Starting a business can be a long and winding road, one that either ends in success or starting from square one. You obviously want to be the former rather than the latter. Which means hitting a certain number of small business ‘checkpoints’ so to speak. Some of them are harder than others, but achieving all of them puts you in good stead to start a successful business.
So, what are some of the best tips for you to help start your own business in 2018?
1) Choose a Business Name
First and foremost, you can’t be a business without having a name for your business first. This will be what you register with the government for tax purposes, the name your customers recognise your brand from and ultimately your calling card in the business world.
Obviously, a business name is a very personal choice. But, ultimately, you want it to also be appealing to potential customers. Snappy Ltd may have great personal meaning - RIP Snappy the turtle - but, it has no real meaning to a customer looking for pots and pans. So, try to keep the name relevant as well as appealing to yourself.
2) Set Up Business Finances
Where is your cash coming from? Where will it go? Money may seem like a minor detail when first starting out, but for any small business it’s the be all and end all of your efforts. Whether this means securing investment, a partner or even a loan depends on your business and financial circumstances.
If you think you can make it work on a shoestring budget, then this is also something you need to set up and stick to along the way. Create an expenditure calendar and stick to it; if you go beyond it then you know you need to find another source of money. It is, after all, better to realise you need more money sooner rather than later.
3) Write a Business Plan
Do you know where your business will be in one year? In five? Probably not, but for it to be successful you will have to plan for just that. Many may think that a business plan requires some level of clairvoyance, but it’s nothing as complicated as that.
Set out the key players, key money sources, target customer base, projections for the next five years of business and overall important business information. Many business plans are much more complicated than that, but they don’t have to be. If you’re just starting out, in a small business, then it can be overall quite a simple document. More to keep your own ambitions and goals in check than anything else.
If you are aiming for something altogether bigger, then you may want to look into getting your business plan looked at professionally for a second opinion.
4) Keep Costs Low
Money comes and goes as a small business, but more going than anything. Which means that you need to keep a careful eye on it to ensure it doesn’t disappear all at once. Learning to manage money well is one of the biggest challenges facing small business owners, one you must learn to overcome early in the lifespan of your business.
Remember, you may need an extra hand with the business, but can you afford an employee? Outsource things, cut costs when it comes to licences for software and doesn’t overstretch when it comes to money.
5) Get a Business Location
Last up to making your business dreams a reality is actually finding yourself a base of operations. Of course, you could simply choose to operate from your dining table. But, that isn’t particularly professional and does not give off the best impression. There are a few key things to consider when looking for your perfect business property:
Location, location, location.
Parking and public transport.
If you plan to be noisy with your business activities, you ought to look into buying an acoustic attenuator or acoustic enclosures. This will save you heavy fines if your neighbours were to complain. Especially important if you plan to start an industrially inclined business or one that utilises heavy machinery.
At the end of the day, starting a business can be difficult. But, if you set out on the right path from the very beginning it doesn’t have to be. Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to success from day one.