If you’ve just had the spark of a new revolutionary business idea or wanted to give a business idea a go for some time, you might want to set up a new start-up business. Before you start, here are ten things you should consider when starting a new business.
1. What is a Start-Up?
A start-up can be defined simply as a new business venture, but an entrepreneurial spirit is attached to the term. The term ‘Start-up’ tends to be associated with adaptable fledgling businesses that are self-funded and have the potential for rapid growth.
According to Start Up Britain, over 600,000 start-ups were founded in 2019/20; that’s around 1,800 each day! Such businesses are essential for the economy, and many become part of the UK’s economic backbone.
2. Create a Business Plan
There is an adage that states, “fail to plan, plan to fail.” This saying is as true in business as it is in other areas of life. You must create a clear and concise business plan if you’re going to maximise your chances of success.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to making a business plan. There are plenty of templates available to help get you started. Your plan should include elements such as sales forecast, market analysis, and projected spending. Another aspect your business plan should contain, and one that’s been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, is contingency planning measures.
You should use your business plan as a guide rather than a strict set of rules that you must follow. Indeed, one of the benefits a start-up has over a large established business is the ability to make decisions quickly and act immediately.
3. Consider Remote Working
The pandemic has highlighted the ease with which many business operations can be done remotely. Moreover, as a start-up, you can cut back on the high costs of rent, rates, and commuting if you stick to working remotely as much as possible. Of course, if your business is as successful as you hope it will be, the time will come when you’ve got to consider business premises. However, even things like having a dedicated business phone number can be achieved while working remotely.
Similarly, you can outsource many administrative tasks to virtual assistants. A virtual receptionist can give the impression that you’re operating from an actual office setting.
4. Stay On Track With Your Finances
Keeping track of your finances and making regular financial projections is critical. You should know when you will start making a profit and how long it will be before you can start recouping your investment. Any gap in the time it takes to make a profit and the duration your investment funds will last needs to be bridged by further investment. You should approach potential lenders or investors as soon as possible.
You may not have considered government grants or funds, but you should certainly do so. Look out for advice on business incubation services, as you may be able to get financial support. To achieve this, you’ll need solid financials, so ensure you’re on top of these from the start.
5. Consider Partnering
Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely occupation, and you have the weight of the whole business on your shoulders. You will spend every waking minute working on some aspect of your business and likely every sleeping hour dreaming about it! Suffice to say; it is going to consume your time.
Taking in a partner that shares your aspirations and goals but has a different skill set can help the business in a practical way. It can also help you out mentally by sharing some of the responsibilities.
6. Generate a Buzz Around the Business
If you’re not the best person to brag about your business, then who is? One of the best ways to drum up interest in your business is to create a buzz around it. It has never been more convenient to do this than nowadays, with plenty of opportunities available through social media platforms. And, the best bit about these marketing outlets is that they’re free to use.
To get started, select one of two social media platforms as your primary focus. Limiting your attention to just a couple means that you’re not going to spread yourself too thinly, and you can concentrate on building up an audience on those sites. Getting too involved in too many channels can become overwhelming and result in burnout of you dropping the ball in other areas of your business.
You can create tailored social media campaigns by using resources such as Hootsuite. Ensure that you keep your engagement with potential customers relevant and original. You will soon aggravate people if you bombard them with recycled spam.
7. Get Some Professional Branding
A bit of professional branding goes a long way to giving your business an air of success. Carefully select your business name, colours, logo, and so on, and make sure your business branding is consistent across your media from website to business cards.
Consider the power of a phone number too. Are you more likely to deal with a company that uses a mobile phone or has a geographic landline number? National numbers, such as an 0800 number, can give your business the perception of having national or international reach, even if you have just started.
As you grow, you might want to set up different numbers for different locations across the country. You may have one base, in Birmingham, for instance, but have numbers covering Cardiff, Belfast, London, or Glasgow. Many people prefer to deal with ‘local’ firms even if they’re making online purchases.
8. Offer Freephone Calls
There is one thing people enjoy more than local calls, and that is free calls. You can set up a freephone 0800 number and give your customers free calls from UK landlines and mobile phones.
Research has shown that call volume can increase by around 167% when a business switches to a freephone number.
9. Go Digital
When you first start, you’ll want to keep your costs to a minimum, so try to use as much free digital software as you can. Going digital allows you to automate many business operations, increasing your cost-effectiveness and efficiency.
Cloud-based subscriptions give you the flexibility of being able to scale up and down as you require. They come without the need for an initial large capital outlay that a bespoke software would have. Cloud subscriptions Aldo mean you’ll have access to the latest technology.
10. Get Blinkered Into One Area
You might think that business development is your only concern, but take your eye off the other balls, and you drop one or two. Administration, customer care, and quality control are all just as important as generating sales, so keep abreast of them all.
Of course, you don’t have to do everything yourself. There are plenty of cost-effective solutions to help you out with administration, such as a virtual assistant.
Having the idea of establishing a start-up is terrific, and you’ll be setting out on an exciting journey. Hopefully, considering these ten aspects of a start-up will help guarantee your business success.