Starting a new business is a daunting prospect; you need more than just a good idea and a business card if you want your company to be profitable and sustainable. Identifying what is needed to thrive in a competitive and fierce industry is vital – but exactly what considerations should you make as you approach your start up?
A good idea is instrumental to your business and should be the cornerstone of your business model. Your idea might be a brand new concept or a unique way of doing business; it could be a variation on an existing model or even just a more cost efficient way of a tried and tested method.
Once you have your idea you will need to create a name for your business and define what sort of business it should be. Your decision to be a sole trader or limited company will have a large effect on how your company can do business and what liabilities you would have in the event of your company failing.
It is not unusual to go into business with the help of friends or family members but needless to say it must be with somebody you inherently trust. Consider the amount of time you are likely to have to spend together to make the business work. If you have a habit of getting on one another’s nerves after an hour together you might want to re-consider your choice.
All businesses need capital to get off the ground. This will pay for any office space, computers, wages, product design, materials, shipping, marketing and every other cost you will incur before you start to make a return large enough to keep things ticking over.
After calculating how long that will be by using known costs and forecasted sales you can approach private investors, banks, venture capitalists or friends to raise your capital. This is part of your business plan and could make or break your business before it even begins.
The tools of the trade
Without the ability to know where your money is within the company and what it is doing, you will be unable to budget effectively. Using good accounting software from the outset will save you time and money in the long term and ensure that it is you who is in control of things.
Before securing any funding, research and set up a bank account for your business and make sure it is appropriate for your needs. Basic tools such as a suitable bank account and efficient accounting software will streamline numerous areas of your business and ensure that most of your time and money, your most important commodities, are saved.
Whatever it is your business does, it will not get an opportunity to do it without adequate marketing.
Building a website is a cheap and effective way of getting your message to potential customers whilst stylistically displaying as much information as necessary. Social media is another popular and increasingly effective route to reaching your market and should be considered as part of your marketing strategy.