So, you’ve got your great idea and you have the motivation to get started on your own. But before you jump in head-first, this is a good time to stop, think and research. What do you need to do before you start a business?
1. Will your business idea work?
You may have the greatest idea since sliced bread, but can you make it work?
With any new business you must provide your customer with what they need, not with what you want to sell. Is there a market for your idea, does it solve a customer’s problem at the right price for them? Do your research to find out who and where your potential customers are.
Know and understand your own limitations. Have you got the skills, the drive, and the perseverance? Always be honest with yourself because it will be hard work and it will take time.
I can tell you that starting a business takes up more time and effort than I thought and that’s before I started doing any actual work.
If finances are a limiting factor read my previous blog on starting a business with no money.
2. Get some advice.
There is a lot of online advice available, but I always recommend talking to people.
Start simple, speak to friends and family about your idea, you will often find they are the most honest. You will also need their support, trust me, so make sure they are onboard.
If you know anyone who runs their own business, talk to them. Find out about their experience, what they did well and what mistakes they made. Ask for tips.
Speak to a business mentor, they will give you great advice on how to make a business work and what it takes to be successful.
3. Write a business plan.
So many new start-ups have either a very limited plan or no plan at all. This brings in the phrase ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’
A plan does not have to be too time-consuming but most of us don’t know where to start. Take a look at this blog, which gives an excellent summary of what is needed.
Setting a plan gives your business direction and measurement and should stop you from making too many, off the cuff, bad decisions.
A plan will save you time and money in the long run and help you decide whether your business is viable.
4. Know your numbers.
Speak to an accountant – well I would say that wouldn’t I!
An accountant can talk through your idea, your finances and assess the viability of your business, through cashflow and profit projections and more. They can help determine the best structure and talk you through the financial arrangements you will need.
They can show the numbers and explain what they mean for you and your business.
5. Choose a business name.
You may only be a small business but make sure your business name does not clash with another organisation.
Check the Companies House website for any businesses registered with the same or similar names, you don’t want a lawsuit issued against you.
This applies even if you’re not intending to be a limited company.
6. Check for any legal requirements.
Will your business need a licence, a qualification, or a certificate of compliance? If so, make sure you meet the requirements.
And don’t forget insurance, you may need liability or indemnity insurance to either trade legally or to protect yourself.
Now you are ready to go.
If you need help with your business idea book a free complimentary call with me and we can discuss your next steps.