Starting a business can be difficult and scary, but it can also be gratifying. So if you think you’ve come up with an idea for a business that could yield a long and profitable future, you’re probably wondering about your next steps.
Do I need to register my business? How important is creating a recognizable brand? Am I eligible for start-up funding?
To answer these questions and provide you with a glimpse into what it takes to start a business from scratch, we’ve put together this quick how-to guide.
Registering your business is the very first step. Depending on how you decide to structure your business, you’ll have different options to choose from. You need to consider the consequences of each choice carefully. It’ll determine how profits from the business are divided up – as well as the financial and legal responsibilities and liabilities you’ll take on.
Apps like Machfast make registering your company straightforward. By signing up and entering a few details, you can register your business in the UK.
A business can only ever succeed if there is a market for its product or service. So you have to stage interviews with different demographics, gauge interest in your mooted business and ascertain whether your business actually fills a gap in the market.
Getting to know the competition you’ll be going up against is also vitally important. You need to ask yourself whether your brand offers something distinct enough to outperform your competitors viably.
If, as it stands, your business doesn’t – you can come away from the research you’ve conducted with the knowledge of how to fine-tune your business and craft your marketing campaigns to give it the best possible chance of success.
There are plenty of options available to you when it comes to marketing your business. Paid options such as Google Ads and display advertising are great short-term solutions. At the same time, SEO and things like starting a blog are more like term strategies.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve started a pure eCommerce company or an Omnichannel retailer. You’ll want to think about what combination of channels works well for your business, where you can split your budgets most effectively.
Once you’ve adequately researched the market you’re planning on entering; you can then start to create your brand. Your brand is everything to do with your business: from the name, the tone of voice you employ, the typography you use, your logo as well as any colors or imagery you use in marketing materials.
Tailoring your brand to appeal to your target market will improve your chances of success. Again, this comes from market research – understanding what motivates, insecurities, likes, and dislikes. All of this research can be factored into the way you build your brand.
Without funding, you’re unlikely ever to get your business off the ground. From manufacturing costs to advertising to staffing, you’ll need to have a sum of money to get your brand out there.
Depending on your situation, you might be eligible for funding. There are government grants and loans available for people that meet certain criteria. The New Enterprise Allowance helps budding entrepreneurs with funding if they receive benefits.
Alternatively, if you think your idea is strong enough, you might be able to raise the necessary capital through a crowdfunding site.
Day today, you’ll need to keep a close eye on your incomings and outgoings. Keeping a detailed record of every single transaction will allow you to manage your finances carefully. Overspending or underestimating how much revenue your business is likely to generate in the first few months causes the downfall of many a promising project.