Starting your own business can be a demanding and exhausting process – we thought we would try and remove some of the fog with a list of useful tips to follow.
Analyse yourself – make sure you write a full and frank review of your strengths and weaknesses and what areas you may need help with.
Do some market research – before you invest lots of time in a business ensure that there is a call for your intended products or service.
Create a business plan – This is the foundation on which you will build your business. Without it there may be vital areas that you miss.
Make a list of costs – Have you considered the cost of everything? Equipment, stock, premises etc?
Work out a budget – As well as the stock and premises that you may need you will definitely need to set aside funds for marketing – however small that may be.
Secure investment if you need it – It is not just the cost of equipment and marketing but what about loss of earnings whilst you build up your business. Do you need investment and who will provide it?
Investigate the legalities – Business insurance, business laws, intellectual rights and employment laws are all things that you will need to be familiar with.
Register with HMRC as self-employed – It is important to let HMRC that you are self-employed. This can be done online.
Open a business bank account – This can take time to be set up so should be done soon. Make sure that you carry out some research into the best business accounts available before deciding on which bank to use.
Choose a name for your business – There is lots to consider when choosing a name. Make sure it is the right one as, hopefully, you will be stuck with it for a while.
Seek advice – If you are unsure of what you need to do and if there are areas for concern, seek advice from other business owners or carry out some research online.
Find a book keeper and or accountant – With so much to do this can sometimes be forgotten. It is important to decide if you will keep your books or if you will find someone to do it for you. Also make sure you find a good accountant.
Choose a business location – Where is the best place for your business to be based? Does it matter where it is based? Think about whether you need people to find your premises. If you are an online business then it won’t be as important.
Buy the necessary equipment – Think about everything you will need – stock, computers, vehicles, stationery, business cards, branding etc. There is quite a lot to consider so it is important to make a list and then source it from the most reliable and cost effective suppliers.
Be patient – As the old saying goes ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ and you won’t launch your business and be busy from day one. You need to plan for a gradual build up over time.
Deliver a good service – It goes without saying that if you provide a good service or a good customer experience those customers will come back to you and recommend you to their friends. This will help you to build up a good reputation.
Network – Part of your marketing strategy should be to network. Carry cards with you, talk to people about what you do, attend local networking events and use social media platforms like LinkedIn to build contacts.