Start up tips for Small Businesses
So you have finally decided to take the plunge and start your own business. Here are 10 tips that can help you turn that brilliant idea into a thriving small business.
- Prepare a business plan. Before you start you should spend quite a bit of time putting together a business plan that details what you are going to do, when you are going to do it and how much it is going to cost. If you don't have a finance background then it could be an idea to get an accountant involved to help you identify all of the steps and costs involved.
- Research your market. Get a good understanding of the marketplace, your competitors and your potential customers.
- Get you corporate structure right from the start. It may not be so important in the first couple of years however a poor structure may come back to haunt you when you want to sell, expand or finance the business in future years.
- Make sure that you have adequate funds. Don't just think about the capital that is going to be involved, think about working capital that will be tied up in the business along with any loss of income during the start up period.
- Approach your bank early. Even if you don't need funds straight away it is a good idea to keep your bank in the loop as you may need funds to expand at a later date.
- Keep your employees to a minimum. Start ups need to be nimble as things may not always go as planned. Try employing virtual staff that you can switch on and off when you need them. A telephone answering service can be a great way of getting your calls answered quickly and efficiently without the cost base of employing staff. You can also scale it up or down depending upon how your business is performing.
- Don't get side tracked. Try to stick to your plan and give your business idea your best shot. If you get too distracted by other things you may not realise the potential of your original idea.
- Start small however prepare to scale up. Start with a virtual office as opposed to a physical office. The virtual office will give you a prestigious city address while only costing a few dollars per week. Once the business takes off, move it to a serviced office as they can be a much cheaper option than fitting out your own office space.
- Don't be afraid to advertise. Quite often simply putting a website up will not be enough. Take a look at PPC (pay per click) advertising, banner advertising and potentially newspaper adverts and letterbox drops.
- Try to keep a work life balance. It's difficult when you have a new business to back away from it as you are so keen to make it work. Try to keep a balance in your life. Schedule in some time for your family, friends and holidays.
Hopefully these tips help you take that big step to getting your own small business off the ground. Remember, if you need help with a virtual office, phone answering service or a virtual assistant Home are here to help you out.