One of the biggest growth areas in the employment world currently is those who are becoming self-employed and starting their own business. The idea of being your own boss, working from home or from your own location and doing things your way is hugely appealing to many, especially after years as an employee. So if you are starting your own business, where do you start? What crucial steps should you take before your big launch?
Look at cash flow
Let’s assume you have the basics – a product or service that there is a market for, a name for your business a start date. The most important next step to take is checking the cash flow of the business – you need money to start and money to keep you going until profits start to come in. This might come in the form of a start-up loan or it might be by pre-selling items with people putting a deposit down ahead of receiving the product.
If you offer services, also look for monthly options where people pay a little each month rather than a single upfront fee. At least this brings in money in small amounts and pay persuade people to go with you versus someone requiring an upfront cost.
Look at tech
Regardless of what business you are in, there is going to be some tech equipment that you require. Whether it is a laptop to keep track of product inventory and manage your website, a desktop computer to work on or even just a smartphone to monitor emails and social media, you need to have this organised before you begin.
As well as hardware, look at the software you will need. Accounting software is a good example so you can keep track of your accounts from the start. Bookkeeping not only keeps things organised for the tax man but allows you to monitor cash flow and ensure the business isn’t overspending.
Marketing and advertising
Without marketing and advertising, it is unlikely your business will grow. Therefore, from the start you will likely want a website and a social media presence. You may also want to consider advertising either locally, such as in local newspapers, or through some of the online channels. Social media adverts can be a cost effective way to raise your profile while you might want to consider hiring a marketing expert to formulate a small scale marketing plan.
Look at building an email list or a potential client list. These are people that give you their email address, often in return for some kind of freebie such as a discount voucher or exclusive content. An example could be a tips on how to clean your sofa for an upholstery cleaning company – with an emphasis on the need for a professional for many stains.
Building a business is very exciting but also takes a lot of work. Make sure you have the right mindset to begin with if you want to succeed – the best entrepreneurs didn’t get where they were without planning and a lot of work. Put it in and you will have a far better chance of success.