In difficult economic times jobs security can be uncertain, finding employment even tougher. Why not use the opportunity then to consider setting up a business yourself. Perhaps seeming at first a daunting task lets look at some of the things to consider before taking the plunge.
1. Market Research
No business will ever get off the ground without sufficient prior research. Is there a gap in the market for the product or service you are seeking to provide? Find out and tailor your idea to something you can be convinced of its profitability.
2. Business structures
Investigate business structures. There are many ways for you to structure your business. Not many will begin as a limited company, perhaps you will register as a sole trader or find yourself a partner. Tax considerations will vary depending on the model you select so get advice and choose carefully.
Cashflow is the lifeblood of any business and simply put a new business cannot survive if there is insufficient money to run it. How you go about that however, depends on the kind of business you envision. Indeed, many entrepreneurial start-ups have financed their ideas using only a credit card. With most people owning a laptop, phone and place to conduct their work the main tools are already at their disposal.
4. Choosing a name
Maybe a bit obvious but it could be one of the most important decisions you make when starting your new business. There are a few things to keep in mind though before deciding. Do you go with a traditional surname approach, something completely made up or use an everyday object? This will all depend on the area you’re dealing with and the kind of customers you wish to attract – it would be odd say for say a law firm to choose to be named after a piece of fruit. First thing’s first though and make a check with Companies House to ensure the name isn’t already taken. Also make sure an appropriate domain name is available. With so much attention directed online these days it is important you can have a viable internet presence related to the name you have selected. Also conduct an online search using your chosen name, it is important it isn’t already affiliated with something else or brings up confusing links or dodgy similar brands.
5. Design a logo
A very important step which should by no means be an afterthought. Your logo will be for many the first thing they see and something forever linked to your business. While it may not seem so important when first starting out trying to change a logo once your business becomes established is a problem best avoided. This is not to say that your logo cannot evolve. Look to wildly successful companies such as ‘Starbucks’ or ‘Nike’ – whilst their logos have been altered and streamlined over the years their current incarnation can always be traced back to the original.
6. Sales Sales Sales
Talk to any entrepreneur and they will say the most important route for a new business to succeed is sales. You can’t wait until you have the perfect product, you have to go out and sell; build your business from the bottom up and not the top down. Don’t wait until you have the perfect office, meet clients in a coffee shop or hire a conference room in the local library if you have to – if you don’t go out there and sell in an imperfect state you’ll never progress.