How launching your small business is easier than you think
Posted on by Jo Shaw
Estimated read time: 4 mins
It’s time to turn that daydream into reality.
If you’re back into the daily grind and that sun-drenched summer break is a distant memory, then you might be daydreaming about your escape route. Whether it’s a cosy café to show off your Bake Off-worthy culinary skills, or a graphic design business that allows you to work creatively and flexibly around your family, many people dream of starting their own small business.
At Experian, we’re all for supporting those big dreams and helping you to make them a reality. Launching your own business might be a lot more achievable than you think, so take control of your future and make it a reality with these top tips:
Do your research
Just because your mum thinks your business idea is brilliant, it doesn’t mean that everyone else will, so do your research. Speak to potential customers, hold focus groups, carry out surveys and build a picture of how your idea could work in the real world.
Keep an eye on the competition
Find your competitors and work out what they’re good (and bad) at, then compare it to your own plan. What can you do better, or differently, to ensure you’re ahead of the pack?
Write a business plan
A business plan helps you to establish where you want to go, what you want to achieve, what you need to attain your goals and any problems you can foresee along the way. There are hundreds of templates online to help you, such as this business plan template.
Sort out your finances
You don’t have to have a lot of cash behind you to start up, but you will probably need some to cover initial investments such as stock, as well the ability to pay your expenses until you’re making a profit. There are several ways you can source ongoing funding, such as small business loans and grants, crowdfunding and angel investors, so it’s worth exploring your options.
The legal stuff
There are several legal business structures to consider, from sole trader to partnerships and limited companies, as well as more unusual set-ups like community interest companies and co-operatives. HMRC has all the advice you need and can keep you updated on the latest support available.
Build your support network
Many entrepreneurs work tirelessly to get their ideas off the ground, but it’s important to realise that you can’t do it all on your own. Make connections with other local entrepreneurs for practical and moral support. You could even enter into a reciprocal deal with someone to fill your skill gaps and benefit from other people’s experience and talents.
Talking of skills…
Don’t forget to keep growing your own. As an entrepreneur you’ll need to be adept at multi-tasking, from networking and client services, to marketing, sales and bookkeeping. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge that you can’t be brilliant at everything, but get some help to boost your skills for the areas you’re less experienced in.
Start small and scale up
Finally, don’t fall into the trap of trying to do everything at once. Start small and grow over time to make sure you’re on the right path and safeguard against any expensive rookie errors.
Make safer, smarter, better-informed business decisions with Experian Business Assist.