Nowadays, more and more of us are stepping away from the mainstream “get a job, work hard, make somebody else rich and retire” route and launching our own businesses. In fact, last year alone, a record eighty new businesses were born every hour, citing that start-ups have never been more prominent in the United Kingdom.
However, while launching your own business can be fun and bring with it great excitement, there are a lot of things you need to consider, especially if you don’t have experience. Below, we’ve rounded up six things to think about when launching a start-up business.
Some of the world’s biggest businesses were built in a bedroom, but that doesn’t mean you can bury your head in the sand when it comes to finances. Make sure you have a clear plan of action in place – especially if you’re quitting your job to work on your start-up full time. How will you be able to pay your bills when you’re building your business? How are you going to find your first client? Do you have a back-up plan if everything goes wrong? Have an answer to each of these questions before you make the next step.
The chances are that you won’t be hiring from the get go, but you should have a plan in place for when you’re ready to make your first hire. If you’re planning on opening physical premises, for example, who can you rely on to answer phone calls, greet guests and take money? Consider hiring a friend or family member to work for free or for a reduced rate until you’re on your feet, or save up so that you can hire a part-time worker to ease some of the pressure when you need to be focusing on other parts of your business.
Launching a new business requires some knowledge of the law. For example, you’ll need to register the fact you’re working for yourself, and set up a business bank account so that customers can pay you directly. Ask around and see if you can find a friend or family member to take control of your accounts and finances during the early days of your business to save money on a bookkeeper, and ever try to cut corners – you’ll regret it.
If you don’t market your business effectively, customers won’t know that you exist, so you need to do everything in your power to get people to pay attention to you. Read into the benefits of content marketing. Such technique has been tried and tested and means that, even if you only have a very small marketing budget, you’ll be able to make an impact and enjoy free, organic traffic to your website, even long after you’ve published the content.
Every business will have competition – it’s how you deal with it that will determine whether or not you’re successful. Do some in-depth competitor research and find out what works and what doesn’t. The better you understand what’s going on in your wider industry, the easier it will be for you to market your business, find your unique selling point (USP) and position yourself as a company that customers will want to buy from.
There’s no point in starting a new business for the sake of it. Determine how you would like to grow your business – from hitting X number of clients to delivering the best service and winning awards – and then implement a strategy to help you achieve this. The more focused and determined you can be, the better your business will become in the long term. Entrepreneur’s guide to growing your business can be particularly useful here; opening at another location, licensing your product, diversifying, targeting other markets, acquiring another business and expanding globally are all options that you can consider in your plan.
We’ve put together six ways that you can grow your business when launching a startup, but we’ve only scratched the service. Make sure that, whatever you do, you plan the important parts of your business before diving in head first; otherwise, you could find it difficult to grow your brand and find customers as a result. Good luck on your new business venture!