5 top tips on how to start your own business
Thinking about starting a business? Read on for five essentials you need to consider before going it alone
During a recession or straitened economic times many people consider setting up their own business.
Personal circumstances can play a big part in this; with redundancies, or recently graduated students who are struggling to find their first ‘real-world’ job often deciding to go it alone as a way to earn money.
In an ideal world most people would love the chance to set up their own company and experience all of the benefits that come with being your own boss, such as having flexible hours, avoiding a daily commute and wearing what you want every day.
However, the number of people who, in reality, have the business know-how to become successful is limited, and most of the time they don’t really know where to start. If you are thinking about starting your own business here are five top tips to get you on the right path:
1) Make sure your ideas are innovative
There’s little point starting a business that offers a service that many other companies already provide. The most successful companies are often those that have an innovative idea.
Whether you manage to come up with an idea that will appeal to a small yet loyal niche, or if you have something new that could be rolled out to the mass market, innovation in your business idea is the first step to long-term success.
2) Carry out research
You may think that you are the next Mark Zuckerberg with a world-changing idea, but without doing your market research first you may be on to a failure before you’ve even started.
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Figure out who your target market is and ask questions about the product or service you have in mind. This is now easier than ever to do with social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Never develop your product or service before seeing whether the demand is there in the first place.
3) Network and find partners
Many business sectors are not about ‘what you know’, but more ‘who you know’. Networking is highly important and may give you a head start on getting your product to market or securing good prices on marketing or development.
It’s also a good idea to find a level-headed partner to work with you. You’ll find that another person’s experience and knowledge could be invaluable when it comes to making those crucial business decisions.
4) Securing funding
Not many businesses can get started without some form of financial backing. Some lucky people may already have a stash saved away to start their project, but realistically, most people are going to need to secure some funding.
This may be through the bank, credit cards or by selling your idea to potential investors. External investment may initially get you up and running but bear in mind that this will be in exchange for a percentage of your revenue in the future.
5) Don’t forget the necessities
Now for the boring bits – to run a business you will need to register your company at Companies House and then with HMRC to ensure you are paying tax. You’ll also need to register to pay VAT if your incomings are likely to reach over £81,000.
It’s important that among the stresses of setting up that you also remember to take out an appropriate level of business insurance to cover the premises you will be working in, whether that be your home or an office, as well as all of the expensive contents you may have purchased, such as computer equipment, phones and furniture.