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Top 5 Tips for Starting a Business

You want to make the leap from being employed to self-employed or starting your own business and you think you have a great idea that will make for a happy and successful future. Well, before you take the leap, just bear in mind that only 4 in every 10 UK start-ups are still trading after 5 years. This isn’t to put you off by any means, this is to make sure you take every precaution you can to ensure you don’t end up running one of the 60% of companies that don’t make it. We want you to succeed!  These five top tips will help you get going in the right direction on your exciting new journey.

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  1. Do your research

Your great idea might have been like bolt of lightning to you but there also might be reasons this hasn’t been done before. It might not be financially sustainable, other people might not agree the idea is quite so great as you and therefore the demand might just not be there, or, it might actually have already been done! So first things first, take some time out to do your market research and ensure that idea is giving you the best shot at success in your new venture.

  1. Create a thorough business plan

A good business plan should cover your business goals and how you want to achieve them in detail. You will need to consider a huge amount of elements including; what you are offering, who you are offering it to, what your business will be called, who you will work with and so forth. This can be difficult to plan out and easy to miss important features that you might not think about whilst you are in the bubble of thinking about executing your exciting new bubble but it is important that you get this right. If you need assistance there are some good online sources to help you go it alone but you could also consider getting some professional guidance.

  1. Think finance

Your business plan will have brought up an interesting subject, how much money you aim to make, but it is unusual that you will make money without first investing some so you need to begin to think about your current financial position and if you have the start-up funds or if you need to look into loans or investments. Check your financial history so that you know how investors or creditors will see you and make sure you get your credit report looking as healthy as possible before applying for loans or investments. You will also want to look at your financial projections in depth and make sure they are realistic so you can provide these along with your business plan if you decide to look for investment.

  1. Get the right tools for the job

This is really another element of ‘Think finance’ as you will need to take into consideration stationary, computers, scanners, mobile phones, contract utilities and the list goes on as part of your start-up funds. It’s also worth remembering that Tax and HMRC commitments are a big part of running your own business so unless you are getting a professional Accountant, it would help to get some accounting software to help with this which will also need to be factored into your budget.

  1. Make yourself known

At the early stages it is easy to think you don’t have the resources to fork out for a big marketing campaign, and to be fair, at this stage you might not actually be able to cope with the demand if a huge campaign was very successful and your business idea was top notch. But, even if you don’t go for the big campaign in the beginning you need to have an idea of what this would look like so that you can make small, cheap but effective steps to get you there. Think about your brand image, logo designs, website designs, use of social media, SEO and digital marketing as starting points but make sure they all feed into your marketing campaigns bigger picture.

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