Setting up your own business is an exciting time, however you must take the time to prepare properly. A high percentage of new businesses unfortunately don’t last, so you need to do everything you can to ensure that yours is one that lasts. We’re here with some steps you should follow in order to help make your business a success, all of which must be considered before you jump into your business.
Have A Strong Mission
The very first thing you need to make sure is in place before you consider starting your business is to have a strong mission. You’ve got to have an idea that is different and then also have a very clear belief in that idea and a passion for it. Starting a business that you aren’t invested in, or that you don’t love, will not end well, as there will be really tough times along the way that will make you want to give up, but when you love what you do, you’ll keep going. In terms of the strong mission as well, it’s got to really provide something great to the people that need it, with a clear objective of how you’re going to serve your customers. Saying you’re going to start a fashion brand like 10 others out there, or opening a restaurant that lots of other people have already done, you are unlikely to find success. So, before anything else, start with finding a strong mission and then you can focus on the rest.
Start With Your Business Plan
Now that you’ve got a great idea that you’re passionate about, it’s time to start working on your business plan. This is a long document that covers your objectives, strategies, sales, marketing and financial forecasts, and each section has to be very thorough and well thought out. Not only does this give you an idea of how your business is going to look, but if you ever look for investment, investors will want to see a bulletproof business plan.
If you’re new to writing business plans, make sure that you do your research and find out exactly what you need to do (this is too much to include in one article!). Also, you need to make sure you are completely realistic about all of the data in the plan, always working off the worst case scenario to begin with, so that you know whether your business is viable.
Be Realistic About Funding
Continuing on, one of the absolute key sections of your business plan that you need to be realistic about is the funding. There are so many unexpected expenses that go into starting up a business. The worst thing you can do is overestimate how much your business is going to make without any evidence, then end up in a poor financial situation 6 months in where you will need to close your business and you could have lost a lot of money. Once you have your business plan, ask an experienced business person in the industry to look over it, along with a financial advisor, before you move any further.
Work With Solicitors and Accountants
Now that you’ve got a great business plan with realistic finances, it’s time to work with a solicitor and an accountant. You need to know all of the legal implications of your business, to make sure you’re well protected from the beginning from all angles. Every business is different, and so are the legal obligations, which is why you need to invest in good legal advice. You also need to work closely with an accountant, to make sure your predictions are realistic and also to ensure you are covered in terms of tax. This will require investment, but it will be so worth it to help you get everything right the first time and to avoid any issues in the future.
Start The Set Up
So, you’re now in a position where you have the finances you need, your business plan has been approved and you’re working with solicitors and accountants. The next step is to get the ball rolling in terms of setting up your business. Again, this will differ massively depending on the type of business you’re setting up, but for most, it will involve sorting out the supply chain and finding reliable suppliers (including quality checking) if you’re selling products. For businesses that are selling a service, you need to look into the different types of software you need.
Then, you also need to focus on setting up a website, making sure that it’s fast, it’s got cyber security software in place, it’s easy to use and it provides clear information about the service. Working with reliable web developers to get this sorted is important. This process shouldn’t be rushed, as a great website is key to modern consumers, no matter the industry.
The next step is to get your business insured, and we’d advise working with an insurance broker for this. There are so many different types of insurance, along with small types of cover that your business needs, so you need to work with an expert who will know everything your business needs. Whether it’s professional indemnity insurance, credit insurance, or anything in between, you need to protect your business. This will require an investment, but again, this insurance could save your business one day. So, make it a priority!
You can also start to think about your marketing strategy. I know this has been our advice a lot in this article, but make sure you work with a professional agency! Getting your business off to a strong start from a marketing perspective is key, and an agency will be able to advise on the best areas to invest in for your business specifically. This could be LinkedIn ads through to TikTok Ads, PPC or SEO, so getting an expert opinion on how best to invest your marketing budget is really important.
Starting a business isn’t easy, but as long as you have a real passion for what you’re doing, there’s a gap in the market, and you prepare properly in terms of finances, insurance, legal cover and marketing is essential. You want to make sure your business has everything in place to help it last, as it’s a difficult time to be starting a business and you need to do all that you can to make it work. Invest properly in the beginning to give your business the foundations it needs, then you’re giving it the best chance of it working. Good luck and we really hope that your business turns out how you want it to!