Going it alone: Starting your own business

The thought of starting your own business is probably somewhat daunting. It is natural to feel this way. No longer will you be under someone else’s instruction.

Once the business is set up, you will be fully responsible for your own income. Continue reading for our advice on how you can go it alone and be successful in doing so.

Do your research

Before you commit to setting up a certain enterprise within your area, make sure that you find out about similar businesses that already exist. Market research is vital to ensure the locality in which you hope to operate is not saturated. When you are coming up with your name, having found out who else is out there doing the same as you will help you to avoid using a similar one.

Consider finances

Think carefully about how you will fund this venture. Whether you are approaching your bank for a business loan or not, a well-written business plan is vital. It shows that you have thought about all aspects. If you already have the money to cover the set-up alone, ensure that you take into account how long it might take for you to start seeing a profit and keep some money to one side to cover your living expenses. If you are going to be hiring workers immediately, it is imperative to consider how you will pay them. Do not forget to take into account extras such as holiday pay and maternity/paternity allowances, for example.

Equipment

You cannot start with absolutely nothing. It is vital that you buy the basics in terms of equipment. It is possible to get a lot of decent things second hand, so ask around to see if anyone is replacing or upgrading. If you are a tradesman traveling around doing jobs, be sure to invest in a decent form of transport. It is necessary to have a reliable vehicle to avoid being seen as an unreliable worker. Furthermore, although it is simple to leave tools and equipment in the back of a van, this is theft waiting to happen. Consider using tool storage to alleviate the worry of losing everything through one person’s greed.

Marketing

Effective marketing is important to ensure any business succeeds. First, a website, which is easy to navigate and find all the information a potential customer needs, should be created. If you are unable to do this alone, hiring a professional is straight forward and does not have to cost the earth. Next, be sure to set up consistent accounts across social media. This means that you ought to use your business’ logo as your profile picture throughout and ensure your username is the same as well. Just having accounts on social media does not mean that you will be found. You must post on a regular basis and interact with customers, both existing and potential, on a regular basis. For businesses aiming to attract a local clientele, posters and business cards placed in small shops, on noticeboards and within newspapers and magazines can be effective.