There’s no doubt that starting your own business is one of the most daunting things to experience, yet it is one of the most exiting too! Setting up a small business can be daunting for a number of reasons. Any prospective business owner entering a shop naturally tends to think ‘where do I start?’ Don’t panic, this is a natural response. Take a look at these top tips on how to give your company the best start!
Unfortunately all businesses need it, it is also named one of the best ways to help your business financially. This means you need to have a business plan where people will pay for your product/service up front, so you are then able to give this cash to the manufacturers. However, this isn’t always possible and many clients like to pay through an invoice.
Of course it’s not possible to generate positive cash flow immediately, you will first need a lump sum of money to start up. Nowadays, it seems like getting a loan for a small business is getting ever more difficult, which is causing a real barrier to entry in the start-up world. Therefore, many entrepreneurs are using credit cards to start their business. Before you take out a loan or credit card it is important to use some online comparison sites to check you are getting the best deal. The want to choose the amount you want to borrow (be realistic, you have to pay this money back!) and how long a period you want to pay it back.
Remember you might be edible for government funding! Visit the Gov UK Website to see which funding schemes you can apply for. If you are aged 18-30 then you could also get funding and support from The Prince’s Trust.
You Need a Good Business Plan
Whether you are apply to business angels, loans or government funding, a detailed business plan is key. Even if you aren’t applying for funding, a business plan will lay out everything clearly in a logical way, meaning you can easily track your development. Setting milestone points is also a good idea, for example; by the 3 month period I would like to have 6 clients on board who have signed up with a minimum of 3 months etc. This way, you will clearly be able to see if you are not reaching your targets and have time to amend them along the way.
You will either love it or hate it; networking. However you feel about it, it is a crucial part of growing as a small business, by asking everyone and anyone for advice and tips, you’ll not only learn a lot, but you will also make important contacts. The Start Up Britain offers a support group for new businesses, along with useful article, tips and links.
Brand It Right
Make sure you know what you want your brand to say, how you want to make people feel – it should really represent what your organisation does and what you want it to stand for. Again, seeking advice of expertise online will help immensely, look at existing competitors and how they have branded themselves. How do their logos, colours and pictures make you feel? Once you’ve decided and are happy with the brand, then get merchandising! From PVC Bunting to business cards to pens – make a statement about your brand, get it seen both online and offline.
Starting a business in hard economic times actually makes perfect sense – there are less jobs out there and so why not try and make it on your own?
Setting up and running a small business is challenging, but don’t let this force you into procrastination and indecision. There’s a wealth of information out there and even funding opportunities, you just have to jump in at the deep end, with a clear plan and goals.