When starting your own business it can be easy to get distracted by all the exciting developments or become overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to do. Follow this easy guide to stay on track when starting out.
Highlight the opportunities you have realised. Map out your goals and the individual steps you will take to achieve them. It is important to assign deadlines for each of your goals but also just as important to set deadlines for all the steps along the way. Breaking your goals down into smaller tasks with their own deadlines makes the overall target seem more achievable. Also plan for any obstacles you may have to overcome. In some instances you may need to have a plan B. Although ultimately you want to achieve every goal and target, flexibility is key when starting a business as sometimes problems arise which cannot be resolved via your initial methods.
List all the equipment that your business requires to get going. The scale of this will hugely depend on how many employees you will have or if you will have any. As well as the technical equipment such as PCs, laptops, smartphones and printers there are desks, chairs and lighting to consider. In addition you must have the relevant licences and insurance depending on the services you offer and if you employ staff. You may be able to claim some of these as business expenses therefore again it is imperative you research and understand this aspect of your business.
Create your own brand
You may have been contemplating this since the day you thought of your business idea however you must fully research all aspects of this stage before making your final decision. Researching both your name and logo is a necessary step to ensure that you are not, however innocently, copying another brand. You must also check that it is available as a web domain. Your entire online presence will be built upon your brand; you don’t want to get halfway through the process and realise it doesn’t work.
Set up your business account
Unless you are a sole trader you will need to set up a separate bank account. You should have a spreadsheet to track your accounts or you can use on of the many online tools such as Sage or Xero. Meeting with an accountant may be necessary at the beginning to ensure you are proceeding correctly. One of the most important parts of trading is that you must inform HMRC and know how to complete your tax return. This is something you want to be confident in.
Marketing your business
As you have already produced an impressive and detailed plan you will know who your target customer is and how you are going to promote your services the key is to assign enough budget to support your marketing goals. How much of this will be online/offline marketing? You may need to hire a digital marketing agency to assist you in strategies such as SEO, PPC or email marketing.