With the new year just around the corner, how many people’s resolutions for 2014 are going to be to start a new business?
More and more wannabe entrepreneurs are making the leap to becoming their own boss and the last 12 months have seen a huge rise in the number of those actually doing something about their aspirations. According to Real Business, New Companies House reported a 15 per cent increase in the number of new businesses being registered between April and October – suggesting that if you’re about to follow suit, you won’t be alone.
However, simply registering your new venture’s name is just the easy part. The hard work really comes in getting your fledgling operation off the ground and surviving the tough, early months as you establish yourself.
So how can you give your business the best start? Here are a few tips to get you going.
Research your market
As with most things in life, it’s a good idea to know what you’re getting yourself into before you commit yourself. With this in mind, comprehensive and focused research into the market you are about to step into is essential.
There are plenty of resources out there that you can use to conduct this exercise – from the internet and libraries to treading the streets and asking your would-be clientele yourself.
So what’s worth investigating? Your early research should be based around issues like what challenges you are likely to come up against, whether there is space in the market for your idea in the first place and how the consumer is likely to receive your idea. The answers you receive should give you a basis to work off to further establish what you need to do next and even if it might be worth going back to the drawing board altogether.
In the early days, making a choice on your company’s legal structure is another important decision that needs to be made.
The path you eventually take will impact on a range of responsibilities you may or may not be liable for, including taxes, paperwork, what happens if your business makes a loss and how you can personally reap the benefits when a profit is made.
There is plenty of advice available on the internet on the implications of how you decide your firm will be run and, just like your market research, it’s a good idea to know the basics before making a choice.
When every penny counts, it makes sense to look for ways to save your money when you can and seeking out these frugal opportunities can really make a difference when it comes to freeing up funds to invest elsewhere in your business.
For example, you can find details here on setting up your own conference call facilities – meaning you won’t have to fork out for travel expenses for every single meeting you go to.
Using this technology can also be useful when it comes to expanding your workforce, allowing your staff to work from home while you keep in touch with them. This means that you don’t have to invest in extra space to accommodate them or spend more on energy bills – costs that can normally be associated with taking on extra personnel.