Before you go ahead and set up your business, as much as you’ve been anticipating cutting the ribbon (literally or metaphorically), there are a few things you need to know.
Considering more than half of small businesses fail to make it through their first five years, it’s important that every entrepreneur keeps their eyes open when heading into a new venture – especially if it’s your first.
We speak to small businesses, start ups and entrepreneurs every day, so we like to think we know a thing or two about what it takes to get your business off the ground – not to mention managing to do so ourselves!
These are what we would consider to be the most important pieces of advice to keep in mind before you start your venture – use them wisely.
Know your budgets
We might be a little biased on this one, but it doesn’t detract from the fact that knowing your figures is vital for a start up. No matter what year you’re in, you need to keep an eye on your spending and monitor your finances on a regular basis.
This isn’t just for tax purposes. The majority of start ups fail due to cash flow problems, which is why you need to have a strong magnifying glass on what you’re spending, what you’re spending it on and what return you’re getting from your investments.
Get systems in place
Before you launch into business, you need to have adequate systems already set up that will allow you to easily handle your business without slowing you down.
As these first few months are so tentative, you don’t want to waste the time running up to your launch when you could be getting organised. Whether you need to set up a computer system or make some new contacts, do as much as you can while you have the time.
Set up a working space
Whether your first year will see you working from a home office or setting up shop in your own space, you need to make sure you won’t be trying to get work done in a cluttered and unorganised working space.
This might mean buying yourself a desk and chair and setting yourself up in the spare room, or it could mean something more drastic, such as buying a retail space and organising stock in time for the opening date.
Whatever your plans are, don’t let yourself be caught short when it comes to the big day!
Focus on branding
While you may be set on just getting up and running before you offer a certain angle on your brand, it’s actually better to get this planned in advance of your launch.
Having a clear brand will show both customers and investors (if you have them) that your business knows exactly what it’s looking for, and is ready to bring its vision to customers.
It may seem like a small point, but having a definitive angle when you set up your website, social media and content will also do your digital marketing strategy a world of good, as you’ll begin ranking for the right reasons.
Plan for growth
Finally, you need to make sure you’ll know what’s going to happen when your business begins to grow. You need to plan for every eventuality, no matter what you think may happen in the future.
That might mean looking at office spaces, considering what areas would need to expand and thinking about the areas you’d want to invest in first. These are vital to ensure you don’t come up against any unexpected scenarios. You need to know that you’ll react the right way when the time comes.
Have you got the essentials in place? Or have you had a bad experience when you didn’t go head into a business venture with everything organised? Share your experiences in the comment section below.