Starting your own business can seem like climbing a mountain. How do you prepare? Where do you start? How do you get to the top? The thought of starting your own business to begin with can be so overwhelming, but can actually be broken down into just six key milestones. In this infographic on how to start your own business, we simplify the process so that the huge mountain doesn’t seem so threatening after all. Just take the journey one step at a time…
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Plan Your Business Ideas
1) Be Realistic
Think realistically about your business idea and evaluate the reasons why you want to start a business. What is your goal? Maybe it’s personal, financial or maybe you have one of those rare, life-changing ideas that you feel could improve the world. What are you looking to achieve in starting up a business? These initial ideas and personal goals will help to define your path through business.
You need to know your industry inside out. Conduct market research and competitor analysis, and identify your customers and how they feel about your idea, service or product. Research gives you a good first opportunity to further develop your idea into a potentially successful business. You can avoid wasting any time or money into the wrong things, and pivot if you need to.
Get the ball rolling by deciding on a legal structure that best suits you and your business, and register the business with HMRC. At this point, you will need to look into whatever licences and permits you are legally required to have to operate your business. You will also need to purchase the right business insurance to protect your business and, if you will be employing staff, then Employers Liability Insurance is mandatory by law.
Turn Your Idea Into Reality!
4) Business Plan
Make sure your business plan is solid! And that you know all your numbers and targets when it comes to deadlines, budgets, strategies and cash flow. This is the time when you need to be definitely positive that you can turn your idea into a viable business. So get all your facts and figures in order to ensure success. A “stupid idea” with a great business plan can do surprisingly well. Similarly, a great idea with a terrible business plan can do horrifically.
5) Get Financed
There are different roads you can go down to finance your business. You can apply for a bank loan or find business angels or venture capitalists to invest in your business. This is why it’s so important to have a solid business plan, so that you can convince the bank or investors that there’s a market for your idea and you can make a profit and pay back any loans. You may even be able to find friends or family to loan you the money or invest in you. An increasingly popular way of financing business projects these days is through online crowdfunding. If you have a winning idea, you can market it early online and ask the internet to help bring the idea into reality by “donating” an amount of their choice and receiving something back of their donation value (such as early access, credit, the finished product, etc). You may even be eligible for government funding to get your business idea developed in its initial stages.
Sort out everything else that you need to be open for business. Secure premises to set up a shop or office – maybe you plan to work from home and that’s okay; you can prepare a work environment at home. Once you have a location, you can sort out your inventory and equipment you need, staff, suppliers and all other details such as a website.
More information on starting up a business can be found on the gov.uk.