If you’ve grown bored of working for other people and want to forge your own way in the professional world, starting your own business could be a really shrewd move.
Be warned though – starting a business can be a dangerous undertaking, and according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in 2014, the five-year survival rate for UK businesses hatched in 2009 was only 41.7%.
But how can you make sure your new business bucks this trend and keeps blooming long into the future?
Have an airtight plan
When you’re in the planning stages of your new business’ development, the more work you put in, the greater the risk you’ll rid from your endeavour, all thanks to gaining a greater understanding of the market, industry and competition you’re going to be interacting with.
This means having a solid idea of your business’ vision and how it’ll make money from the start. You should also conduct in-depth market research, spending a long time looking at what works and doesn’t work in the particular industry you’re entering, adjusting your offering to the lessons you learn during this phase.
You should also have a good idea of the strategy you’ll employ in order to position your products or services, how your company will function in the day to day, and how you hope to expand in the future. For more information on business plans, click here to access the government’s free materials.
This is the most important tip for anyone starting a business. If you feel like this particular business idea is your calling, plan it in as much detail as possible – it’ll guard against risk and help you access funding. Lastly, make a succinct version of this plan. A short form version will make it easier to persuade investors who don’t fancy reading through endless documents to get to the point of your big idea.
Keeping up appearances
We like to think that names, logos and branding aren’t everything, but a poor example of either can really put a dent in a business, losing them trade from the get-go. They’re the first thing your customers will see when they interact with your business, after all.
Keep them simple, akin to your business offering, nice-sounding, and pleasing from an aesthetic point of view. Once you’ve come up with a few options, trial them in front of friends, family members and strangers – this should help you narrow down your options.
Decide upon funding
Are you going to fund your business with your own cash? Perhaps you’d prefer to attract investors and talk to banks in order to get your company off the ground? Whatever you choose, make sure to check out our start-up funding guide beforehand.
Find out more
If you know any entrepreneurs, directors, bosses and such, then talk to them about their start-up experiences and the lessons they learned. Don’t know any? Emailing company heads politely (or contacting via a business social networking site such as LinkedIn) and asking for the benefit of their years of experience, can very often pay dividends, and you’ll almost certainly learn something useful.
Starting a business isn’t easy, but with the above tips, and a whole lot of grit and determination, you could soon be blossoming in the industry of your choosing, enjoying money, acclaim and freedom in kind.