Although the idea of starting your own business and being your own boss is highly desirable, it can be hard work – especially when it comes to getting it off the ground and pulling in the type of money that you had in mind in the first place.
The first hard-learned lesson is that it’s not like working for a boss, where you get paid for just turning up to work. When you are working for yourself, if there is no work, there is no money. If you have employees, the stress of this situation multiplies considerably as you will still have to pay wages. However, if you get it right, it can be a highly fulfilling accomplishment, and the swell of pride due to achievement can be very overwhelming.
#1 Business plan with research
It makes sense to carry out as much in-depth research as you possibly can before you decide to go ahead with your business idea. Your business plan should include cover questions such as:
- Is there a market for the business you want to run?
- If you are going to be selling items, how are you going to source stock, pay for the stock, store stock and sell your stock?
- How much money will you be able to call profit after all of your expenses are paid?
- How many items are you looking to sell every month?
- How are you going to attract customers?
It is a good idea to record all of your findings, especially if you are going to be applying to a lender for a business loan or attracting investors to invest in your business. With this in mind, you should also draw up a forecast so that these people will be able to see your prospective timeline for profits. When drawing up this plan, you should make sure that you insert benchmarks so that your progress can be tracked and adjusted should your business veer off course.
#2 Workable website
Nowadays, every business requires a website, and by not having one, you are shutting out a lot of your potential customers. Whether you are looking for your business to be a global player or not, an online presence is a good idea. To get your website looking and behaving its best, you should hire the services of a qualified and experienced web designer (unless, of course, you happen to be one). You should also look into hiring the services of a firm that deals with sales and marketing, in particular SEO, so that your website will be found easily on search engines such as Google.
#3 Somewhere to work from
Regardless of what type of business you are looking at starting, you are going to have to have somewhere to work from. Of course, the cheapest option is to have a well-designed home office or somewhere on your property that you can call a base, such as a garage, spare room or purpose-built building in your garden. If you are thinking of running a manufacturing business, you may need to look for premises away from your home unless you happen to have very understanding neighbours due to noise levels.
You may even find a larger business that would be happy to sublet an area of their manufacturing site for your sibling business to run from so that you will not have to face huge rents or insurance in your fledgling years.
#4 External help
If, however, you want to keep it small and you can run your business from home, then from time to time, you are going to need some external help. Regardless of whether or not you have any employees, having an accountant on board to advise you on your business’s taxes and accounts can be very beneficial. The job of filling in tax returns, submitting annual accounts, dealing with VAT returns (if you are looking to be VAT registered), or for that matter dealing with Companies House if you chose to be a limited company rather than a sole trader or partnership are all areas where a qualified accountant such as AK Tax & Accountants in Maidstone can help and advise you.
Of course, it is not just accountants that can be beneficial. There are also the aforementioned marketing and SEO experts that shouldn’t be forgotten about, as well as many others.
If your business requires employees to make it grow that much faster or even just to get it started, there are a few different options that are open to you. You can hire and start up your payroll or speak to one of the many employment agencies with the idea of hiring the time of temporary workers.
There are pros and cons to hiring temporary workers which you will have to keep in mind. For many, it is just that – temporary work – so you may not get the attention to detail that you would necessarily want. You may also find that they are more flexible with their working hours than you would like. However, in saying that, you may be lucky and get the attention of those that are serious about working and are hoping that working for you will end in a permanent role.