A guest post from Maggie Geiser, an accounting professional in the Wave Pro Network.

You have an idea, and it’s a great idea. Everyone — your friends, even your mother-in-law — thinks it’s a winner. So off you go and start your new venture.

As you tackle your To Do list, let me propose a short "Don't" list: things that you shouldn't do, at least not yet. Avoiding the unnecessary at this stage will keep your business streamlined, and make your new venture easier and maybe even more profitable:

  1. DON’T register for anything you don’t need. In Canada, there is no need to register for GST/HST when you first start. (American businesses, see U.S.-targeted advice.)
  2. DON’T incorporate until your business is making more money than you need to live on. If you are concerned about financial liability, talk to your insurance agent.
  3. DON’T sign up for a credit card merchant account with associated monthly charges. Choose a credit card processor like Wave that has no monthly or hidden charges, and lets you pay as you go.
  4. DON’T mix your business income with your personal income; and...
  5. DON’T mix your business expenses with your personal expenses. Open a bank account just for your business. Keep all your business income and expenses in that account. Transfer surplus funds to your personal account.
  6. DON’T forget to put aside money to pay your taxes.  The saying is true: The only sure things in life are death and taxes.

And lastly, some general rules that hold in business as in life:

  1. DON’T do something just because everyone else thinks you should. Ask WHY and then WHY again.
  2. DON’T be afraid to ask for help.
  3. DON’T give up.
  4. DON’T forget to say “Thank You.”


Maggie Geiser is a member of the Wave Pro Network, and provides a wide range of business and management services to her customers in the Vancouver area. She also provides remote support for clients further afield.

Maggie can help with the challenges of navigating transitions from starting a new venture, selling a business, moving from non-profit to registered charity, to succession planning.


Find Maggie on LinkedIn