If the news is to be believed, this is an ideal time for starting a business.
In 2017 there were 5.7 million businesses in the UK. Over 99% of these were small or medium-sized. This number rises every year. New businesses start all of the time. Unfortunately, most of them fail within the first two years or struggle to turn a profit for even longer.
Many of us dream of starting a business for ourselves. But, these statistics can put us off. The internet and online business mean that it’s now perfectly possible to start some types of business in your own home, without a significant amount of money. Others, such as opening your own shop or restaurant come with costs that simply can’t be avoided. But, either way, you need to make money. Even if your business hasn’t cost a penny to start, if you’ve got running costs and you’ve given up a job to do it, you’ll need, at the very least, to earn enough to reward yourself for your time spent.
Some people are lucky enough that it doesn’t really matter. They can afford to take things slowly and grow their businesses over time. But, the rest of us can’t afford to wait. We need to earn money straight away. We need our businesses to get off to a flying start.
Get Help with Starting a Business
Starting a business often seems much easier than it actually is. There’s an awful lot to think about, decide and get done. It’s hard work, and some of the processes and legal formalities can be very confusing. By the time you’ve got your head around everything, you could easily be heading towards big mistakes that you no longer have time to avoid. A consultant like Paul Trudgian could help you to assess the market, set things up right and make the right decisions from the start.
Consultants know what they are talking about. They’ve often worked in the field themselves and even made the mistakes that you are hoping to avoid. Hiring a consultant is an expense. But, it could help you to avoid many costly mistakes in those first few months of your business’s life.
Prepare a Business Plan
Many small businesses and sole traders fail to understand the importance of a business plan. They don’t think that it seems necessary, if they don’t employ staff or aren’t putting a large amount of money into their business. But, without a plan, you can feel lost. You can waste time stumbling through without any clear ideas of where you are going or how you will get there.
Before you even launch, sit down and prepare an in-depth business plan. Speak to your consultant and get advice. Take your time to consider what you want to get out of your business and how you are going to get there.
This will give you a clearer idea of all the things you need to do, and a better concept of the time it might take before the busiess makes a profit. If you have a plan then you can measure your progress against it and know if you are on the right track or not.
Write a Financial Forecast
A financial forecast is a little different. A business plan focuses on the business and what it’s going to do. A financial forecast just looks at money. Almost like a household budget. Look at the money going out of your business, expected market changes and economic and political issues that could affect your business, your competition, upcoming events and holidays and absolutely anything else that could affect the cash flow of your company.
A forecast of profits and losses can be useful for tax planning and also for showing to any potential investors. A forecast of cash flow, can show you what you need to do in order to maintain the business, and tracking your progress agains your forecast will help you to avoid running out of money, which is the main cause of business failure.
The key to getting off to a flying start is marketing. Before you launch your business, let the world know what’s coming. Define your target market and the message you need to send to them. Set up a website, and social media profiles, as most people look at those and they will give you credibility. Set up a digital marketing strategy as well as marketing offline, if you think your target market is likely to respond to that. Get the word out with a PR strategy and build up some excitement and you’ll have a great first day.