10 steps to getting started in business
To begin it’s always good to evaluate your position and skills.
Start by writing down your experience, your training, and qualifications. Do you possess any particular skills that you think might benefit your business? For example, are you good at talking to people? what are you like on social media, do you tend to be the one managing the bills at home? All these are vital skills that will help you in the future.
Ask yourself if you’re passionate about the product or service that you plan to offer. Do you understand the market, or is this a completely new venture?
Be sure to get it all down on paper, this will help you to decide which area if any that you might need further support or training in the future.
Next you’ll need to think about the location. The type of business you offer will help you decide what’s right for your business.
Will you need a business premises or an office space? Do you need to be in a particular area like on a high street or a business park?
Do you plan to hire staff or vehicles?
Think about your potential customers, do you plan to sell locally, nationally or perhaps even internationally? Take some time to think about this and be sure to write it down this will help you to understand where you need to be located.
Your product or service
What is it that you plan to sell?
Make sure you outline what it is in detail if it’s a service what will it include? will it be made up of multiple services? For example, if you’re planning on setting up as a self-employed Builder, what type of service will you focus offer, new builds, renovations or extensions? Outline what your product or service is. This will help with pricing and promotion too.
Ask yourself if your product or service already exists? Think about how you can make yours stand out, what’s your USP (unique selling point)? Can you do it better?
If you’re setting up a new, never been done before product or service, it’s important to make sure that there is a demand there, otherwise, you might find that you have a product but no target audience who wants to buy it.
It is important that you do some research into your product or service that you want to offer first, this will help you to determine your target audience. It will also help you to understand if the product or service you are offering is in need or demand.
Always be aware of who your competitors are, being aware of them both locally and nationally is important to make sure you’re in the know when it comes to new developments or problems in your sector. It’s also best to keep ahead of the competition to so keep a close eye on what they are doing to help push new ideas and be the best in your field.
The one thing you should ask yourself is will people pay money for your product or service? Is it in demand or is there a market for it? If you’re not sure perhaps consider undertaking some market research, this can be done through friends or family, local communities or further afield depending on the scope of your business.
Do you need any help?
Is there any part of being self-employed that concerns you?
There are services out there to support new business, that is often widely available in your local area, or online. Blackpool Unlimited in particular offer free business advice sessions and dedicated workshops around finance and promotion to find out more just click here
- Rules and Regulations
- Tax and HMRC
- Invoicing and Payments
Don’t be afraid to seek advice from anyone who has had experience themselves first too as this can also help set, you up for success. Be absorbing the information you are given from disasters stories to positive outcomes, you’ll find out from other businesses how to deal with any problems that might arise.
Advertising and Promotion
How do you plan to advertise and promote your business to your audience?
Nowadays there are so many marketing channels on offer. First you’ll need a brand, a logo that helps to visually represent your business, once you’ve got this you’re ready to get started.
Take Social Media, initially a free to use marketing tool that can help you build awareness around your business. Setting up a business page is simple and quick to implement, online you’ll find all the popular sites such as Facebook Twitter and Instagram have instructions on how to do this.
Printed material such as flyers and posters are handy and a great way to get your message out there, you can team up with a local business who might help to distribute these for you, such as a coffee shop or eatery.
Think about investing in a website, with platforms such as Wordpress now widely available you’ll find that keeping content fresh and up to date is simple and easy. Remember that your website is your window to your business, 97% of people now go online to search for a business, so it’s vital to have one if you want to be found.
Don’t forget to network, attend networking events, meet like-minded people and be sure to get out and about talking about your business. Word of mouth is an extremely valuable tool for promoting your new business.
As a new business owner, you’ll need to cover things like insurance and legal requirements. Outline what will be required at the start so that you can work to address each area.
Business insurance is a must, so shop around to make sure you find the one that covers your business best. Don’t forget to register your business and also consider the types of licenses that you might require, for example, if you’re serving food and drink, you’ll need to have the relevant food hygiene certifications and be registered with the local government.
Health and safety is paramount, if your employing staff you’ll need to ensure that you and your building or office comply with H&S legislation, it’s a legal requirement for any business.
Relatively new, but still incredibly important consider GDPR regulations and ensure that your new business complies from day one. Having the right data management policies and procedures in place from the beginning will help you to remain compliant and reduce the risk of being fined.
It’s always good to address the ‘What if’ scenarios. It’s important to have a plan B if plan A doesn’t work, so make sure you take some time to outline these scenarios so that if this happens you’ll have an alternative plan to keep your new business moving forward.
Attention to detail is vital, when you first start a new business, the work demand is high and attention to detail can be easily forgotten. Being aware of the detail and paying attention is something to make a habit of from the start too.
Are you sure?
By now all your jigsaw pieces should have fallen into place and the numbers should be adding up.
You should be feeling confident and raring to go; nervous you should be but excited for what the future holds. Let your passion for your business be the energy that drives your business forward.
If you aren’t quite there, don’t worry it might be that you need to spend a little more time on planning to ensure that your business gets off on the right beginning. Blackpool Unlimited are always on hand to help and support new business, so don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and give us a call 01253 477147.
If you need help to Get Started click here or call the team today on 01253 477147