When setting up a small business it’s not easy to know where to start. Knowing which areas to invest in and which areas to deal with later on down the road comes with time and experience.
Of course for many of us who are setting up businesses for the first time, this experience and knowledge is something that we don’t yet have. So today we are sharing our essential checklist of how to set up a small business properly in order to get you up and running efficiently in no time at all.
Capital and Time
These are the first two areas you need to think about before you can do anything else. Looking through your accounts and figuring out how much money you have versus how much money you’re going to need to achieve your goals is the place to start. From there you can begin looking into how much investment is necessary and how far that initial investment will take you.
Then weave a realistic and detailed time-line into your business plan. Look at all the areas you need to cover in the initial months and how much time and money each of these areas will take. Think logistically and realistically when balancing the time needed versus the money you have at your disposal.
Capital that will only last you four-six months is never going to be enough to get you off the ground as new businesses take time to really take off. So work through your business plan and accounts side-by-side to see how much money and time you’re going to need to until you will start seeing the money come rolling in.
Finding your Niche
Before you can think about your marketing and how you’re going to promote your business you will first need to carve out a niche for yourself. There has never been so much competition in business with small companies cropping up faster than they ever have before. Therefore it’s crucial to establish your POD (point of different) and your USP’s (unique selling points) before you can know how to effectively market yourself.
Following market trends in your sector will help you better understand the needs and demands in your sector and looking at your competition will help you formulate how you can do things differently and engage with clients in a unique way. Finding out how you can stand out against the background noise is essential when formulating your overall brand and how you plan to talk to people about who you are and what you do.
Being Above Board
Anyone that has set up a company knows how complicated it can be to get all the paperwork in line and make sure that everything is above board and legally legitimate. It can be quite the mindfield. Therefore if you’re setting up for the first time it’s highly recommendable to hire an external consultant that can help you understand everything you need to do to make sure you and your company are protected. Specialist consultants such as Ellis Whittam offer services that ensure you don’t leave anything to chance and all the complicated legalities of your business are taken care of.
This, in contrast to the above, is an area of setting up a business that has never been easier. With website building tools such as WordPress and Wix, it has never been more straightforward to build an attractive and fully functioning website all from the comfort of your own home.
Don’t spend weeks hung up on the details of your website as you can lose a lot of time worrying that it’s not perfect. As long as it looks professional, is optimized to both PC and mobile version and the content clearly delivers who you are and the benefits you bring to customers you are good to go. The joy of these DIY website builders is that they allow you to continually develop, change and evolve your website as your business grows.
There’s no avoiding social media as a part of your marketing strategy. But, again with all the endless reams of information about how to create simple yet effective social media marketing, this is something that you can do nowadays with relative ease. You don’t need to be a social media guru to be able to start with the basics such as facebook and twitter and what’s great about this process is that you learn as you go. Meaning the more active you are, the more your knowledge of these platforms will grow as will your understanding of how to get the best response from your campaigns.
For many of us organization doesn’t come naturally. It’s something we need to continually work on in order to keep moving in the right direction without any nasty surprises. Creating an organized office space is crucial for you and any staff you may take on. Looking into cost effective storage units and attractive desk spaces to create a relaxed and tidy office is essential to keep you feeling in control and productive.
There are also a whole host of new apps on the market that help you get organised and stay organised. The fantastic app ‘https://culturedcode.com/things/things’ is a great way to keep all your documents, lists, to-do’s and important information tidy and easy to navigate. It syncs up your notes and documents, sends you helpful reminders and it breaks down even the most daunting tasks into manageable bite-sized chunks.
Keep Challenging Yourself
The process of setting up your own business is supposed to be fun and challenging. So remember to remind yourself that whilst there may be a few bumps along the way, it’s supposed to be something that stimulates and excites you. Trying to approach things in a unique and innovative way is the essence of trying to get the most out of this creative process. Success all comes down to attitude. Staying positive, nimble and embracing good old fashioned hard graft is the cornerstone of any prospering business. So with the above in mind, intelligent decisions and a positive mentality, anything is possible.