Six Tips for start-ups

Starting your own business is a very rewarding challenge so to help make it a success, here are a few tips that you can follow…

Have A Business Plan

Don’t underestimate the importance of a business plan. Even if you are very clear on what you want to do and you’re not needing to apply for any funding at all initially, it is still well worth writing out a formal business plan. The process of formulating your business plan, your forecasts, and your marketing strategy is an effective way to really hone in on your vision. When writing your business plan, you should ask yourself these two questions: Is your business serving a particular need? Does it represent a significant market opportunity?

Have A Goal And A Vision

While putting together your business plan, setting in stone your company vision statement should form part of this process. It can be very overwhelming at the start and one can easily get carried away with a load of new ideas, so be careful not to loose focus of what it is exactly you wish to achieve. With each new idea that you have, take a step back and ask yourself if and how it fits into your company’s goal and vision, then create a plan for how you can make it happen. Use your vision statement and set of goals as a constant reference point to every decision you make. 

Keep Up To Date

If you already have experience in running or owning a business, then that is fantastic and will help you on your way. However, depending on when that was, it may mean that the market place could have changed significantly since then. While your experience will certainly give you a leg up, you need to stay up to date. Don’t dwell on what used to work but doesn’t seem to anymore, look at the current market, your current customers’ needs and your new competitors. You will need to get on board with how people do business now, which means a lot of new tech and a lot of social media action. Stay on top of your market and how it is constantly changing and ask yourself every day what you need to do differently.

Own Your Name

Make sure when choosing a company name that it is an available trademark and Internet domain name. Failure to accurately obtain a trademark could put your new business at risk. It will mean that any time and money you have invested in establishing your business name will probably go to waste if someone else already owns the trademark.

Know The Law

Make sure you’re fully aware of what regulations, licenses, and tax laws you need to follow, obtain and pay for in your new business. It’s a great idea to do some research and then discuss it with a lawyer and a qualified accountant to confirm your understanding. You will need to make sure that you are charging the right amount of tax for the service or product that your company is selling and make sure you have the necessary licenses needed to run your new business.

Hire Carefully

It might seem like an easier option to hire people that you already know and have some kind of a working relationship with. However, this only works if they are undoubtedly right for the job that is available. You don’t need more people who can do what you do, you need people who compliment you and are strong in the areas where you are weak. Spend the time needed to find the right people. 

If you would like to hear more about how I started my own business, you can read my story in my book The Five Year Mark.

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