Self-employment and being your own boss are great but there are a couple of things to consider before starting a new business. To help you avoid all the typical beginner’s mistakes and give your business a kickstart, I have asked some of my favourite bloggers for their top tips for new business owners. Depending on the type of your business not all of them might apply to you, but it’s definitely worth giving them consideration before diving into the deep end.
Tips for starting a new business
Know your market
Make sure there really is a market for your product or service. Talk to people who are potential customers (who aren’t family and friends) to test the market. It can help you refine and adjust what you are offering, saving you time and money from the get-go. (Amy / All about Mummy)
Research, research, research! What’s already out there similar to your idea? What has worked previously? What hasn’t? And what’s that one thing that can make your business stand out from the competition? Be unique! (Jennie / Rice cakes and Raisins)
Have a plan
Write a business plan and a cash flow forecast first. Think about your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats in there. It should include your strategy, targeting, operations, legal structure, costs, marketing plans. It’s 100% worth putting in the work for the long-term benefit. Plus, a thorough business plan key to getting any business lending/investment. (Lynn / Mrs Money Penny)
Written your business plan? Pick it to absolute shreds and make sure there aren’t any major issues before starting out. Question every avenue and make sure you’ve thoroughly thought about all the finer details too. Be confident but be careful, you don’t want something small such as lack of license or cost of insurance making it a fail from the off. When you’re starting a new business, you want to make sure it’s a viable business! (Care / Care Johnson)
Get the name right
Think carefully about the name of your business and if it will be suitable if your business evolves in a few years time. Also, check that your business name domain and social media handles are available across all networks before starting a new business. Consistent naming across different channels is crucial to your branding. (Victoria / Lylia Rose)
Protect everything you’ve got
I promise you, I’m the opposite of a pessimist but when it comes to your livelihood, it’s important to protect everything you’ve got.
Insurances such as commercial property insurance seem like a classic catch 22 if you pay in month after month and never make a claim but there might be the one occasion when you really need that compensation to save your business and existence.
Get a business account and accountant
Set up a business bank account straight away with your business name – not only does it look more professional when invoicing but it also makes keeping track of business income and expenses a lot simpler. (Maria / Happy Mummy)
Also, make sure to invest some time to learn about self-employed accounting or invest in a good accountant who understands your business – knowing what you can and can’t expense and offset can save you a fortune. (Lucy / Real Mum Review)
Do the backend website site first and do it right. Find the right host and domain and do SEO from the get-go. It saves time later on and means you’re all set to shoot up those google rankings. (Laura / Savings 4 Savvy Mums)
Build out a detailed content strategy, researching competitors rankings and other sites in your industry, to discover low hanging fruit, phrases you should be targeting and potential opportunities. Time is money, therefore a detailed content plan can push you in front of the right eyes quicker. (Tom / Spaghetti Traveller)
Invest time creating a social media marketing strategy so you’re not just broadcasting and hoping for the best for your business. (Laura / More than a Mutha)
There are tons of helpful posts on creating a social media strategy on the internet, so research which social network your target audience is most active on and create some engaging and shareable content. If social media isn’t your thing, this is definitely something you could outsource to a virtual assistant.
The price is right
Look at your pricing. You need to ensure that it’s worth your while and you are able to pay yourself a decent hourly rate. If people won’t pay it, then it isn’t a viable business. Lots of start-ups fail because they underestimate the costs associated with running a business and set their prices too low or they aren’t able to be competitive. (Frances / Whinge Whinge Wine)
Have financial back-up
Ensure you’ve got some savings in place to support you during the first part of your trading if you think of starting a new business. It can take months, if not years before you’re turning enough of a profit to pay yourself a wage, especially if you’ve had to invest in stock. Some ‘rainy day’ savings will help cushion you during that period. (Hayley / Devon Mama)
If your friends were considering starting a new business, what would be your top tip?
This is a collaborative post