Six essential steps for getting your business off the ground

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Date: 3 September 2020

A mother duck oversees her six ducklings

So, you've decided to set up your own business. This is such an exciting time, and maybe a little unnerving. Whether you have an idea already set in stone or you feel inspired to become your own boss, starting up a business is a big thing.

The Office of National Statistics revealed that 80% of UK companies fail within their first year. With that in mind, we want to see you thrive and celebrate anniversaries and milestones. In order to do so, you need to take care of the essentials below. This will help ensure you get your business off the ground successfully and across the line in no time.

Plan

As the saying goes, fail to plan, plan to fail. No business, or a great idea for that matter, can get off on the right foot without a plan. The first thing you should do is research your idea and ask yourself these questions:

  • Has it been done already? Are your time and money going to be put to good use if the idea is already established?
  • Has it been done well? If it has been done, but not very well, there could be a gap in the market for something of better quality.
  • Can I bring something new to the table? If your idea is unique to a particular industry, people will want to try something new.
  • Is the market already saturated? If it is, it could be tough attracting customers.
  • Who is my biggest competitor? Identifying your competitors will allow you to see what your potential customers love as well as keeping up to date on the latest trends.

If you can answer these questions and still feel confident in your idea, brilliant! You're off to a good start. There are a lot of businesses out there which offer similar (sometimes the same thing). This is why you should try to find something unique which makes you stand out from the crowd. Looking at who you're competing against will help you get a better understanding of what you should offer. If every florist is offering sunflowers, offer roses, for example.

Finances

As a start up, you will probably be investing your own money and savings into the business. For this reason, you need to be sure you're making wise investments. Whether it's office furniture, supplies, stock or staff, ensure you're only investing in the essentials.

If finance isn't your forte, download one of the many convenient finance apps or hire an accountant to help you in that area. Every business will require some form of a cash injection to get it off the ground, you just want to make sure it's going in the right places.

Team

Are you a one-man-band or do you plan to have a team behind you? If it's the latter, you should ensure you hire with plenty of time to train your new staff and get them up to speed on your business' values and expectations.

Website

A website will be the first thing your potential customers see, so it needs to make a good first impression. Once they're on your website, you want to provide them with as much information as possible about what you offer. But it's not just about how your site looks; you will also need to ensure your site is full of high-quality, useful content and pay close attention to your SEO to ensure you can get visitors to your site.

Equipment

Where do you plan on running your business from? Whether you decide to rent an office or work from home, you're going to need to invest in appropriate equipment. Look at getting a comfortable desk setup where you can work on your laptop or computer and invest in a good quality printer. TonerGiant, for example, stocks a range of printers and affordable ink and toner cartridges to suit your business' needs. While we might be in a digital age, a printer is still a great office tool. You will need one to make hard copies of documents and print off any invoices/receipts to be sent to the customers.

Marketing

There are some fantastic marketing tools available. Whether you want to do your marketing in-house or hire an agency to get you off the ground, you shouldn't shy away from marketing your business. Sign up to social media sites which can help your company, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Instagram and Pinterest are great for sharing behind the scene pictures and product shots. Facebook and Twitter are great for keeping customers updated and responding to any queries quickly and efficiently.

You should look at starting your marketing before your launch date. This will help you get your name out there and develop a customer base. Marketing should be a regular task within your business so don't let it fall to the side lines once you're set up.

Timing is everything - don't rush the steps in the excitement of the launch. Instead, take your time to ensure all your ducks are in a row and you feel confident that you've assembled a solid base on which to build your business.

Copyright © 2020 Article was made possible by site supporter Rachael Matthews

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