Starting a new business can be a rocky road; you may have a bright idea, but there can be potholes and speed bumps to overcome. But you can always make your journey smoother…
Know where you’re going
If you set out on a road trip with no clear destination in mind, there’s no telling where you might end up. You don’t want to take this risk with your start-up.
Your very first step should be to research your idea; how competitive is the market you’re entering into, what separates your idea from those of the competition – and, importantly, who will you be targeting with your products or services? That target market is, essentially, your destination!
Once you know your destination, you need a good route map or directions. Before you do anything else with your idea, you should make sure that you know exactly what’s involved in starting up a business; which steps need to be taken and what order they need to be taken in.
Putting in the time for research at the very start of the process can save you valuable time – and even money – later in the process, as it means you’re less likely to make costly mistakes.
Understand the regulations
Just as there are rules of the road, so there are rules and regulations governing business start-ups. Setting up a start-up company can be a complex process, especially if you don’t happen to have a legal background, and any errors on your application can lead to it being rejected.
Although it’s your start-up, this doesn’t mean that you have to do everything by yourself – consulting experts to help with setting up your company is highly recommended. You may get advice from other business owners who’ve gone through the process, or use a company formations agent who can explain the process, provide expert guidance and make sure that your application is right first time.
Choose a funding route
One of the biggest headaches of a business start-up is often the funding; today there are many different routes you can take. Some may be easier than others; some may take longer, but deliver more assured results. Before you take the plunge, you must consider your options carefully.
Crowdfunding has become a popular alternative funding option, but it has its own disadvantages. Some critics point out that it lacks legal protection for investors; for the entrepreneur it’s vital to understand the terms and conditions of your chosen platform, to ensure you don’t run afoul of them. Above all, be sure that you can achieve what you’re promising; if you fail to deliver, you damage your reputation as an entrepreneur.
Check your milestones
Starting up a business is not an instant affair; there will be milestones along the way that you need to reach, and these milestones often make good points to stop along the way, check your route, and make sure that you’re still on track.
Remember, markets can change, and sometimes can change very quickly, so you need to keep up to date with changing trends that may affect your offering when you get there. Have other competitors entered the area? Has the demand for your product or service shifted?
There are legal milestones to bear in mind too; the submission of your first tax returns, and Annual Return if you’re a limited company. It’s vital that you remember these key filing dates – if you used a formations agent to set up your company initially, many will provide email reminders to ensure that they don’t slip by you.
With the right planning, the right advice and support, and the right knowledge, a business start-up can be the kind of smooth journey that makes you wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!
Rapid Formations are an experienced formations agent, assisting with the formation of a range of bespoke company structures. Take the leg work out of company formation and allow the Rapid Formation experts to assist you with your start-up.