On leaving University, many students are at a loss what to do next, as they have become independent adults, and do not fancy becoming one of a workforce, answering to bosses. If you have the inclination to start up your own business, working for yourself, then you need to make sure that you leave nothing to chance!
A Plan – You have to have a business plan in place if you hope to get started in business. This will inform anyone who needs to see it, of your goals and how you hope to achieve them all. You need to have your business name, and email address or contact information, and website address if you have one. Make sure it is simple to read, but informative, with your business type, and the type of market you will be trading in. Research your competitors well, and show that you have found a niche in the market for your business, and the projections you hope to make. Be positive throughout your plan, and show all incomings and expenditure you will have, including rent, rates, insurance and overheads, as well as wages for staff.
Money/Funding – How are you going to finance your business? If you have savings, will they be enough to cover all of your expenditure until you start to make a profit? Are you planning on going it alone, or have you got a business partner, whether they are active or a sleeping partner? Many people when starting a business take their business plan to a bank or other financial institution to ask for funding. You have to be convincing and show that there is a need for your type of business, and that you will work hard to make a profit. You will need to show your targets and objectives that you have planned out, and that you have looked into every aspect of the business to make it work. Banks are not lending as easily as they used to, but there are alternative ways you can use, so take a look at our link.
Reliable Transportation – Having a new business is all well and good, but you need to be able to deliver your products and services on time to customers, or you will lose them! If you do not drive, then now would be a perfect time to learn, and many major UK driving schools have Intensive driving courses that can be taught very quickly, if time is of the essence. Some offer free access to Theory and Hazard Perception Test software, so that you can complete your Theory Test much sooner, and are linked to your driving instructor who can monitor your progress. You cannot start up a mobile business if you are unable to drive yourself to clients, and if selling products, delivering them yourself, gives you the opportunity to meet your customers personally.
Whichever type of business you decide upon, you need to have a base for it. Somewhere that you can work from undisturbed and meet clients in if needed. Many people start using a spare room or garage at home initially, which will keep your running costs down, but is not a very professional setting to meet clients in. Look for the type of premises you need, and if you do not need the whole space, you may be able to share the premises with another small business. Make sure that if you need to store products, it is a secure dry setting, so your stock is not at risk.
What staff do you need to employ? To keep costs down, you could use friends and family initially, but they may not always be available at a time you need them, so you should look at how many staff will be sufficient for your business needs. Contact your local job centre, or agencies, stating the exact skills you require them to have, and build up your staff slowly as your business grows. Many online agencies give you the opportunity to do this, and then match up employees to your needs, which can save you time, but may cost you slightly more. You can also employ freelance IT consultants or graphic designers which will be temporary, so when they have completed the work required, they will go. It can also be more beneficial to employ two part time employees than a full timer, so plan out your needs before you employ anyone.
When you are ready to kit out your office or factory unit, shop around. Other small businesses locally may offer you a deal to get your custom, so don't be afraid to ask. You may find it cheaper initially to buy second hand furniture or machinery and then as your business progresses, you can look at getting newer items. Only buy the items you need, as this will leave you money to plough into other areas of your business.
If you plan well, and think everything through carefully, taking things slowly at the beginning, you will have every chance of making your new business venture a success.
About the Author: Ericka is a blogger and business coach; she mainly helps small to medium sized businesses and she can usually be found blogging about business related topics.