Image source Launching a business can be exciting, rewarding and stimulating, but it can be challenging too. In fact, starting a business can seem like you’re facing hurdle after hurdle. Whether you’re launching a side-business to supplement your income, incorporating a company or establishing yourself as a sole trader, there are a variety of legal, practical and financial things you’ll need to sort out. If you want to strike out on your own, take a look at our top tips and find out how you can get your new venture off the ground…
- Do your research
Thorough research is a pre-requisite when you’re starting a business, and you’ll need to do your homework before you get started. Learning out state trading regulations, online retail laws and intellectual property rights will give you an idea of how you can operate in the commercial world without breaching any important laws or guidelines. Support for business start-ups is an industry in its own right, so there’s plenty of places to seek help from. Read books and online guides but attend seminars and conferences as well, if you can. There are a number of mentoring programs which can also offer advice and assistance to new entrepreneurs and business owners, so find out what’s available and make the most of it.
- Explore funding options
You may have a great business idea but you won’t get it off the ground without some level of funding. Businesses have different outlays and you may need a significant investment before you can get started. If you don’t have a savings fund you can use for your new venture, you’ll need to find alternative funding. However, don’t head straight to the bank for a commercial loan. Whilst you may need to obtain a business loan at some point, it’s worth exploring alternative funding methods. There are a number of grants and reduced-interest rate loans aimed at start-up businesses, and you may be eligible for financial support. If your business has a particular focus on social issues, such as the environment, poverty or youth empowerment, there’s a good chance you’ll qualify for funding of some kind so take a look around and find out what level of funding you could obtain. Image source
- Focus on product/market fit
However good your planning is, your business will only be successful if you’re selling something that people want. Whether you’re a retailer or a service provider, you need to be supplying something that customers want or need, otherwise, they simply won’t make purchases and you won’t bring in any revenue. Identify your value hypothesis and tweak your business until you’ve got a solid plan. In other words, identify why a customer is going to want or need your product and make changes until you’ve increased these factors to the point of boosting sales. Does your product solve a problem? If so, how many people are affected by it? Does it need to be solved or does it simply make like easier if it is solved? What type of audience is impacted by the problem? How can you engage with this demographic? These are the type of questions you need to be asking as you build your new business. Entrepreneurs often spend too much time focusing on their product and not enough time looking at the market. Knowing who is going to buy your product, why they’re going to buy it and how frequently they’ll need to buy it is crucial to success, so don’t ignore your product/market fit.
- Be enthusiastic
Starting a business requires you to be in continual sales-mode. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, business owner or CEO, when you start a new venture you’re selling yourself to some extent. Investors may decide whether or not to back your company based on the attitude you bring to the table, potential customers may choose to buy from you because of your passion for great service and suppliers may want to work with you because of how you approach your business partnerships. If you lack positivity, it won’t take long for it to show and this could have a devastating impact on your commercial success. Keeping motivating and remaining enthusiastic, even when things get tough, will encourage others around you to do the same. This helps to create a stimulating and fun working environment, and one which encourages people to approach their tasks with positivity and passion.
- Find the right workspace
Having an appropriate workspace can make a considerable amount of difference to the success of your business. Whilst some entrepreneurs and startups begin working from home, this isn’t always viable. Your mortgagor or insurer may not permit you to launch a business from your home address, for example, so you’ll need to look for alternative premises. Similarly, there are practical considerations when it comes to finding the right workspace. Trying to work from home may not be viable because of space limitations but it also means that it’s more difficult to separate your personal life from your work. Business owners are certainly required to put the hours in when they’re starting out but keeping a work/life balance is important. Finding the right office space away from home is a key way of separating your home life and work life, and it can help you to create a happier balance in the future. Of course, there’s lots to consider when it comes to renting or leasing an office. For inspiration, take a look at what you can achieve with the perfect start-up office space at https://www.bondcollective.com/blog/startup-office-space. With these handy tips, you’ve got everything you need to get your new business off the ground. Whilst launching a business is never easy, these simple guidelines will help you to avoid the pitfalls many entrepreneurs fall into and prevent your new venture from stumbling at the first hurdle. However, if you use these tips to help steer you through the startup process, it won’t be long until your brand is an industry leader.