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Few things are as exciting as starting your own business. It’s your chance to bring your ideas to life and show the world what you can achieve when there’s no boss telling you what to do; however, it’s something that comes with a lot of responsibility. There’s a steep learning curve involved, and nine out of ten start-ups fail. What should you do to ensure yours won’t be one of them?
Always have a plan
Starting up your own company must begin with a business plan, and you can find free business plan templates online to help you work out what yours should look like. What many people don’t realize, however, is that this shouldn’t be a one-off piece of work – successful businesses keep their plans updated on an ongoing basis and are always looking at least three years ahead. You can build contingencies into this to take account of the fact that circumstances change, but good planning will make you much more effective.
Choose the right location
Having the right workspace is important, not only to control your overheads and ensure efficient production, but also to keep your team happy and make a good impression on visitors. You need to think through everything, from making sure there’s natural light in the office to working out how your production line can be kept clean and, of course, ensuring you can get any necessary licenses. Don’t worry too much about having a prestigious address if all you need it for is correspondence – you can use a P.O. box or persuade your attorney to forward your mail.
Be smart about people
More than anything, the success of your business will depend on the people you select to work in it. That means that although team spirit is important, you can’t afford to hire people just because you like them – you need to make sure that they have useful skills and are really prepared to commit to the company. Try to make sure all key tasks are covered. If it’s just not practical to do this with the people you have available, bring in contractors to fill the gaps. Using an umbrella company keeps the administration of the financial aspects of the business under control, taking as much of the work off your shoulders as you wish.
Get your name out there
It doesn’t matter how great your products or services are if nobody knows they exist, so right from the start you should be thinking about marketing. Having a good website that incorporates responsive design is vital, but it’s not enough on its own. You need to advertise it, and you should make maximum use of social media, radio, TV and local newspapers.
Set the right pace
When a new business first starts trading, it’s usual for everyone involved to feel energetic, but if you try to take on too much, you won’t be able to sustain the pace. On the flip side of this, if people start slacking early on, you’ll never get anywhere. It’s important to find the right pace and keep it going. Don’t fool yourself that big ideas count for anything on their own – you need to turn them into action and show that you’re reliable.
With a steady, well organized approach, your start-up could become a real success story.