How to start a business: the basics
So the time has come! All those days of sitting in an office wondering when you will be able to walk out for the final time and subsequently, begin your new life. That time has arrived and you need to begin researching how to start your own business.
It is normally at this point that the panic begins to set in. Have I made the right move? Am I truly ready? Do I even know what I am doing?
However, we won’t be going into the administrative side of setting up a new business, we will instead take a look at the cognitive processes that you will need to think about to make sure that you are on the right track.
Don’t ever be overawed by the prospect of going it alone. There is a reason that you made the decision to start your own business, so be brave and take risks. It will be worth it.
Firstly, before you even quit your full-time job, you should have a concrete idea of what your new business is going to be. Field research is a key starting point as it will give you an idea as to the number of competitors in the market as well as the scope for potential clients. From there, you will be able to work out whether your USP is solid enough or whether you need to find a more niche spot in the marketplace.
Once you have your idea, you will need to choose the structure of your business. Are you going to be a sole trader? Will you be creating a partnership with someone else? Is there a group of you who will become an LLP? All of these business structures require a number of registrations and administrative tasks. However, all of these are relatively simple and should not take a up to much time.
So, you have your idea and are now officially registered. Now comes the tricky part – Choosing a name for your business. While to some this may seem like a simple endeavour, it can actually be one of the most valuable decision you make in the early stages of your business. A unique, catchy name can increase early business tenfold, while a bad one can backfire significantly. Make sure that you get the name right the first time as this is what you will be stuck with for the foreseeable future.
Similarly, you must also generate branding for your business, mainly for your online presence. A logo is the most important of these branding decisions but you will also need an attractive and enticing colour scheme.
Another question that you will need to ask yourself is whether you will require financial assistance to get your new business off the ground. If the answer is yes, you must work out where you will be retrieving this money from. Will you be borrowing from family? Will you be applying for a start-up loan? Will you have help from angel investors? It is key that if you do require financial help, you source the money from the right place.
To keep track of all of the profits and losses of the company and most importantly, to ensure that you pay the right amount of income tax at the end of every FISCAL year, hiring an accountant is an extremely prudent move. Not only will it take some of the weight off of your shoulders, it will also guarantee that you are provided with the exact figures to see how your business is improving or declining.
The next job will be to find the right space for your work. The simplest option for most is to find a small corner in the home to work from. However, if circumstances mean that this is not an option, you will need to find an office or retail space that can cater to your business in its infancy, but also three years down the line. If you grow exponentially, you don’t want to be forced to move out of a space that you have only just moved into.
So, you have your business, branding, financial support, an accountant and a work space. It’s time to begin! The last basic step that you will need to make is to ensure that your work ethic does not drop. People who work for themselves can easily become languid, especially when working from home. Make sure that this doesn’t happen by treating your work as a separate entity from your personal life.
We’d like to thank Informi for this insight.