In the current economic climate lots of individuals that are struggling to find full time employment are starting their own businesses. Here, we give you the lowdown on some obvious but often forgotten aspects to make your set up run smoothly.
This may sound obvious; however there are so many things you need to know before you officially start a business that research is key. With over 500,000 new businesses started every year standing out from the crowd takes time and effort. Initially, finding out whether the market has a need for what you want to do is essential, as well as who your competitors are, both locally and more widely. Having a solid knowledge of the marketplace you are entering into in invaluable and will help you shape your business to what is required and will fit into any niches rather than just become what you want it to be. Stash any research you find usual into a physical or virtual file to draw upon when needed. This research will help when writing your business plan later. Also, check out local advisory services that can offer advice. You might hit a few bumps a long the way but be patient and ask for help and in the end your business as well as your mind will be a lot more focused.
Unfortunately a lot of the paperwork needed at the initial stages of setting up your business is boring to set up but will pay dividends and save you time once you get going. Considering your company structure, funding and business plan are intrinsic to the business and swallow up a lot of time. If you have a detailed and accurate business plan to take to the bank it will result in them being able to respond to any requests for accounts or loans that much quicker, as well as being able to tailor their services to you. It is never a bad thing to keep the bank on side. If you do ever hit hard times with the business you need their support. Similarly looking at your business’ structure, so whether you choose to be a partnership, limited company or sole trader from an outsider’s perspective helps you see the most sensible decisions. It is a real labour of love starting a business and sometimes, looking at the situation as an employee rather than employer helps to rationalize. Sitting down with solicitors at this stage is also a worthy idea, to consider contracts as well as tax and employees rights. It is essential that you know their rights as well as health and safety considerations. Companies such as injuries lawyers will be able to give you information as well as assist if you or your employees need to claim.
3. Networking, Promotion & Marketing
Once you have your business plan, funding and the vision behind it all clarified doing some outreach for business as well as potential contacts is the next most natural step. Networking often gets overlooked with the amount of online interaction we can have nowadays, however, there is something about pitching you and your business to someone face to face that technology won’t ever compete with. Go to meetings that are specific to your industry initially but when you feel braver about how the process works branch out to other sectors. To promote yourself doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. If you have the abilities yourself or a friend that can help you, build a basic website to give a brief introduction of you and your business and any examples or testimonials is a great way to show you’re serious as well as reputable. In a similar vein business cards are a traditional but equally as important method to make you memorable.