(NC) Starting a new chapter by starting a new business? It can seem intimidating, but you have what it takes to succeed. Meet the challenges of your new venture more confidently by following these simple tips:

Keep your skills up-to-date. Never underestimate the value of a one-year college program, or even a continuing education credit. You don’t need to go back to school for four years just to start a business, but even a small amount of time spent honing old skills or learning new ones can pay dividends. You already invest into your other business assets, so make sure you invest in yourself as well.

Your time is valuable—spend it well. Your business will always take more time than you expect it to, and that’s ok. But you need to make careful decisions about what merits your time and what doesn’t. Set your priorities and strategically tackle them in order of importance, outsourcing or delegating what you can to employees, freelancers or specialized companies.

Do your research the smart way. No company ever got ahead without knowing their market, and you will be no exception. But finding useful information about your area and your potential customers can prove surprisingly difficult if you don’t know where to look. Census data can provide a wealth of information on where your customer base lives and their median income and average monthly shelter costs, which can potentially give you a sense of how much they can spend on your service. Statistics Canada offers the data for free, so why not use it? Take advantage of this great resource to learn more about your target market, and maybe even find whole new market segments you’ve never considered.

Find more information at http://www.statcan.gc.ca/census.

http://www.newscanada.com