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As exciting as starting a new business is, the journey is a whirlwind that will take you through many emotions. You’ll have plenty of ups and downs and many lessons to learn. In order to put yourself in the best position possible for success, you want to be prepared and do as much research as possible before going live. Part of your research should involve speaking to other businesses and asking them questions about how they found starting up? What do they wish they did differently? And what do they think they did well? If you have any friends who run a business you could ask them as well.
There are many other things to consider when starting up a new business – Deciding what software to use, getting yourself a website set up, and who’s going to do your branding? Competitor research? Will you require warehouse storage or are you providing a service? Who are your target customers and so on?
To help put you in the best position possible, we have put together a list of six tips to help you when starting a new business.
Getting your website created
Nowadays, one of the most important things to have created is a website. The first thing most customers will do when hearing about you is to Google your name and browse your website. Without a website how do you expect customers to find you? Depending on the type of business you are running, the costs of a website will vary significantly. If you have a creative mind, you could design your own website using a website builder like Wix. If you don’t feel confident but are trying to stick to a budget, you could look for a freelancer on a website like Fiverr or People Per Hour. For a more advanced website, you should Google local web design agencies and get some quotes – be warned, agencies are a lot more expensive than using a freelancer.
Managing your finances
When starting a new business, you want to make sure your finances are on point. There are many accounting software out there like Xero or Quickbooks that you will need to look after your income and outgoings. Depending on how many transactions you expect to make, it is worth investing in a good accountant. They may recommend software for you to use when running your business. Finance spreadsheets are also important as you will use these to budget your costs and help you not go over what you want to spend.
As a start-up, it may be hard to know how many employees you need to run your business successfully. For this reason, it may be worth speaking to other companies or hiring a recruitment officer to advise you. The last thing you want is over-employment as you’ll have to pay their monthly salary reducing the amount of profit you will be taking in. Plus, at the start, this can contribute to having high overheads.
Understand your market like an expert
Who is your target audience? What are their shopping patterns? What’s their age range? What are their characteristics? Before launching you want to understand your market like an expert. By knowing who your audience is, you will be able to target them more successfully, bringing in a greater income. It might be that you have a preconceived opinion of your target market but when doing your research you realize you are completely wrong.
Have enough money behind you
Before going to live with your business, try and save as much money as you can. When launching, the likelihood is that the sales you make will be slower than expected. This means that you might not be making a profit for a few months. By having some money saved, you know you can rely on it for a few months and you attempt to grow your business. This can take a lot of pressure off you and help with the professions of your venture.
Write a business plan
When writing these tips, it is hard to decide which points are the most important as they all are. A business plan will help bring clarity to your thought processes, it may help with securing funding in the future and provides you with a structure. Business plans also help make you think of things that you may not have thought of without doing one. Make sure you spend a few days filling out a business plan and completing it before going live with your idea. With a little research, you may find that there are many free online ones that you can use to give yourself some guidance.
Spend time on your branding
Your branding is essentially the business. It will tell your customers who you are, it will help with attracting new customers and it will increase engagement with your current customers. Your branding will flow throughout your website, your marketing materials and your store if you have one. Just like your website, you can use freelancers to help with your branding or you can use a local agency to help you. The main difference is expertise and the amount it will cost. When you are first starting, you may not have the budget to spend on an agency but as you grow you could switch to one at a later date. If you have any marketing knowledge and branding skills, you could always give it a go yourself. Just make sure you get external feedback on it first to make sure what you have done is good.
The above are seven points to help you get started with thinking about a new business. With a little research, you’ll notice there are a whole plethora of things to consider which is why it’s important to not rush launching your business.
What tips do you have to help someone start up a business? Which of the above tips do you agree with most? And are there any that you don’t agree with? Is there anything you would like to add that will benefit our readers? Let us know in the comment box below.