Today there are more opportunities than ever for people to start a business. While many entrepreneurs still open businesses in fixed locations, more people are launching businesses that operate entirely online. “While the traditional tips for starting a business still apply, entrepreneurs can’t ignore how important having an online presence is to the success of their business,” says Sarah Adams, vice-president of Small Business at RBC.

Adams offers tips for launching a business in a digitally connected world:

Research Your Market

While it may be tempting to ask family and friends for input on your product or service, to truly understand if your idea is viable, it is best to talk to your target audience.

Write a Business Plan

Studies have shown that owners who create a business plan have a better chance of success. By developing a business plan you ensure everyone involved is on the same page to set priorities, establish goals and create a strategy for execution.

Determine Your Financial Needs

Assess your start-up costs, calculate your cash flow needs, and figure out how long it will take to break-even. Create scenarios to find out if you have the funds you need.

Build Your Website

To continue to find new customers, grow your business and remain competitive your business needs to be online, and that means creating a web site.

Connect on Social Media

Social media is a great way to reach your target audience while saving money on advertising. Think about which social media channels your customers are most likely to use and connect with them.

More advice on starting a business is available at www.rbcroyalbank.com/business