You’ve been thinking of starting a business for some time now, but given the tough economic climate you’re understandably hesitant about getting started.. Still, that brilliant product or service isn’t going to get out into the great big world by itself. There’s no better time than the present to bite the bullet and get going. Here are some helpful tips to start a business.
Is there a market for your product/service?
It’s important to be honest with yourself when evaluating whether the service or product you plan to sell is viable. Does anyone need, or want, what you are trying to sell and how much are they prepared to pay for it? Sometimes it’s better to hone in on a niche area of an existing market before introducing something entirely new.
How much is it really going to cost?
One of the most important tips to start a business is to do a cost analysis and be sure to include every aspect of your business. During the startup phase it’s helpful to overestimate costs and underestimate revenue. How much cash do you need to set up the business, what assets are needed, i.e computers, software, office items and machinery. How much is your rent? Include marketing in this estimation as well as how much it will cost to set up a website and branding is essential when starting up. You’ll also need a fair amount in the bank to carry the business through the startup phase when you might not be making any profit, so consider taking out a loan or overdraft to cover your expenses until your business is properly afloat.
Get the legalities out of the way first
It doesn’t matter how much you trust somebody, if you’re going into a partnership you need to establish the rules from the get-go. What percentage of the business do you each own and what does this equate to in monetary terms? Who does what and how many hours does this amount to? This is one of the most important tips of starting a business that many people ignore but by drawing up a contract with clear guidelines you can avoid any misunderstanding of your roles.
Think about how you want to present yourself to the world
Take some time to develop and think about your brand and what it conveys to your potential customers. Do you want a young, vibrant look and feel or something a little more conventional and trustworthy? Think about how you can get this message across effectively. Have a logo designed by a professional as this will become the main identifier of your brand and the image you use on your website, signage and letterheads.
Build an eCommerce website
There’s no greater market place for your product and service than the World Wide Web. And anyone offering tips to start a business will be sure to mention that if you don’t get your business online your competitors will easily leave you trailing in their dust. Sage Online Tools allows you to sync your Sage Pastel accounting software to your site so you can easily keep track of your income and expenses.
GUEST AUTHOR BIO
Sue St Leger
Owner of Sue St Leger & Associates
Sue St Leger & Associates
Sue St.Leger, owner of Sue St Leger & Associates, shares her personal tips and thoughts on the importance of women supporting other women in business, leadership and networking. As an experienced profiler and emotional intelligence assessor, she encourages fostering a supportive and empowering environment for women through self-development.