Starting a business requires a lot of time, effort and hard work, and many would-be entrepreneurs end up failing. But if your company survives, the rewards are well worth the obstacles you’ll face on the road to success. Below, we’ve compiled a short checklist for you to think about before starting a business.
1.Write a Business Plan
Do you market research: What is the purpose of your business? Who are you selling to? What are your end goals? How will you finance your start-up costs? These questions can be answered in a well-written and researched business plan.
A lot of mistakes are made by new businesses rushing into things without pondering these aspects of the business. If you can’t find evidence that there’s a demand for your idea, then what would be the point?
Thorough market research and a well-developed business plan helps you figure out where your company is going, how it will overcome any potential difficulties and what you need to sustain it. A simple Google search will bring thousands of ready made templates if you’re struggling with where to start.
2. Determine Your Legal Business Structure
Before you can register your company, you need to decide what kind of entity it is. Your business structure legally affects everything from how you file your taxes to your personal liability if something goes wrong.
You probably won’t want to start off as a public limited company (PLC), so it’s a four-way crossroad: become a sole trader, form a partnership, or incorporate a limited liability company or partnership (LLP) at Companies House.
For further advice on your legal business structure, Business Beetle would recommend contacting a commercial solicitor to discuss your options.
3. Purchase an Insurance Policy
Think about the kind of work you do and the risks you need to cover: could your business face a compensation claim from a disgruntled client because they believe you’ve been negligent? Is there a chance a member of the public could be injured by your business and claim compensation? Do you have buildings, contents, business equipment, or stock to insure?
4. Brand Yourself and Advertise
When you think about your brand, you really want to think about your entire customer experience. Everything from your logo, your website, your social media experiences, the way you answer the phone, to the way your customers experience your staff.
When you look at this broad definition of branding, it can be a bit overwhelming to think about what is involved in your brand. However, branding is important for businesses of all sizes because it increases their value, gives employees direction and motivation, and makes acquiring new customers easier.