Posted on 18th July 2018 by Maddy Abela
So, you want to be the next Alan Sugar but don’t know where to start? Here is a step to step guide to starting a business that is fool proof. Go on, try it!
1) Why do you want to start a business?
Before diving into the deep end, it’s crucial you understand two things: a) yourself and b) why you want to start a business. Understanding why you want to start a business will not only be insightful but will help you gain a tighter grip on what you’re expecting to get out of the business. Being an entrepreneur is a tough and often draining position - so make sure you’re not solely motivated by external factors, e.g. making your parents proud.
2) String together a business idea
Usually, when planning to start a business you have an initial idea of what you want to sell or what service you want to provide. But if you’re not sure, a good question to ask yourself is ‘what bugs me right now?’ Is it the fact that you keep losing your keys, or maybe that you want to learn to sing for free. Whatever it is, finding out what really bugs you can be a good starting point and will help develop your unique selling point (USP) too.
3) Research, research and more research!
An important element to starting a business is a comprehensive grasp on what the industry you’re breaking into looks like. So, be Dora the Explorer and go explore! Which businesses are doing well in this market and why? Does your idea already exist? Without researching what’s already out there, you run the risk of not understanding the wants and needs of your customers.
4) Put pen to paper
Okay, you don’t need a quill and a piece of parchment for this, but a business plan can be a really useful way of scribbling down your business idea in a way that’s easy for others to understand. At some point you will have to communicate your vision for your business with people who might not initially get it - so sit down and crack on with that business plan.
5) Give your idea legs
Whilst you may have an amazing idea for an app that lets you track your dog’s whereabouts, you need to give your app legs. What this means is that if you can’t see it developing and, in this case maybe developing to a cat tracking app, then how is your idea going to keep churning profit? Make sure your idea is not only innovative but can expand so that you don’t get bored later on down the line.
6) Slow down, big spender
It’s easy to think that buying all the books and fancy office stationary will help get your business off the ground. Whilst research, using books, can be great don’t forget that you have all the tools you need. You don’t need an expensive notebook to make your ideas great, you already have great ideas!
7) Consider technology
This may sound like a given, but if your business idea isn’t technologically based (such as opening a bakery) then you should definitely spare some thought to how you’ll incorporate technology into your business. How can you use technology to improve your efficiency of production of baking tasty treats? But also, how can you use technology to make your cupcakes and eclairs accessible globally? Does anyone else fancy a doughnut now?
8) Money, money, money, must be funny...
Money! Now whilst laying on a bed of cash can be an exciting thought the reality is that you won’t start there. There are lots of financial obligations, such as the corporation tax and VAT (value added tax) that you need to look into and make sure you’re on top of. Yes, finance can be boring, but do you want that bed of cash or not?
9) Register yourself
Similar to the previous point, there is a bit more admin for you. To ensure that no one else takes your companies’ name, and to form a legal company, you have to register at Companies House. Surprisingly, this isn’t an actual house, confusing I know...
10) Get on with it!
My final piece of advice is to get out there and get on with it! Starting a business can be scary, but you’ve got this. You will be so much closer to being a part of a business you are truly proud of if you take that leap of faith then if you just sit in your bed thinking about it. Good luck, you can do it!
Written by Maddy Abela
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