How To Start A New Business From Scratch
Sometimes, after you’ve spent a long time being employed by other companies, the only way to progress your career is to build up your own business. In the UK, at least, small businesses occupy around 99.9% of the business landscape; no matter how huge those conglomerates and corporations might seem to be, the truth is that if you’re starting a business, you’re far from alone.
With that in mind, though, you might be asking yourself how you’re even supposed to start such an overwhelming and monumental process. It’s easier than you might think! Here’s how you can start a new business from scratch.
Come up with a bulletproof idea
No matter what else happens to your business, the idea at its core has to be rock-solid. Your business may go through some very unfair and challenging times, but if your idea is good, you should be able to weather these storms and emerge with just a few scratches.
A great business idea is innovative, clever, and insightful; it targets niches that other companies aren’t already focusing on. It provides a service or a product that people desperately need (but might not even realize they need yet!). One of the best ways to develop a great idea is to think about challenges you face in your own life and ask yourself how those challenges might be better overcome.
It is an unfortunate fact of life that if you want to get a business idea off the ground, you’ll need to secure the appropriate amount of funding to do so. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can approach raising capital for a business.
Personal loans can help; even payday loans could go some way towards giving you the extra push you need to establish your business. However, there are also loans specifically designed to help you build businesses, so you should look into small business loans if this seems like an attractive option to you. Naturally, loans must be repaid, but investment demands return, so this is something you’re going to face no matter which road you take.
Establish your brand
Every business needs strong branding to succeed. This is how customers will identify you and differentiate you from the competition. In short, your branding should proclaim who you are, what you provide for your customers, and why they should visit you instead of opting for one of your competitors.
Branding extends to graphics and every other aspect of your company, including copywriting, advertising, and all other aspects of your operation. It’s not easy to build a strong, consistent brand, so we’d recommend looking into a branding specialist who can help you create something unforgettable. Trust us – it will help immensely in the long run.
Research your competitors
Market research is one of the cornerstones of building a successful business. Knowing who you’re up against and what you’ll need to do differently is incredibly important; without this knowledge, you’re just another business in a wide, likely overcrowded field. Yours will rarely be the only business offering what you’re offering, so market research is imperative to understand the successes and failures of your competitors.
What are they doing that you should avoid doing? Are there any tactics of theirs that you could adopt as your own (without infringing copyright, of course)? Make sure to be thorough because missing something in this area could mean your downfall.
All too often, we see prospective small business owners dilly-dallying and never actually starting up their businesses. There will always be an aspect that’s slightly out of place or an element that isn’t sitting exactly as you want it to, so in the early days of your business, the most important thing to aim for is “good enough” rather than “the very best.”
You can build up towards true excellence as you go, but no business will ever hit the ground sprinting, so just beginning your operation – whether it’s providing a service or selling a product – is half the battle. If you’ve got funding in place and you know your target demographic, it’s time to open up!
You can look into such things like inventory management for printing businesses at a later stage.
Keep an exhaustive account of your books
Finance is the beating heart of any business. Without a robust idea of how you’re performing, you won’t be able to adjust or tailor aspects of your business to optimize it and ensure it’s running as well as possible.
Hiring an accountant may be outside your means, to begin with, but that’s fine; when your operation is small enough that you can’t afford an accountant, it’s also small enough that you should be able to manage your own books. Be thorough, be exhaustive, and above all, be honest. If things aren’t looking great one month, try to find a solution instead of running from the problem or ignoring it.
How to start a new business from scratch: hire when you need to hire
If your business reaches the point where you can afford to hire staff, congratulations – you’ve already made it further than most business ideas do. There’s cause for celebration, but you should be careful too; it can be easy to lose sight of the overall business plan amid dreams of saving money and being frugal.
When it’s time to hire staff, it’s important to make sure you have the employees you need, or the scope of the business could threaten to dwarf you and ruin all of your hard work. Hire as and when; don’t overcommit, but don’t skimp either, because a great crew is crucial to running a good ship.