Small Business Top 10 Starting Up Tips

Launching your own business is tough, and the line between success and failure can be subtle; Small Business UK’s Top Ten Starting Up Tips help you make the right decisions from the outset.

When getting your new business off the ground, it is essential to clarify which steps to take and get everything in order before launch. In this article, we have put together some critical aspects for entrepreneurs to consider for business start-up success.

1. Involve your family you have a husband or wife or children, involving them in deciding to go it alone is essential. Your home atmosphere should be very supportive, particularly in the early stages. Your family could also be useful as a sounding board, helping out with the odd task, or providing feedback or finance.

2. Analyze your personality need to ask yourself if you are the right person to start a business. Compile a checklist with the help of the following questions: Can you work long hours? Can you take criticism? Will you be able to cope with financial insecurity? If your business struggled in the first stages, would you continue? Write down the reasons why you are starting a business.

3. Ensure your product is a must-have, not a nice-have once you’ve got an idea you need to know that people will need it enough to want to buy it. Many people opt to begin a business by using a skill that they have acquired in their spare time as a hobby, such as jewelry-making.

4. Your idea doesn’t have to be new, trying to sell a new product can be an uphill struggle. Being first is not always best, as you have to educate a market and convince them of the need for your work. So don’t be put off if your idea has been done before – think about how you can do it differently, by including an additional feature or benefit.

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5. Know your market better than your competitors carry out as much market research as possible. Find out about your market place, concentrating on the demand, your competitors, and the market size. Talk to potential customers, suppliers, competitors, distributors, and ex-employees of competitors.

6. Toe-dipEveryone has different motivations for beginning a company, and toe-dipping means you can test your concept out without risking everything. You can carry on earning money from your job while you are starting up. Use your free time to carry out your market research.

7. Be honest about your weaknesses, identify what you do well, and everything you do poorly, dividing it into places such as monetary, marketing, operational, and general management. Be truthful with yourself, but also be realistic. Try and get someone else to evaluate your answers – another person’s perspective can be precious. Identifying your weakness will help you recognize what you are good at, and which locations you will need to find someone who can do a better job than you.

8. Get a good mentor on board member – two heads are much better than one. Seek out the advice of a family friend who has the experience of being in business, or someone who is recommended to you, or someone you are close to. Consider giving them a share of the profits or equity in your company in return for advice.

9. Justify every assumption in your organization plan, but remember that whatever you write down is not set in stone. Your business plan should have longer-term objectives, estimates, and forecasts – try to make as many of your goals as you possibly can measurable. The two most important reasons for having a plan are to show to outsiders if you need to raise money, also to help you keep your business on a planned course, so you can spot when things are not going to plan.

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10. Keep your organization plan succinct ideal format for your project, if you intend it to be for outdoor use, is to have between three and ten pages of text that draw out the essential points, plus a series of economic figures. Excessive detail should be confined to appendices. See our article on Top tips for writing a business strategy here.