Starting a Business: 5 Steps to Success
So, we both know you’re here for one reason. You’re interested in starting a business! Whilst most people would love to work for themselves, pick and choose their own working hours, and hire a strong team… you’re taking that first step by carrying out research and just by doing this, you’re getting closer to achieving one of your ultimate life goals, being your own boss and sharing your passion with an audience. Sounds terrific, doesn’t it? But first, you need to know of these certain hurdles that come with starting a business and how to tackle each one.
No.1: Research. Lots and lots of research.
First, before doing anything else, you need to conduct research. This isn’t just to waste time and postpone the beginning of your trading; research can go a long way. When you’re doing this research, you should make a list of everything it should cover. Or, we have already put that list together for you to make things easier. Thank us later.
What to research and document:
• Current market
• Target audience
• Legal aspects
• Space and equipment
• Web developers and designers
• Marketing channels and opportunities
You probably have the idea for your product already, which is wonderful! But what if there is someone else with the exact same idea? This is why research is vital to make sure your business is original. If someone else has a similar idea, that’s okay. This is where you need to think about branding. Branding is a highly significant part of starting a business because it is your chance to make it your own. Research it, and make sure no one else has done what you’re thinking of.
The next few on the list are probably up there with the most important topics to research: current market, target audience, funding and legal. Every business should carry this out because how are you supposed to know whether there is a demand for your product? And if there is, then who is your target audience? You need to find the exact demographic looking to purchase your product or service and establish that in your business plan. A target audience gives you guidance for your marketing, which ultimately gives you an idea of which marketing channels to use (social media, email marketing, direct selling, etc.), what to publish and how to make your product come across. This leads to trend research: What is trending with your target audience right now? It would also be helpful to discover the possibilities of new trends in the future, as trends come and go whenever they want. Going along with this gives you the chance to develop an adaptable product, something that can trend now or in the future.
There are endless opportunities when it comes to marketing. Lastly, with marketing, you need to either create a website yourself if you have the skills or outsource it to web developers and designers. An online source published by Data Reports evidences that online presence is incredibly important for a business because, in the UK alone, there were 66.11 million internet users at the start of the year. That is huge! The internet is increasingly growing, so why wouldn’t you want your business online? With legal, you need to ensure that every step you take with your business abides by the law. So, to know what is wrong and what is right, do that research.
No.2: Time to plan.
Once you have completed all that research, you can create a plan. If there isn’t a plan in place, trading will become ten times harder. Thanks to your market research, you will already know whether there is a current demand for your product, so you need to plan precisely how to dive straight into the middle of that.
You need to know what to do if an unexpected event occurs, like a way out. Sometimes, the unexpected event may be positive but eventually becomes negative. For instance, your business kicks off to a fantastic start, and you run out of product for a while, can’t find staff to handle the workload, or simply run out of funding. Anything can happen, as every business’ outcome will be different. How can you make sure yours will be positive? A solid business plan that is your daily working document.
Get those costs calculated, arrange funding if you do not already have enough, handle legal aspects, perfect your product or service and get a unique brand in place. Your branding will be a crucial factor differentiating your business from your competitors, so it must be excellent. You may outsource your branding to a talented marketing individual or team as part of the costs. That’ll take a massive weight from your shoulders. Planning every single detail will be such a big part of starting your business because how often have you heard a director of a business say they just took a shot out of nowhere and went with it?
Okay, that may have been successful for at least a few, but will you take those chances?
Slow and steady wins the race.
No.3: Figure out how you’re going to fund this.
Are you worried you won’t be able to cover the costs of your business fully? Luckily, there are numerous ways to get the money you need. You can look at nearly all the opportunities if you have a good credit rating. There is the Start Up Loan Scheme, introduced in 2012 by the UK Government, which over 100,000 businesses have benefited from so far. The Government aren’t the only one who offers start-up business loans. As part of your initial research, you can find lenders that will use their money to fund your business. To get this, you’ll need a strong business plan in place to make their generous investment worthwhile. There are also traditional business loans, for which you would need proof of a good credit rating.
Whilst those are likely to be popular with business start-ups, you can also take the route of a personal loan or a business credit card. To summarise, all it takes is thorough research to find your course. You may think this is the most challenging part of starting a business, but it doesn’t have to be.
No.4: Protection above everything. Find Insurance.
Before you start trading, you must ensure the right insurance is in place. Imagine all that time, money and effort put into your business… then you lose everything because you forgot the importance of insurance. We can tell you that insurance is one of the most essential factors to consider when starting a business. We are specialist commercial insurance brokers based in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. Real Insurance has experience dealing with all different types of businesses, so with your new business, whatever it may be, we can likely protect it. Whether it is Business Insurance, Manufacturing Insurance, Property Insurance, or Motor Trade Insurance, we can help.
We understand that your excitement to start trading will go through the roof but imagine something terrible happening as soon as you start your journey. Or even before it! As a business owner, insurance should be on your mind. Many types of insurance are essential for any business, whether they are a start-up or have been trading for a long time. For instance, Public Liability Insurance. If someone alleges that you have been negligent in some way, Public Liability Insurance will protect you against these allegations. It will provide you not only legal defence but will also pay compensation should you have been found responsible up to the “indemnity limit” on the policy. This could happen even before your business opens its doors.
Public Liability Insurance isn’t the only cover you may need; there is Product Liability, Employers Liability, Business Contents, Business Interruption, Professional Indemnity and more.
If you would like more information on how our specialist advisors at Real Insurance Group can protect your new business, call us on 0330 058 0260.
No.5: Final decisions.
Now, you have everything you need to start your business. You have collated your research, prepared a great business plan, arranged suitable funding, have your product or service ready to launch, created a brand and secured the insurance you need…
You are pretty much there. The decisions you must make next may be the most challenging part for some people.
• Will you leave your current job and completely focus on your business?
• Will you stay at your job and deal with your business during your spare time?
• Do you have space at home or suitable premises to run your business?
• Can you accept the shock of no income? Don’t forget when planning your business that working capital in the early days is very important!
You need to ask yourself these questions; if you already know the answers, start trading. If you don’t, take some time to figure things out. When you’re ready, begin!