by Lina Martinez
Starting up your own business is a great experience, and one that will change the direction of your life forever. You’ll get more independence, a higher income, and you’ll also have the proud feeling that comes with knowing that you’ve taken the plunge, and decided to go solo with your endeavours.
However, there are some things that you need to know, and some steps that you should take, before you open up your own business. Getting these things wrong could lead to the downfall of your company, and that’s not the goal here. Here are 10 vital steps worth taking.
#1: Check your finances
Obviously, pretty much every business is going to need some form of financial backing. Before you even attempt to make your dreams a reality, you need to know that you’ve got the money there to do so, whether you’re getting a loan or using your own savings. Speaking to an accountant is a good idea if you’re not sure how much you’re going to need to get through the first steps of business, so make sure to do this!
#2: Make a detailed budget
OK, so you’ve got the money at the ready. Now's the important part: you need to know what you’re actually going to do with it, in a lot of detail. Planning all of this out means that you can see exactly where you’re spending, and you’re more likely to see whether you’ve missed anything out, or whether you’re spending too much of your budget on one thing. Plan it meticulously if you want to be successful.
#3: Write up your business plan
Something that everybody needs is a business plan, and it’s not as hard as you think. In fact, you just need to explain why you’re setting your business up, what you want to get out of it, and how you’re going to go about achieving your aims. This will help you to find out the right route to take, and it will also help if you’re thinking about applying for loans or business funding, so get it all written down!
#4: Seek out employees
Starting the recruitment process can be daunting if you’ve never done it before. You know what kind of people you’re looking for, but you just don’t know how to pick them out of the crowd, and what questions to ask. Think long and hard about what you actually want to know about your staff, and ask them questions based upon this. Throwing some unique questions out there could be useful.
#5: Get some advice
If you’re totally new to the world of business, then seeking advice and mentorship may be the right way forward. Whether you’re looking for help with your crypto marketing, or you want to know more about IT packages, there is invariably somebody out there who can give you a hand, so don’t be afraid to ask. Asking questions now could be the difference between your business succeeding and failing.
#6: Find an office
Your office is where all of the magic is going to happen, and you need to ensure that you pick out a good one. Think about it on a practical level - is there enough space, for example? - but also think about the natural light, the distance for commuters, and whether it reflects what your business is aiming to achieve. Sometimes, a space can be great but it’s just not quite what your company is looking for.
#7: Network well
Your success will, invariably, depend upon how good you are at networking. If people know that you have a business that deals in something in particular, and that you’re a trustworthy person, they’re going to talk to people about you, so make it known now that you’re starting up a business. Going to events, getting out into your community, and making those links beforehand will certainly benefit you.
#8: Choose a marketing method
Marketing your business is extremely important, but it can be hard to know how to do it. Perhaps you’re working on a local level, so you want to go for the radio advertisements in your area, or maybe you’d prefer to stick to social media, where ads can be tailored to show up to the right people. Whatever it is that you want to do, pick out a marketing method now, and start coming up with some ideas.
#9: Adjust your own life
Let’s be honest here, it’s hardly a secret. When you’re a business owner, your social life is compromised, you rarely chill out, and your business needs all of your time and attention. If you have a (romantic) partner, they need to be fully aware of this, and you also need to be sure that you’re ready to sacrifice your own time to make your business work. It’s tiring, but it’s something that will definitely pay off in the end.
#10: Think about your business values
As a potential business owner, you need to think about what you’re hoping to get out of your endeavour. Are you going to pride yourself on being environmentally conscious, or being upfront with the packages that you offer? What values do you really want to shine through when it comes to your business? Think about these things now, and you’ll be able to ensure that your services always reflect this.
Starting your own business is - we’ll be honest here - difficult. Sometimes, you’re going to wake up in the morning and wish that you just had a ‘normal’ job like everybody else, and that you could go home and have a social life (or even just a few minutes where business wasn’t on your mind). It’s a big commitment to make, but you can prepare.
By doing all of these 10 things, you can go into your new business knowing that you’re ready to smash it, and that you’re going to do well as a result. And let’s be real, it’s not so bad when you know that you’re going to succeed, is it? Enjoy going into business, and all of the benefits that it will bring with it!