Starting a business can be very exciting, but you must also be cautious of the pitfalls that lay ahead. We have put together a list of things for you to think about before you start spending and committing.
For numerous amounts of people, starting a business is something they have dreamt about doing for a long period of time. Unfortunately, many of these new startups don’t even make it past the 1-year mark, so it is recommended that you have undertaken the steps below.
Do your research
Understand who your customers are and what they are after will help you sell them your product or service. A good idea could be to create a few customer personas, just imagine your typical customer. How old are they? Where are they based? What is their income? And why they would buy from you instead of one of your competitors?
Where are you?
Your location can have a major impact on well your business will perform. Think strategically and logically about your businesses location because you may only get one shot at getting the premises you want, plus, once you have signed on to a deal it will be difficult and expensive to get out of it.
For some start-up companies, there may be almost no costs at all but for other businesses, costs can be massive. For example, if you were going to open a new restaurant, there will be extra costs for the equipment needed and shop fittings.
Plan it out
A fair amount of people believe that having a business plan is a waste of time. This is not true, having a plan allows you to understand the costs that may lay ahead, how the business will grow in terms of sales and also it will show you how much money you may need to fund the start-up phase.
Talk about it
Taking about your business ideas/plans with those you trust, can be a great insight to have. When you’re deep into your project, it can become difficult to think out anything else. It is helpful to ask for the opinion of a friend or family member of whom you can trust to provide you with honest feedback. If you already know someone who already has a successful business, then it could be worth getting them to have a look through your ideas. There could be things you are missing out on or could do improve on.
Almost no new business becomes a huge success overnight. You should be realistic about your goals – don’t think you will get a year’s worth of turnover in one day as it is unlikely and can cost your business. Some of the most profitable companies are those who have specialised in small niches. It is ok to be a small business earning a good amount of money. Once you have found success, you can duplicate the formula.
Understand what the Government will need from you
Before starting your business there will be many things for you to do – from jumping through hoops to registering as self-employed for VAT. Make sure you know what’s required though, because otherwise, you may find yourself with a big fine.
When starting your business make sure that you keep all your receipts as these can be claimed against tax at the end of your first financial year. Expenses that have VAT attached to them can be reclaimed if you register for VAT.
You may be trying to figure out how to set up your businesses accounting. Reading how other people have done it online could be a great help, however, their set up might not be suitable for your business to mirror. Therefore it is always wise to seek the advice of a professional accountant. In some cases, an initial 30-minute consultation could be free or come at a low cost but could potentially help majorly longterm.
Bank account switching
Many companies end up staying with the same bank because it seems to be a lot of hassle to switch accounts and move everything across. This isn’t true – it’s just what banks want you to think.
For any bank account provider, customer apathy is a profit driver, and you can’t argue with their results.
Build it and they will come…
A common misconception of new business owners, it that they believe they can build a business and suddenly customers will be rushing to their doors to buy the products. But if nobody knows about the business then nobody will come. So people will be good at marketing themselves meanwhile others may not be as good. It’s ok to see professional advice or you could even ask other businesses how to get and retain customers.
Setting targets is a great way to track the success and progress of your company. Doing this will help with your dream business and will help keep you motivated towards the next target.
Specialise in your field
Doing something you know and love will be great for you and your business. If you’re looking to start a business in a different field it will be a steep learning curve. It can be done but will take time. Whereas if you do something you know you can continue to build your knowledge.
Take the leap!
Some people have always had an idea for a business but have never acted on it. Did you know it could only take a weekend to come up with a business plan? Take the leap and start your business today!
We can help you with all the topics raised in this blog. To arrange a free consultation, please contact us.