What starts as a dream can become reality with these key things to consider when starting a business. Here we share some of the things to consider when starting a business and why they’re important steps to take.
Choose your business
Before you begin to set up your business you need to decide what your business will be all about. Key things to think about include:
- What industry you’d like to set up in?
- How much time can you commit?
- What your budget is?
- How you’d like to set up – as a sole trader or as a limited company?
- Whether you’d like to set up from a franchise or start up from scratch?
- Where you’d prefer to work from?
- Who you’ll need to be involved?
Research your market
Before you go any further market research is essential, telling you whether your business idea is viable and whether you can make it a success. You can carry this out yourself, setting up focus groups and surveys, as well as by analysing data online or you can pay professionals to do this for you. Things to think about include:
- Who will your customers be – your target market?
- Where do they come from – and where do they go?
- What makes them buy?
- How much can they afford to spend?
- When would they buy your product and how often?
Write a business plan
Especially important when it comes to gaining finance for your enterprise your business plan is also a great way of giving yourself clear milestones on the road to your business success. Things to include are:
Background – where you are now, what you want to do (your objectives) what you want to achieve (your mission) your unique selling points and your business structure.
Key personnel – list the roles of directors, the company secretary, management team and current employee positions, identifying the people who will fill them as well as possible future posts. It is useful to include an organisation chart here.
Operations – list what you will need to get started, where will you be based, transport and distribution methods and any legal, regulatory or insurance obligations.
Market analysis – discuss the market need and highlight customers and key competitors. Also, take a look at the market size and current trends.
Marketing plans – highlight your pricing and how you will promote your product or service, as well as the channels you’ll use for sales.
Finance – lay out your financial projections including sales and cash flow and any funding that is needed.
Make a name for your business
Choosing your business name as well as the way that is portrayed – your brand – can make or break your business. Points to consider include:
- Who are your customers – what would appeal to them and what will help them make a connection?
- What do you want people to think about and what emotions will they have when they see your business name?
- What do you do – what do you want the customer to know about products or services you offer?
- Location – you may start off local, but will your business grow out of its name if you make it location specific?
- What about the Web – is a matching domain name available to make it easier for search?
- What do other people think – have you tested your business name with some of the people who are likely to be in your target audience?
Get the basics nailed
Before you start your business it’s worth learning a few of the basic skills you’ll need day to day. These can include:
- Bookkeeping and finance.
- Marketing including setting up and managing your website.
- Sales techniques.
- Procurement, including choosing your preferred suppliers.
- Your legal, regulatory and insurance obligations.
- HR, including recruitment.
There’s a lot of upfront work involved and things to consider when starting a business, but once you’ve got everything in place it can be quick and easy to register as a limited company and start trading. Simply choose a formations package that fits your business needs and, once we’ve received your payment, you’ll be able to enter all your business information online, and your company can be incorporated in as little as three hours.
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