Deciding to start up a business is probably one of the most exciting and terrifying things in life. In fact, when someone famously once came up with the ‘divorce, moving, death’ list, they overlooked starting a business, since we were not as much of a nation of entrepreneurs back then. These days, new startups are prolific, with globalization allowing us to recognize gaps in the market and plug these with goods and services.
It’s an exciting time. However, it is a sad fact that many startups fail within their first twelve months of trading. This can be due to stress factors and a lack of planning. Using this as a non-exhaustive guide, we look at some advice for starting up a business in today’s world.
It is essential to have a business plan. This has several benefits, including the simple element of encouraging you to think strategically and cover everything in detail. You will need to consider where you expect the majority of profit to come from, how this will develop and grow and how much money you will need in the first place. Here, you will carry out market research and answer some important questions about who exactly your customers are, what they want and how this might change. You always need to be one step ahead.
Startups are really hard work and many staff are required to ‘wear multiple hats’ when working for one. As such, the people you choose as staff will need to flexible, adaptable and resilient. There could be a lot of changes as the business grows, so choosing people who can cope with change and are forward thinking will pay dividends as time goes by.
You will need to register the company as well as making sure that any correspondence you have, including your website contains details of your legal registered address. Withers LLP and other such companies can offer legal advice, so you know you are starting from the right legal footing.
Whilst some of the most successful businesses are not reinventing the wheel, it is a good idea to innovate and try to come up with a unique product or service. This way, you have an advantage of not needing to fend off competitors. People love trying something new, and another advantage to innovation is that it can be a new answer to an old problem!
It is essential that you have a passion for the business or sector you are going to operate in. You will need boundless energy and the only way this is sustainable is if you genuinely care about the business. People say that when you really love your work it doesn’t feel like work, and this stands to reason. One of the best ways to make sure it doesn’t feel like work is by feeling excited and passionate about it. This applies to the staff you choose too. Working long hours and having to take on new tasks for something you aren’t passionate about does not bode well for staff retention.
Whilst one the most important elements of starting a business is having a comprehensive plan in place, it is essential that you embrace diversification too. Sometimes even the most comprehensive plan will require adapting, due to unforeseen circumstances and if you are really passionate about the business, you will want to make it work.
With the right amount of planning and a resilient, responsive and reflective attitude, you can push forward and make your startup a success.