Starting a business is tough, even with the best idea it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll succeed. With so many factors to consider and 55 per cent of start-ups failing in the first five years, it never hurts to remind yourself of the basics.
Testing the lightbulb moment
So you have an idea and you’re sure it’s going to be a success; but before you begin make sure that you test it. Market research is essential, whether creating customer and sector profiles or analysing competitors, it’s paramount that you know your audience before committing.
Armed with a plan
If, like most start-ups, you need financial backing in some form or another, a good business plan is essential. To convince someone that your idea is worth investing in you should include:
- What the business does/supplies
- Your structure
- How products or services can be purchased and the cost
- Short and long-term objectives
- Customer and competitor analysis
- A marketing plan
- A contingency plan
Structure to success
Choosing the right legal structure is one of the most important decisions you’ll make during the start-up process.
A sole trader is in complete control of their business, meaning they keep all the profits, but also take responsibility for any losses.
A limited company’s finances are separate from its owners. The directors are also responsible for running the company, but a number of people can own shares in it.
Partnerships mean profits are shared between partners, who are responsible for paying tax on them.
Name of the game
You must make sure there are no other businesses already operating under your chosen name. Also check that the web domain is available and that it means exactly what you think it does across borders – you don’t want a great business name that translates into something questionable to your international clients.
Once you’re up and running you might think the hard part is over, but what’s going to make your business different? It could well be your sense of purpose.
When you start a business you do it for a reason. That could be to fill a gap in the market, to provide something better, faster, easier, cheaper, to give your employees a real sense of purpose or to provide a service that makes the world a better place. Whatever it was write it down and remember it. Referring back to it during tough times will allow you to remain calm under pressure, help staff and clients to buy into your business and allow you to measure your goals. Remember though, your purpose statement shouldn’t just be about making money, it should be about creating something that truly matters.
Starting a business can be challenging, to see how we can help, contact Danny Evans on Danny.Evans@championgroup.co.uk or call 0161 703 2500.