If you've had a fantastic business idea you will want to start turning your dream into a reality. The first few steps are the hardest, but this guide should help you to get your new business off the ground.
Once you've had that flash of inspiration and feel that you could set up a viable business, one of the first things you need to do is talk to an accountant or business adviser. They should be able to help you decide on the right legal structure for your business. You might need to form a limited company or it may be that sole trader status would be best for your business model. You also need to start comparing business accounts to see which is right for your start-up. A site such as MoneySupermarket.com
is a great place to start researching to find out which option is best for you.
There are some entrepreneurs who think that writing a business plan is a bit of a waste of time, but they are in the minority. A good business plan is the first step towards turning your vision into a profitable enterprise and can also be an essential when it comes to getting finance. Your business plan should be a work in progress. Things change all the time so you want to be flexible and adaptable in your approach. Your business plan will enable you to work through your projections and test the water before you commit to it financially.
The Value of Your Business
If you aren't funding your new business out of your own pocket, you will need investors to make a valuation before you can get financial assistance. No matter how much you think your business is worth, the final figure will come down to the decision of experts and will be based on the location it is in and the industry standard. You will find that specialist lawyers and accountants will also be able to give you a valuation for your business. Once you have these figures, you will be able to start the process of securing third-party investment.
The Best Location
Getting the right location can make or break even the best business ideas so it's important to research your area thoroughly before you set up shop. Sometimes it's best to be close to your nearest competitor as you will be able to take advantage of their existing passing trade. Other businesses do best in areas where there is a clear gap in the market which needs filling. Paying the lowest rents don't necessarily mean that you will make more profit as all businesses need to operate in the right location to have any chance of success.
Find Your Customers
There's no point starting your business if no one knows about it. Start finding your first customers by contacting your existing networks and letting them know about your new business. Remember to get regular feedback from them so you know how you can improve your products or services. How you get your customers will depend on your industry but you must always remember that your business won't survive without them.