Starting a new business is an exciting prospect for any entrepreneur. Whilst the current economic climate may be considered by some to be too inhospitable, making a new commercial investment a daunting task, there is, in fact, never a ‘right time’ to start a business. Rather, those who focus on making the best start that they can are the ones that are most likely to win through and become a success.
With the appropriate legal structure in place, financial resources confirmed and a comprehensive business plan ready for implementation, the new business owner is on the brink of a new adventure.
Pick the right people
Recruiting the best employees for the job is at the core of any successful business, and investing in the most suitable people can reap tremendous rewards. A confident person with positive attitudes towards the new enterprise will help it to flourish and to grow.
Some new employers initially use freelance members of staff whom they pay on a contract basis, rather than full-time employees where the employer has a tax liability. An advantage of using contract staff is that if they are not up to the job there is no commitment to retain them. Additionally, freelancers can be really useful for specific roles in a new organisation, such as accounting, marketing or IT.
Ways to hire
Thorough research into the necessary skills and expertise the new organisation requires will result in a good recruitment strategy, including a clear staffing structure, and well-defined employee roles and responsibilities. Job descriptions and person specifications will enable qualifications to be tracked alongside potential employees’ perspectives on the workplace, their trustworthiness and their level of commitment.
Many businesses use an introductory application form to select a shortlist of applicants, who are then interviewed. Increasingly, larger scale businesses are working through recruitment agencies and also using techniques such as handwriting analysis and psychometric testing. This is because finding the right employees is crucial to the success of a business.
Location, location, location
Where to set up the new business will depend on what area of work or industry is applicable. Some entrepreneurs run fledgling businesses from a home office; others need a shop front whilst even smaller scale manufacturing requires modest factory premises. The most important consideration overall is that the building is fit for purpose and affordable.
A virtual presence
In addition to physical premises, these days all businesses need a virtual home too. As consumers change their shopping habits, so all types of commercial organisations, social enterprises and charities are moving online and creating websites in order to engage in marketing, public relations, networking with suppliers and other businesses, and selling.
The smart entrepreneur will make sure the business has researched suitable broadband deals, so that the speed of the internet connection and its capacity will be sufficient for the volume of online work anticipated. For example, will the marketing strategy use paid search advertising and social media? Will customers want to be able to buy directly from the business website?
Taking a 360-degree view from the very start will ensure that a new business is equipped with the personnel, resources and tools to make a successful, and sustainable, start.