With more and more of us breaking away from the rat race and choosing to start our own companies, many people want to become their own bosses and dictate the pace of their working lives.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur with a fresh idea you want to progress, or a professional who fancies going solo in your line of work, there are a few things you will need to make sure of when you’re beginning your new venture:
- Draw up your business plan
You’ve got the idea; now it’s time to plan it out! Work out the potential costs of your materials, premises rent, manufacturing costs and of any equipment and technology you may need to do the job itself.
Then set yourself some short-term and long-term goals for the business going forward. By having an idea of where you want to be and how long it could take you to get there through careful planning you can help prepare yourself for any pitfalls you may encounter along the way.
Work out roughly how much you want to spend on your new business venture, and make sure you split this into several areas, including amounts for rent, equipment, technology and even stationary.
Speak with your bank about the possibility of opening a business account to help you along. These will come with helpful advice for startup businesses and may even offer additional perks that can help your business in its early days.
SEE ALSO: The Basics of Business Deposit Accounts
When setting up a new business you must register your company with Companies House – a government department for the regulation of businesses – and decide what kind of business you wish to trade as:
- Sole trader
- Private limited company
- Limited liability partnership
- Limited partnership
- ‘Ordinary’ business partnership
When you’ve decided on a name for your business and registered it with Companies House for a small fee, it’s time to get your URL registered, research into hosting companies and secure your URL quickly before someone steals in there before you!
Establishing your base of operations is an essential part of the process, for not only is it where you operate from but it can, in some cases, be close to your customer base.
Sole traders will usually begin working from home, and this can be useful depending on the type of business you are looking to establish. Whether your business is purely on a digital level or you require equipment and materials for manufacturing your products on a small scale – including crafts – starting off from your home base can be a good start as you already have aspects such as computer equipment and an internet connection already.
Look into rental prices of a number of locations before deciding on your eventual destination, then look into the costs of the utilities involved – including electricity and water, for a large part of what you’ll have to pay will go to the landlord or letting company.
After you’ve found your new location, sorted out the rental rates, and worked out any overheads, it’s time to insure yourself against anything that goes wrong. Office insurance helps to protect your business from damage caused as a result of factors such as flood or fire damage, covering both your premises and the contents contained within.
Basic office insurance will usually come with add-ons to cover against various factors and possibilities, including window insurance or computer system cover, allowing you to get back on your feet as soon as possible – whether through relocation or from replacing equipment.
Remember, when you’re starting small it can be worth keeping your insurance costs small too, look into some office insurance policies before deciding on which one is right for you and your business.
We recommend you read: What is a Business Insurance?
After you’ve found your new premises, it’s time to fill it with things to enable you to trade, including amongst other things:
- Office furniture
- Storage space
- Computer workstations
- Telephone line
- Peripherals (including printers and photocopiers)
- Fire extinguisher
There are many more items you will also need to get, but that’s dependant on what kind of business you want to have, and how much you’d want to start with. As your customer base grows and more money keeps flowing in you’ll have the opportunity to buy more things to help the business.
Check out our handy Office Supply Checklist for more information on what your business will need to run and flourish.
So you’ve moved into your new premises, and the groundwork for your communications is being sorted, including your phone line and internet connection, now it’s time to make the place feel a little more homely and personalised for your business.
When considering layout, allow yourself both a work and rest area, as well as seating for potential clients to sit while they wait for appointments. It can be worth starting off in an office block with a communal kitchen and dining area to save on space. Allow yourself and any staff you may recruit in the future an area where they can have periods of rest during work and lunch breaks, and if there’s free coffee available, then all the better!
And finally, when you’ve set your roots into the ground of your new premises, it’s time to…
Make sure you’ve everything you need to be able to do business – from computer equipment to machines that manufacture – and then it’s time to get your name out there.
Budget for some merchandise and get your name out there, either on social media or in person at events such as trade fairs. Make sure you establish a good website for your business as well. Some companies allow businesses to build websites to start using an online template system, but if you can make your own and get it live soon after establishing your business, you can start drawing in customer intrigue and interest in your product or service.
Keeping an eye on your finances is also important, so review your situation regularly and always look into alternatives when it comes to location so you can give your business an opportunity to get a foothold in the market.