There’s an awful lot to think about when you’re starting up your own business; business plans, funding, partners, suppliers, premises, and that’s assuming you’ve already got your ideas and completed your market research.
With so much to think about, where do you start? Starting a business is a little like eating an elephant, you have to go about it one bite at a time.
Ideas and Research.
The starting point of any business is an idea; a realistic product or service to meet a need or requirement. Market research is an essential part of this process, to ensure that the need is real and identify potential customers. This could include focus groups, surveys or analysis of any competitors. You need to fully understand the needs and state of your intended market in order to completely develop your ideas into a successful business. Researching and deciding on the structure of your business is also a vital step. Will your idea translate better as a limited company, sole trader or business partnership?
The business plan is an essential step in your process and can be crucial in securing funding or investment. It is here that you can clearly state the customer need and how this will be met while making a profit. Your plan should include the realists of your research and should serve to explain to others how your idea will translate into a viable and successful business.
Once you’ve completed your market research and have a business plan in place, its important to explore different sources of funding. From government schemes and bank loans to selling shares to investors, there are many available to choose from, each with their own benefits for your new company.
Partners and Suppliers.
Whether you register as a sole trader, partnership or limited company, your business is likely to involve working with others to be completely successful. Suppliers are essential to a new business, whether they provide raw materials for product manufacture or services and equipment, such as IT systems, website design or SEO. You will need to consider payment terms, trade credit periods and bulk discounts. You may also need to consider working with a distributor for selling goods.
Depending on your business idea, there are a number of other considerations you may need to take into account.
Different businesses require different premises. Is your business one which can be conducted from home, and if so is any additional storage space required, such as secure containers, in which to store products for delivery? If your company employs others, will a larger and more suitable premises need to be bought or hired?
If your business involves delivery or travel, you may need to consider purchase or hire of a commercial van. For example, businesses such as plumbers may need to transport tools and work teams and would require a van suitable for passenger and goods such as the Fiorino van Combi, while other businesses like builders would require facilities for larger scale materials and equipment transport and thus may find the Fiat Ducato Conversion more suitable.
And that’s not everything. There are many other considerations when planning to start a business; the more you’re better planned for them, the higher your chances of success.