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If you have decided you start your own business then you are about to embark on an exciting time that with hard work could be one of the most rewarding things you ever do. However, once you have made the decision to go for it that is when the real hard work starts! Here are 6 things you need to do to get your fledgeling business off to a flying start.
Create an image. Even big businesses know that image is everything. The first thing you need to decide then is what your image is going to be and then how this will be reflected in the brand name, look and feel of the company. Do some research into your competitors to see what has and hasn’t worked for them. If you can afford to commission some branding research to see what type of brands work well in your industry. If this is out of the budget do the research yourself with friends and family so that you don’t find yourself with an unsaleable brand. Once you have decided on a brand identity you can start promoting it far and wide.
Next, you will need a strategy and vision to take your new company forward. This should cover everything from what products or services you are going to sell, who your customer is, how you expect your business to grow, how many staff you will need, what investment you will need along the way and what you would like your company to be famous for. Don’t just plan for the next six months; be bold and look ahead to where you would like the company to be in 12 months or even two years time. You should also include any contingency plans for if anything changes in the market, your product or services, or you grow quicker than you had anticipated.
Then you need to get your business noticed. Getting your business ‘out there’ has never been easier with the rise of social media channels to help you find a receptive audience quickly. Invest some time and energy setting up your social media channels and you will be able to build a following quickly that could translate into sales. Managing social media is a big investment of time so see if there are any friendly students looking for work experience who would like to manage this for you. You could save time and money and build relationships with future employees.
You may want to start your new business from your home. This makes sense financially but it isn’t always practical both in terms of space, time and impressing clients. Finding a dedicated premise, even if it is one room in a managed office could elevate your business profile immediately. If you are making products you will need to put a lot more thought into your premises. Health and safety will be a key priority for you so make sure you know what to expect from a well-functioning shop floor.
You need to have in place all the correct technology that will help you manage your customers, process orders and respond to your growing business needs from the start. You will need everything from a good CRM system to accounting software but you don’t necessarily have to invest in expensive technology to start with. Whilst your business is still finding its feet you can find free templates for invoices and billing online or use a free CRM management package until you can justify something a little more advanced.
If you intend to take on staff from the outset you will need a recruitment strategy and payroll system in place. Recruitment is a tough business as finding the right person that meets your expectations can be hit and miss. There are also lots of recruitment options in terms of whether you want to employ somebody full time or part-time, contract or freelance, experienced or a trainee that you can mould to the company’s needs. With so many things to think about you will want to get your staffing right before you start dealing with customers as they are the face of your company and a happy face is a happy customer.
Once you are confident that all 6 of these have been put in place you are ready to really push your new business and enjoy seeing it take off. There will be lots more tasks to complete and things to think about along the way but if you stay focussed, organised and true to your vision then no matter how hard it seems at first you will look back with fond memories.