We have put together a new business startup checklist, which is by no means an exhaustive list but will give an indication of some of the many items when starting in business to think about.
Despite most small businesses folding before their 5th anniversary, 5.2million small businesses were trading in 2015. Even though setting up a business is exciting, it can also be stressful therefore we have put together a checklist to help you start your own small business:
- Create a brand.
- Think about your logo is easily identifiable, have a catchy slogan or brand name that customers will remember, think about your brand’s personality, image and identity.
- Create a product/service. Invent something or think of an idea but keep it simple.
- Decide what price you are going to charge customers for your product/service.
- Safeguard your brand/product by investing in intellectual property, patents, trademarks and copyright.
- Create a unique selling point (USP). What does your product/service offer that is unique, that your competitors don’t offer?
- Ask yourself the following questions: Are you going to become a sole trader or form a limited company or business partnership? What does your target market need and what are they currently missing? Is there a gap in the market and is there enough demand for your product/service?
- Create a business plan.
- Find a premise in the right location or work from home. Check if you need to pay business rates.
- Do your primary and secondary market research. Research your industry sector, target market, competitors and suppliers.
- Do your marketing; especially digital marketing, do you need to produce a press release?
- Promote your brand and product/service using: flyers, leaflets, brochures, guides, posters, trade stands, website, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn), loyalty cards, emails, newsletters, blogs, press releases and business cards.
- To create awareness of your product/service but keep costs down, set up a website.
- Find out what your target audience’s opinions are of your product. Make a prototype; organise and carry out focus groups; and give samples to your target audience to try. Create a questionnaire to capture feedback and constructive criticism. Make appropriate changes to your product, if necessary, depending on the feedback you receive.
- Promote positive word of mouth – attend events and relevant trade shows to promote your business. Set up a trade stand; create a banner and flyers; offer trade show discount; and use samples to entice customers.
- Use your own personal savings to enable a debt-free business. If you are thinking of setting up an online business, it may be worthwhile to ask your customers to pay before they receive the product. This will help with cash flow and help to avoid using credit cards or taking out loans.
- Do free courses online, attend seminars and view webinars to further enhance your knowledge of a specific area eg. digital marketing to help increase sales.
- Learn from and network with other businesses.
- Use your own skills and outsource other people’s skills.
- Be open-minded; be open to change and try new things; take chances and risks; and learn from your own mistakes.
- Use your initiative, gut feeling and common sense.
- Have confidence and be passionate about what you do. Believe in yourself and believe in your product because if you do, other people will.
- Set goals and picture yourself achieving those goals. Look at mapping your goals.
- Persevere and be patient; good things come to those who wait.
- Know your business and know your numbers – always keep your business accounts up to date.
- Use your own story in your pitch to retailers to show authenticity; some very successful businesses start in one car garages!
- Keep up to date and make sure you comply with laws, regulations, taxes, insurances, licences and registrations. See Gov.uk for more information.
- Remember: if at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again. It can be done!
If you are a business entrepreneur starting out in business and you have a any points to add to our list, do drop us an email