If you’re itching to leave work and set up your own business, then take a look at these ten tips to help you to set off on the right road to running a successful enterprise.
Many people would like to work for themselves, but aren’t sure what they want to do. If you’re in this position, some research will help you find your path. For example, consider your skill set and work out what do you love doing and what you are best at doing. Then, analyse the market and look for gaps or areas where you can offer something unique.
You’ll need to have a business plan if you hope to borrow money because the organisation putting up the money will require some reassurance that you are serious about your business. Even if you don’t need to show it to anyone else, your plan will provide a useful route map to keep you on track.
Once you’re clear on what you want to do and you have your plan sorted, it’s time to get your finances in order. Most start up businesses need a little outside help, especially in the early days. Even if you think you have enough money to get going, it’s worth looking into business loans and other options that might help you with cash flow. Factoring might be useful for a growing business as it allows you to borrow against the value of your invoices. Invoice discounting can help to increase cash flow, but it can also remove the burden of chasing bad payers. Commercial specialists like abnamrocommercialfinance can provide useful advice.
If using accountants it is worth checking to see if they have ACCA which is a globally recognised accounting qualification from kaplan
If you think that your business will take a little time to start making money, then it might be worth hanging on to your day job for a while longer. Think about sharing your time between paid work and your new business. For instance, you could dedicate weekends to your business and the week to your paid job. Or, you could work in the evenings for a few hours. Just be careful not to burn yourself if you go for this option.
A mentor won’t tell you what to do but they will be able to offer you some wise words and the benefit of their own experience. This can prevent you from going down blind alleys or reinventing the wheel. A mentor can be a useful sounding board for working through ideas and they can also give you a much needed boost if you feel your morale starting to flag.
Most jobs don’t get advertised because they tend to go through word of mouth. So it’s worth putting out some feelers through your social networks because friends and family might be able to put you in touch with the right people. Alternatively, consider using the free service provided by Job centre Plus.
Whether you have a physical shop window or an internet portal, make sure this is ready for when you start trading. Your website is a proxy for your business so it needs to be perfect. If this is an area you’re uncertain of, get a professional to help you. You can find web designers at www.elance.com.
Sadly, if you build it, they will not come; you need to do some marketing to drive potential customers to your website or front door. Work out who your target audience is and the most cost effective way of reaching them. Alternatively, get someone from www.peopleperhour.com.
Unless you’re a virtual business, you need a base. You may be able to work from home or you might need to lease office or factory space. Whatever premises you need, there are bargains to be had right now, so be prepared to haggle. Try websites like www.novaloca.com for ideas.
Before going ahead, review your plans and ask yourself three questions. Is this what you really want to do? Are you properly financed? Are your plans in order? Although you won’t want to waste time hanging around, pausing for thought now can prevent expensive mistakes later.