 'sure thing' (and there is really no such a thing in business) the lower the profits as competition moves in. Chart your own course, take some risks, work hard and you might be successful. 95% of startups don't last 5 years, btw. There's a reason why most people would rather have a regular paycheck working for a company and not incur the risk of being their own boss (which is a myth anyway - your customers are your boss!).
Last edited by eonibm on May 1st, 2019 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 17, 2004
6541 posts
921 upvotes
Toronto
IMHO right now is a golden age for Canadian businesses selling physical product online to the US and to the EU. By exploiting the free trade agreement between Canada and the US, you can pay a third party like chitchats express to move packages over the border for a small fee ~$0.65 and ship from the US giving you access cheap shipping options within the US and to the EU. US customers pay no duties. We also have a free trade agreement with the EU. If you ship a package to the say Germany, you exploit Canada-US free trade by moving the package to the US to ship cheaply to Germany, German customer will pay no duties because of Canada-EU free trade agreement.

The long and the short is that you have access to dirt cheap shipping rates, and you have a free trade with the US (330+ million wealthy customers) and the EU (800+ million wealthy customers)
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Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2010
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No duty or taxes if <$800 per consignee per day and that is also the max value package that Chitchats will accept.

Best thing about Chitchats is that my customers think it came from my US warehouse.
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Nov 17, 2004
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eonibm wrote:
May 1st, 2019 3:38 pm
No duty or taxes if <$800 per consignee per day and that is also the max value package that Chitchats will accept.

Best thing about Chitchats is that my customers think it came from my US warehouse.
That is both a pro and con. Amazon has set a very high standard for delivery times and US customer are used that type of quick delivery. Chitchats adds atleast an extra day of delay so that could turn a 5 star review into a 4 or 3 star review which is worse than no reivew at all. But overall, the pros far outweigh the cons.
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May 12, 2014
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Montreal
toalan wrote:
May 1st, 2019 2:43 pm
IMHO right now is a golden age for Canadian businesses selling physical product online to the US and to the EU.
Thanks for a very interesting post.

Just wondering, when you say physical product, do you mean something manufactured in Canada or anywhere?

I'm not familiar with the details of these trade deals, but I believe that they require some high percentage to be made in one of the countries to qualify for no tariff.
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toalan wrote:
May 1st, 2019 9:57 pm
That is both a pro and con. Amazon has set a very high standard for delivery times and US customer are used that type of quick delivery. Chitchats adds atleast an extra day of delay so that could turn a 5 star review into a 4 or 3 star review which is worse than no reivew at all. But overall, the pros far outweigh the cons.
Depends on your product and your competition. If there's not much you have to offer over something any old dweeb can flog on Amazon then of course this is what you are going to make: not much. You have no competitive advantage, especially over someone who can ship faster. I use a US logistics warehouse to ship most of my products and can ship them as fast as Amazon. More complicated products or those I don't want to stock there I ship from here. I only sell products no one else has access to.

So, for me, having a service like Chit Chats is only a pro.
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User avatar
Dec 3, 2009
5431 posts
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If you want an independent business and low risk, you BETTER find something you're passionate about. That's what you start with but from how your OP came about, it sounds like you're at least 3 years away from starting anything.
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Sr. Member
Aug 5, 2008
758 posts
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toalan wrote:
May 1st, 2019 2:43 pm
IMHO right now is a golden age for Canadian businesses selling physical product online to the US and to the EU. By exploiting the free trade agreement between Canada and the US, you can pay a third party like chitchats express to move packages over the border for a small fee ~$0.65 and ship from the US giving you access cheap shipping options within the US and to the EU. US customers pay no duties. We also have a free trade agreement with the EU. If you ship a package to the say Germany, you exploit Canada-US free trade by moving the package to the US to ship cheaply to Germany, German customer will pay no duties because of Canada-EU free trade agreement.

The long and the short is that you have access to dirt cheap shipping rates, and you have a free trade with the US (330+ million wealthy customers) and the EU (800+ million wealthy customers)
Free trade agreements are generally very specific about what is allowed. Are you "exploiting" by fudging the country of origin and HS codes? Or playing within the rules of these FT agreements?
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Deal Addict
Jul 30, 2015
1816 posts
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Toronto, ON
toalan wrote:
May 1st, 2019 2:43 pm
IMHO right now is a golden age for Canadian businesses selling physical product online to the US and to the EU. By exploiting the free trade agreement between Canada and the US, you can pay a third party like chitchats express to move packages over the border for a small fee ~$0.65 and ship from the US giving you access cheap shipping options within the US and to the EU. US customers pay no duties. We also have a free trade agreement with the EU. If you ship a package to the say Germany, you exploit Canada-US free trade by moving the package to the US to ship cheaply to Germany, German customer will pay no duties because of Canada-EU free trade agreement.

The long and the short is that you have access to dirt cheap shipping rates, and you have a free trade with the US (330+ million wealthy customers) and the EU (800+ million wealthy customers)
Like which products can you sell from Canada? I am not trying to start any business, mostly just curious what Canada makes that has a high demand.
Deal Addict
Jul 30, 2015
1816 posts
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FrancisBacon wrote:
May 2nd, 2019 5:44 am
Thanks for a very interesting post.

Just wondering, when you say physical product, do you mean something manufactured in Canada or anywhere?

I'm not familiar with the details of these trade deals, but I believe that they require some high percentage to be made in one of the countries to qualify for no tariff.
No-one will ever check $50 package in low volumes for trade agreement compliance.

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