Being self-employed and starting your own business is something that a decade or so ago was not very common. But today, many people are turning their hobbies into careers and starting their own businesses. This is often as a side hustle alongside their main full-time jobs.
But a lot of people who have worked in a specific industry for a long time decide to go their own way and start their own companies. Starting your own business is a bold and exciting endeavor, but it can also be difficult and overwhelming. So, to help you get started here is the ultimate guide to starting a small business.
Are You Really Prepared to Start a Business?
A lot of people have fancied themselves not cut out for the average nine to five, and would love to try out something both mentally and physically rewarding, not neglecting the financial aspect. Being your own boss, having flexibility with your schedule and keeping more of the financial rewards that come with business ownership, are all good reasons to own your own company.
“It is always the start that requires the greatest effort.” – James Cash Penny
“Building Oracle is like doing math puzzles as a kid.” – Larry Ellison
But a lot of would-be entrepreneurs get to find out along the line that it is not all roses, and that their projections are way off the mark. According to the Small Business Association, two thirds of all startups survive at least 2 years and approximately 50% of these startups survive up to 5 years.
“Success is a poor teacher. We learn the most about ourselves when we fail, so don’t be afraid of failing. Failing is part of the process of success. You cannot have success without failure.” – Rich Dad
One of the reasons why businesses fail lie in the planning and execution of such venture. There are so many things you have to consider from coming up with an excellent idea to registering a company, all the way to business planning, fundraising and much more.
“The business empires built by successful entrepreneurs were erected on the foundation of past failures.” – Ajaero Tony Martins
a) Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before he invented the incandescent bulb and he went on to build General Electric (GE); one of the most powerful companies in the world. This is what he has to say;
“I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison
b) Henry Ford had two business failures and with the experience gathered from those business failures, he went on to build Ford Motor Company and became one of the richest men in history.
“Failure is just a resting place. It is an opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” – Henry Ford
C) Sir Philip Green had four business failures before he hit his first million at the age of 33.
d) Robert Kiyosaki had a major business failure when his Nylon and Velcro wallet company crashed; and with the experience from this failure, he went on to build the Rich Dad Company.
“Losers quit when they fail. Winners fail until they succeed.” – Robert Kiyosaki
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I cannot accept not trying.” – Michael Jordan
Making Your Dream a Reality
One of the best things about starting your own business is that you can do whatever you like. Whether your passion is fashion design, illustration, or fixing cars, you can start your own business. You have very likely been dreaming of doing this for years and are finally ready to take the plunge and are trying to do as much research as possible.
This is very sensible as, although there are a lot of fun and exciting parts to starting your own business, there are also lots of serious (and kind of boring) parts as well. A lot of the serious stuff comes down to paperwork and making your business dreams into something real and professional. The best way to do this is to work on making a business plan and doing as much research as possible.
Steps to Starting a Small Business from Scratch
1. Why Do You Want to Be an Entrepreneur?
“I built a conglomerate and emerged the richest black man in the world in 2008 but it didn’t happen overnight. It took me thirty years to get to where I am today. Youths of today aspire to be like me but they want to achieve it overnight. It’s not going to work. To build a successful business, you must start small and dream big. In the journey of entrepreneurship, tenacity of purpose is supreme.” – Aliko Dangote
Starting a business is a process that requires an enormous amount of thought and careful examination. First, you need to find out why you want to be a business owner. Are you genuinely interested in running a business or are you just trying to follow a fad?
Before you start a business, you should be absolutely clear about why you are doing it. That may sound obvious, but there are actually many reasons why someone should choose to turn their back on the security of a job and career for the uncertainty of starting a business. So the clearer you are about what exactly you are trying to achieve, the better chances you have of achieving it.
Next, take a good look at your strengths, weaknesses and skills. This will allow you to start thinking about what you can do and what you cannot do. It is important to start here even if you already have world’s best business idea, because you might not have the skills or personality traits to enable you to make it into a successful business.
“The height attained by great men is not by sudden flight. For while their companions lay asleep, these men were toiling in the night.” – Anonymous
You may be good at public speaking which can help when raising money, but bad at accounting which just means that you’ll need to find some kind of help with that area of the business. The crucial point is to understand yourself and your team, and if you are well suited to any business ideas, areas of business or specific types of business. It allows you to start coming up with ideas and narrowing down what businesses you could start.
Logic dictates that if you want a successful business then you should begin in an area that you already have a passion for. To start figuring out what businesses or areas of business you are passionate about, you need to start by thinking about the areas, activities, and things you are passionate about. That is, what interests you and what do you have strong opinions on, for example:
- Someone who loves to hike might consider setting up a travel business.
- Someone who loves Lego might think about a toy or construction business.
- Someone who spent their whole life with a passion for music might start a company related to sound.
2. Read and Learn as Much as You Can
“I started and built a business from scratch. One thing I love about the entrepreneurial process is this; no matter my level of fame and success today, the thought of my early days in life, when I had nothing; will always keep me humble.” – Ajaero Tony Martins
Research is crucial when it comes to starting a business. So much can be learned and extrapolated from just a few hours of Googling, surfing the Internet or reading related business books. Do your homework thoroughly and you’ll be so much better off. In fact, it’s a necessary first step to determine the viability of your business idea.
It’s important to be honest with yourself. If it seems your idea has already been done, can you do it better or offer it cheaper than the competition? Ask yourself the hard questions and get feedback from associates and mentors. Anybody that neglects to do the ground work may likely find out too late that they have made an avoidable mistake.
3. Find a Mentor or Coach
When it comes to starting a business especially if you are a novice, one thing you should keep in mind is that you need help. By this help, we don’t mean financial. You can have a bag of money and still wreck your business. Right now, what you need more than anything else is the right kind of people to help you through the journey.
These people can be business mentors or even a business coach. Some entrepreneurs would decide to take on partners who would also play the role of a business guide or coach. If you start your company with co-founders, you should agree early on about the details of your business relationship.
Not doing so can potentially cause significant legal problems down the road. In a way, think of the founder agreement as a form of “pre-nuptial agreement.” Here are the key deal terms your written founder agreement needs to address:
- How is the equity split among the founders?
- Is the percentage of ownership subject to vesting based on continued participation in the business?
- What are the roles and responsibilities of the founders?
- If one founder leaves, does the company or the other founder have the right to buy back that founder’s shares? At what price?
- How much time commitment to the business is expected of each founder?
- What salaries (if any) are the founders entitled to? How can that be changed?
- How are key decisions and day-to-day decisions of the business to be made? (by majority vote, unanimous vote, or are certain decisions solely in the hands of the CEO?)
- Under what circumstances can a founder be removed as an employee of the business? (usually, this would be a Board decision)
- What assets or cash does each founder contribute or invest into the business?
- How will a sale of the business be decided?
- What happens if one founder isn’t living up to expectations under the founder agreement? How will it be resolved?
- What is the overall goal and vision for the business?
- If one founder wants to leave the business, does the company have the right to buy back his or her shares? At what price?
4. Develop your Skills
Business skills are skills that help people understand consumer and organizational behavior and the ability to use this information to promote the success of the company. Business skills are often considered soft skills and may include team management, leadership and communication skills, sales and marketing skills, etc.
You need to develop a couple of these skills if you want to be successful with your business. This is because, as a startup, you may likely take up a lot of roles by yourself before you start making enough money to hire professionals. So you need to build yourself up in these skills before you think of starting your business.
5. Have a Clear Business idea
This is important for several reasons. One of the main reasons is it will help you secure funding. No one is going to fund a business that sort of has an idea that kind of might work. You need to find a gap in the market that your business will fill.
You also need to be able to prove that you have the skills, experience, and know-how to not only set up a business but also build your business and help it to succeed. You need to plan beyond setting up the business itself and be able to plan for future growth.
Coming up with a business idea can be difficult so don’t force it. You might want to work for yourself and be in control of your time and your own productivity, but this doesn’t mean that you should try and do just anything. Starting a business can mean becoming a freelancer in your field or starting to sell your crafts on Etsy. You don’t need to do anything outlandish or out there, just something that is viable and will attract a decent number of people.
You can start by thinking about what significant problems you could solve and how. Many successful companies started out on a mission to solve real problems that affect millions of people and provide a solution through their products and services.
If your business idea involves a new product or service (or even an enhancement to an existing product or service), it needs to be evaluated. This is technically called market research. There are firms that specialize in doing market research for new products or ideas, but if you are on a tight budget, you can do this yourself.
After several rounds of market research with different groups of people, you should see patterns emerging about things that they both liked and didn’t like. Use this information to tweak your product or service and do another round of market research.
You should look for areas where you can provide significant savings to the customer vs competitors. These types of businesses grow incredibly fast, particularly during recession. Keep in mind that you’ll never come up with a universally loved product, your job is to produce a product or service that appeals to the broadest range of your target market.
Finding Your Niche
Finding your niche is a really important part of starting your own business, especially a small business. When you’re starting a business, you need to find an audience that will respond well to your marketing and want to buy your products. You also need to understand where your business will sit amongst competitors within the market and work out how you’re going to differentiate yourself from them.
Finding your niche will also help you to stay on track and keep control of your business. When you first get started, it can be exciting to dream big and just want to do everything. But this isn’t realistic. Even huge multi-million dollar companies will spend years researching and considering whether they can add another element to their business.
So starting small is one of the best ways to keep on top of your business and help it to thrive. Defining your niche will also help you to find your target audience and market directly to them. If you people don’t know what you’re about and exactly what you’re selling, then they are less likely to pay attention. Here are the main considerations to make when finding your niche.
6. Define Target Audience
Finding your target audience is really important. It’s nice to think that your product or service will appeal to everyone but that just isn’t the case. So you need to work out exactly who you will be selling to, what they want, how they will benefit from your product or service, and how best to market to them.
This is called creating a customer persona. You essentially come up with the exact type of person who you think will be the most interested in your service or product. This will allow you to develop and market your product directly for the people who will want to buy it.
Developing a customer persona will also allow you to consider your service or product from the audience’s perspective. You will be able to get into the head of your customer and ensure you can understand what they would most want from you. You shouldn’t start a business for other people but it’s important to know who you will be buying from you.
7. Do Market Research
Market research is important for several reasons. The main reason is to know where your business will sit in the market, what service it will provide that is not already available, and how it will compare to competitors. It is very difficult to come up with an idea that no one else has had, so you will likely always be competing with someone else.
But this isn’t a bad thing. You can create something, for example, a clothing range, which so many people have done before. But it needs to be different. It needs to sit within a specific style and have what is known as a USP, a unique selling point.
A USP will allow you to concentrate your ideas and keep them in line. As already mentioned, it is easy to want to do everything but this is not a good idea.
Knowing what you can offer is essential to starting your business but you also need to know what you offer in comparison to other businesses. So researching what else is out there and understanding how you will stand out but also fit in alongside other businesses is essential.
Just don’t get too hung up on what other people are offering. You don’t want to try to be so different from everyone else that you end up offering something that people don’t really want or need. Doing extensive and proactive market research can help you to find that balance.
8. Validate your idea
Once you have a few thoroughly researched business ideas, it’s time to test quickly and validate if your proposed business can work in the real world. Many entrepreneurs who skip this stage, end up wasting much time chasing ventures that would never work.
When testing a proposed business, you can assess the performance of any venture in different ways, so it is important to initially work out what you want to measure to gauge success or failure. Here are some suggested measures to get you started:
- How much revenue could you generate/How many products can you sell?
- How much customer interest can you generate?
- How much press/notoriety can you generate?
If you have a services or a specific solution based business and your primary sales channel will be online, this is often the quickest way to test:
- Set up a quick one-page website.
- Make it seem and feel professional.
- List your services/solutions.
- Add a contact email.
- Find the e-mails of ideal potential buyers and contact them about your service.
- Then manage communications and see if anyone is interested, if not ask why and be persistent.
- Set up a market stall and sell
If you are starting a product based business and your primary sales method will be face-to-face, a cost-effective way to test your business is to build initial versions of your product and book a table at your local market or festival. You can gauge via sales and customer feedback though this method.
9. Develop a Product Prototype
When starting out, your product or service has to be at least good if not great. And the only way to find out is if you have a prototype.
You can build a prototype for people to use, touch and look at so they can get a feel of it. If a prototype is not possible or it’s a service business, then offer a highly descriptive presentation of the business plan complete with its unique benefits and how it’s different from the competition.
Having a “beta” test product works for many startups as they work the bugs out from user reactions. Don’t drag your feet on getting your product out to market, since early customer feedback is one of the best ways to help improve your product.
10. Evaluate and Assess Your Situation
When you are building up your ideas and business plan, keep asking yourself why you’re doing it. There isn’t really a right or wrong answer but it’s important to consider what exactly you’re getting into. Have you had years of experience in the field, noticed a gap in the market, and feel confident that your business idea can plug the gap and be successful?
Are you tired of your current job and just want to take a leap into the unknown? Or have you recently been made unemployed, had an idea for a while, and feel like it’s now or never? Some of these reasons are stronger than others. But it’s important to consider where you are in your current situation.
Starting and building up a business is a long process, so there’s no need to rush. If you’re trying to start something to get in on a trend before it dies, then this might not be the best idea as it doesn’t suggest there is any potential longevity to your business idea.
Once you have considered the reasons behind why you want to start your own business, consider how viable it will be. Speak with professionals, attend training courses, and get as much information as you possibly can. This will set you up for success and ensure you don’t become overwhelmed and fizzle out before the business gets off the ground.
It’s important to know when the best time to start a business is in terms of the economy, but you also need to consider your personal life.
Starting a business can mean working incredibly long hours, especially if you will be doing it alongside a full-time or even part-time job. It can affect your social life and your family life, especially if you have a partner and/or children. So it’s important to be realistic about what you can do and achieve.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to start a business just because it will be difficult. Only that you need to be considerate of the far-reaching impact of the amount of work it will take. If you decide that this is the best time to make the leap and that you’re ready, go back to the reason why you’re doing this in the first place and regularly remind yourself throughout the business production process.
11. Choose a Business Name
Coming up with the perfect business name can be hard, especially if you want a .com domain to go along with it. You can use a free business name generator to help you come up with a name. Most brands try to include their keyword in the brand name, such as Fashion Nova. However, some brands create a unique name, such as Oberlo.
The business name you choose should be catchy, memorable, easy to spell when heard, have available usernames and a domain, and be concise. Sometimes the best naming ideas come after bouncing names with a friend as a second opinion helps give you a different perspective. So feel free to get a second opinion if you feel stuck when choosing the right brand name.
Here are some basic tips on how to name your startup:
- Avoid hard-to-spell names
- Don’t pick a name that could be limiting as your business grows
- Conduct a thorough Internet search on a proposed name
- Get a “.com” domain name (as opposed to “.net” or another variant)
- Conduct a thorough trademark search
- Make sure you and your employees will be happy saying the name
- Come up with five names you like and test market the name with prospective employees, partners, investors, and potential customers
12. Choose a Business Structure
You have many options when it comes to choosing a business structure. Discussing them with your accountant or financial adviser is really the only way to know what’s right for you. But just to give you a quick rundown of the types of business entities and their pros and cons we will briefly go through them:
- Sole Proprietorship
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
You should know that there is no simple answer to which structure is best for your business, it depends on your business operation and needs. For example, if you:
- Plan to grow your small business beyond yourself (one person) and then sell it, then a Private Limited Company would likely be the most suitable structure.
- Plan to only operate as a one-person business for the near future, then a Sole proprietorship would probably be the best structure.
- Plan to start a business that has a significant amount of senior management, capital and that deals in services, then a Limited Liability partnership would be the best choice.
To have a successful business, to find funding, and to have a clear set of goals, you need a good business plan. Writing a business plan can be difficult, especially if you’re more on the creative side of things than the finances. This might be a reason to bring other people on board. Starting a business with someone else is a risky endeavor but it has a lot of benefits.
To write a business plan, you need to know what investors are looking for and what they will expect. You might have a great business idea but if you can’t show evidence that it will do well, then you’re going to have trouble getting support.
A business plan needs to be sensible, well-thought-out, and professionally written. So don’t rush it and seek advice when you need to. If you believe in your idea and have done your research, then the business plan will likely come easily.
You might find yourself having to do more research again to fix small areas and get new figures. But you will be able to write a great business plan with the right help and information.
- Executive summary
- Contents page
- Business model and products/services
- Customer, market and competition
- Marketing and sales
- Finances and projections
Business plan summary
This section should summarize your entire business plan through key points in bullet point format and provide contact details so a reader can easily get in touch with you. Create your initial document in Word, Google docs or Open Office, these tools are easy to use and you’ll end up with an easily editable file.
You can also use Excel to create and update a clear structure, this helps to give you a good overview of the plan. Make sure to use a theme that is consistent throughout the document regarding fonts, colours and design features. If you must give a copy to an external party, always export the file to PDF, and make sure to have professional graphics in place if desired.
14. Raise Capital
Before you can start generating any revenue or making purchases, you are going to need to open a business bank account to send, receive and securely store your businesses capital (money). It is essential to select a bank and business account carefully as it is very likely you will be with the chosen banking provider for the life of the business.
You also must decide what type of business account or accounts your set up. If you have the wrong type of account, it can significantly affect your cost of business banking. It will take you a bit of time to gather information on bank accounts and compare it, but it is worth doing as it can save you a lot of money, time and headaches in the future.
Once you are a few months or years into trading, it can be challenging to change banks and even to change your accounts, as you will likely be processing many payments and purchases through your bank and accounts at any one time.
15. Be Realistic
This might sound harsh but it is important to keep your expectations realistic. You should aim high and believe in what your business has to offer. But you also need to remember that starting a business is difficult and you might fail many times before you succeed.
The chances of you setting up a multi-million dollar business straight away are extremely unlikely. With that said, you also shouldn’t focus too much on how much money you will be making. It’s important to focus on finances, supporting your business, and whether or not you are making any money.
But you also don’t want to focus only on making money. Being able to make affordable products is important, but you also need to provide good quality products and services. So make sure to focus on the quality of the services or products that your business is providing, before considering how big your profit margins are.
Getting Your Business Out There
Marketing your business is another huge step. Even if you have an amazing product or service, it won’t matter if no one knows about it. So you need to get your business, your brand, and your products out into the public eye.
16. Digital Marketing
This will be a huge part of your marketing scheme. You need to consider every digital avenue you have available to reach the widest audience possible. Social media marketing is an incredibly valuable tool for getting messages, products, and services out into the world.
When you first get your business up and running, setting up your own social media accounts is one of the best ways to get people’s attention. You can set out your aesthetic, show your ideas, highlight your products, and share your message.
You can show images of products on Instagram, film videos of you making and packing products on TikTok, and tweet out offers on Twitter.
Digital marketing is difficult and you could get a whole college degree in it if you wanted to. But you can also find courses online to help you. There are some that are free but it’s also a good idea to invest in some courses that can help you get started.
Digital marketing can also involve marketing via email and through your own website. Having a website for your business is essential. Even if you are incredibly small, not having a website is just not an option anymore. A lot of people, no matter their age, won’t trust a business if it doesn’t have a website.
So it’s important to have a professional-looking website with all of your information available. You don’t need anything too fancy but something that shows you are real, legitimate, and trustworthy is essential.
17. Reach Out to Local Newspapers and Radio Stations
Digital marketing might be one of the best ways to reach a large audience but it isn’t the only way. It also might not be the most important way if you have a very small, local business. If you are opening up a business that will only serve the local community, then you don’t need to go too hard on social media (although it will still help).
Reaching out to local newspapers and radio stations will help get the word out into your local community and directly to your customer base. When you’re deciding on your customer persona, it’s important to consider where they will most likely receive their news and advertising. If your customer persona has a Nokia 3310 and only reads the local paper, then marketing to them through TikTok is not the best idea.
Office Space vs Home-Based
This is an important consideration for yourself, your family, and any potential future employees. If you are starting a copywriting business, then remote home working will be ideal. But, if you’re starting a clothing line, you’re going to need a lot more space.
Considering what your business needs to succeed is essential but so is considering what expenses are essential. Office space could be something that sounds like a nice idea but just isn’t something you need to be spending money on. If you find out later on that you would work better in an office, then you can factor this into your expenses. But it’s best to keep them low to start off with.
It’s also important to consider the cultural shift that has happened since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. If you do eventually hire some employees, they might be expecting flexible working if not the ability to work from home permanently. Most people began working from home in March 2020 and returning to an office is just not an option for a lot of people.
Working from home also allows you to hire different people around the country, if not around the world, and also allows for greater accessibility as you will be able to hire people who, due to mental or physical disabilities, cannot work in an office.
18. Choose a Suitable Location
As you are setting up your business, you need to start thinking of the location you will be operating from. Apart from working from home, there a few different options for entrepreneurs looking for space to start and run their businesses.
Rent a co-working space
Co-working spaces allow you to flexibly rent office space or an individual desk at a relatively low cost compared to traditional serviced or private office options. They also offer an environment designed for start-ups with a great community of like-minded entrepreneurs.
Apply for a business accelerator
Accelerator programs provide seed investment, mentorship and office space for a limited time to start-ups and other small companies. If you are a technology business, there are many accelerators where you could apply for in many major cities in the UK.
Rent a business incubator office
Incubators are effectively low-cost office space that offer some level of community and network. Non-for-profit companies, charities or universities typically run them.
Rent from another local business
Many large to medium sized businesses that find they have excess space are often open if approached by a smaller company about renting unused space in their premises. It is a great source of extra income for the landlord business and often a flexible renting agreement for the tenant business.
Build The Work Environment
Whether you decide to build your company in an office, in a dedicated workspace, or at your kitchen table, you need to have a dedicated work environment. This is essential for productivity but also for rest. Most people need to have a specific workspace so they can feel ready to work and get into the right headspace. But you also need somewhere to get away from work.
When you start your business, it can get overwhelming and take over your life a little. You need to be able to separate yourself from the business and have a healthy work-life balance. Here are some of the main things to consider when setting up your work environment.
This is essential, no matter what your business is or where it will be based. Almost everything you need for your business, from ordering materials to filling in paperwork, will now be online.
Credit Card Processor
This is not necessarily essential, especially if your business will be entirely online as you can set up a checkout page on your website. But it will be essential for a physical store and might even be useful for an online store if some of your customers prefer to order over the phone.
Landline or Cell Phone
Speaking of phones, having a dedicated work phone is important. Landlines might seem old-fashioned now, but a lot of people won’t trust a business that only has a cell phone number. Whichever type of phone you choose, make sure that it is separate from your personal phone. This is another way to ensure that your work life and personal life remain separate.
Headsets or Earbuds
This is another item to consider. You might find that working with a headset or earbuds is essential or you might find you never need them. But, if you have a phone and a contact number, then you’re going to be fielding all of the customer service and work calls when you first start up your business. You might eventually hire someone for this but at first, you will be the main (and only) point of contact.
Printer, Scanner, Copier
Although a lot of your business will be conducted online, and it’s important to try and go paperless to reduce your environmental impact, it can still be useful to have these items. Especially if you are an illustrator or have products that you will be printing yourself.
No matter your business, having the correct software is essential. This can be the right software for setting up a safe and secure checkout page on your website or it can be software that helps you to keep on top of stock. “Software” is a word that can be daunting to most people without a computer science degree but if you do enough research, and hire someone who knows what they’re doing, you will be okay.
No matter your business, an internet connection is as essential as heating and running water. This will be how your customers will be able to contact you, to buy from you, and to see your advertising. It is absolutely essential that you have a strong internet connection.It will also help when speaking with other professionals.
You might take a lot of meetings in person but you will also need to be able to take meetings via Zoom or Teams. If your internet connection keeps cutting out or is bad during these meetings, it can be awkward or make you appear unprofessional.
This is a really important aspect to consider. It might not seem like a big deal, but the packaging is the first thing your customers will see when they receive their order. If the packaging is poor or looks messy then it will give your customer the impression that the product could be poorly made as well.
Using eco-friendly and recyclable packaging is also essential. It’s important to ensure that your business is as environmentally friendly as possible. Your environmental impact will be monitored by many people and checked out by a lot of customers before they buy from you.
If your business is not eco-friendly then you can lose a lot of customers and be creating something that will only make the current environmental breakdown worse. So it’s important to not further negatively contribute.Setting up your workspace is also incredibly important and you need to set up your workspace with a few different things.
Furniture is essential. Good quality comfortable furniture is important for both you and any employees you might have. This is especially true if you will be sitting down for long periods of time. Choosing a comfortable and supportive chair, desks of the correct size and height, and even footstools are important.
You might find yourself doing a lot of your work on a computer but stationery is still important. This is especially true if you like to draw or write things down first before transferring them to your computer.Notebooks, pens, and highlighters are all useful for your business.
You might prefer working on a screen but this isn’t good for your eyes. So working by hand can be an important and healthy break. Eye strain is a problem for a lot of modern professionals and if you start working long hours when you start the business, this could become a problem.
Storage space is another important factor to consider when you are trying to separate your home from your work. Storage space allows you to keep your workspace neat and tidy which will allow you to work better.But you also need to be able to pack up your work items at the end of the day.
This is especially important if you don’t have space for an office and will be working at the kitchen table. It is easy to dedicate long periods of time to a business that relies on you but you also need to take a break to rest and come back again.
You might not need all of these items or you might need more. It will very likely be the small things that catch you out. The small things, such as pens or packaging labels, are essential but easy to forget when you’re trying to start up a whole business.
Making the Business Official
It is essential to do everything by the book. Setting up a business when you have no prior experience can be confusing as there are a lot of legal and financial things to consider that can be difficult, especially as you don’t want to accidentally do anything wrong. Speaking with your bank, financial advisors, other professionals, and bringing on board people who can help you with all aspects of your business is important.
Bank accounts and credit cards
You may want to set up free or low-cost bank accounts, as well as determine whether to provide credit cards to managers or sales reps.
These are all absolutely essential to starting your business and ensuring that you have all the important things considered. This will stop you from accidentally falling into any pitfalls or missing any essential paperwork or permits.
19. Hire Employees and Form your Management Team
Your business can be made or marred by the kind of employees and management team you hire. You are now going to face the task of hiring the best fit for your business.
- Do you hate sales and cold calling? Great! There are people who love selling and wouldn’t want to do anything else.
- Bored to death with accounting? There are a ton of small accounting firms out there that will take care of that for you.
- What about marketing? You can hire someone in-house or out-source that too.
Your job is to keep on top of all the different aspects of the business to make sure they are all running smoothly and getting the results you need. If not, it’s your job to figure out the problem and implement a solution though hiring right.
20. Launch your Business With a Grand Opening Ceremony
Launching a business is an exciting time for an entrepreneur. During a grand opening, new businesses introduce their products and services to potential clients, vendors, suppliers, investors and the surrounding community. Grand opening events are designed to leave a memorable impression on guests.
To get a great outing on your great opening, you have to apply several strategies. Host a small, intimate cocktail reception to introduce and celebrate your new business. Publicize the opening of the business on websites and in publications that target your ideal clients.
Invite the community to come and celebrate your the opening of your business on a designated day or weekend. Contact and join the business associations in your area once your business is ready to take clients. Provide useful, engaging information on your site that encourages visitors to bookmark your page. Announce the grand opening of your business by advertising online and offline.
21. Start Marketing and Promoting your Business from day 1
Whether you are a retail store, a chemicals company or a modelling company having at least a basic website is a basic marketing tool in the 21st century, customers expect you to have a website and expect to be able to find it easily. Your website should:
- Include and show your company/business details including address, phone number, name, and logo (if you have a limited company number it is also a legal requirement to list it here).
- Provide a clear description of what your business is/does.
- Provide details of your products, services, and
- Provide a business e-mail or contact form that enables prospective customers/outside parties to reach you easily.
- You can add many more things to your website, this is just the basic information you need to include.
Creating a website is not nearly as complicated as you might think it is. There are many different types of software, website builders and helpful information that allow you to build a simple website for your business. Once you have a website, you are going to need a professional e-mail address where prospective customers and external parties can reach you.
As mentioned above, establishing a professional appearance is essential to show that your business is serious and legitimate. You need to offer customer service, digital access, but also physical access.
These all, of course, depend on the type of business you will be running. For most modern businesses, physical access isn’t necessary. But opening up a physical shop or office can help to create a more legitimate appearance. This is especially true if you will be serving your local community.
Having a business that functions entirely online will work for some but not others. Having a physical presence is also important for access. Having a mailbox or a shopfront will help cement your business as a feature of your community. This will be incredibly important for many people, your employees and customers both.
22. Run your Business
If the business is to become successful, you must become a great salesperson. You are going to have to learn how to “sell” your business—not only to customers but also to prospective investors and even to potential employees. It’s important to be positive, trustworthy, and to learn how to listen. You must practice your sales pitch, get feedback from a variety of people, and then refine your pitch.
Even if you are not naturally an extrovert, you need to show confidence, follow up, and ask for the sale. Again, you have to always feel the pulse of your business. Have your eyes in every department, especially in marketing and accounts. Equally take care of your clients so they keep coming back.
Starting your own business is an exciting idea but it is also overwhelming. Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of how to get your service or product out to the people who want and need it.
There are a lot of serious and confusing elements to starting a business, but there are also a lot of fun and exciting parts too. Trying to get your head around business plans, creating customer personas, and what kind of packing materials to use might take some time, but it will all be worth it when you succeed.
The most important thing to remember is that it will be difficult and you might not succeed straight away but hard work can pay off. That said, it’s also essential that you don’t let your business overrun your life. Beginning a business should be the start of something better for you and your family, not something more difficult.
So, overall, you need to work hard, do everything by the book, and ask for help when needed. But you also need to remember why you’re starting a business, why you love what you do, and how you will be improving the lives of your customers through your business.