Four Steps to a Successful Business Startup
This is the age of the entrepreneur. If you have been sitting on a great idea, now is the time to make it a reality.
For some, it comes in a flash as a “Eureka moment,” while for others, it is an idea that has been rattling around in the back of the mind for months or even years. Either way, there are more people than ever with a business idea in mind that might just represent their ticket out of the nine to five rat race.
This really is the age of the entrepreneur, and more people are going it alone than ever before. Just months after being appointed as Prime Minister, Theresa May described small businesses as the backbone of the UK economy.
Sole traders and small business partnerships are thriving, particularly in the south east, where Chelmsford business finance brokers have never been busier helping new enterprises get off the ground. Joining their ranks is a matter of following some simple ground rules.
Talk it through
Before you sit down and start preparing a business plan, take time talking through your idea with trusted friends and business associates. This achieves two things. First of all, the more you talk through it the better you are able to conceptualise your vision – that will come in very handy at later stages if you are looking to sell the idea to a bank or investor to raise finance.
Secondly, these people are probably going to be your customers, suppliers or partners in some shape or form. They will be able to provide a different angle and perspective that will help you to fully develop and shape your business idea.
Understand the Market
A little market research can go a long way. Who are your target customers and suppliers, and most important of all, who else is already operating in the sector? This competitor analysis is particularly important, and it is vital to put yourself in the position of a customer, not a competitor. What do you like about their service offering, and just as important, what don’t you like?
The conclusions you reach could have significant implications on the development of your idea. For example, you might identify a specific niche that is currently neglected, or a particular USP that your business will be able to leverage.
Draft up your business plan
Now you can get to work on the business plan! There are numerous formats the plan can take, and it very much depends on whether you will be using it as a basis for seeking external funding or as an internal tool to keep your strategy on track.
You will now have a reasonable picture of how much money you need to get the business off the ground and keep it secure over the opening months of trading. The type of funding you choose to pursue will be dependent on your personal circumstances, and there are numerous possibilities.
These include less formal methods of funding, such as using personal wealth or a loan from family and friends, through government-sponsored startup schemes to traditional bank loans.
This is one area in which it pays to get some expert support, so set aside an afternoon to sit down with an independent financial advisor and work out which form of funding makes the most sense for your business model.