Thousands of other people started up a business before you, so why can’t you?
There’s no reason you can’t go into business for yourself, as long as you’re prepared to put in the hard yards. In fact, did you know that some of the most successful businesses were born during recessions? Airbnb, Uber, and Slack all came to fruition where the economy wasn’t very stable. The risk paid off! Slack was purchased in 2020 for $27.7m. The current market indicates Airbnb is worth over an eye-watering $75bn USD and Uber is worth more than $62bn USD.
With the right advice, your small start-up idea could be the next big thing for 2023. So, you have the idea…how do you start a business?
In depth research is key
Before you commit to borrowing capital or creating the branding kit, it’s important to carry out in depth research. Not every idea is going to be a winner. The industry you choose can attribute to your success or failure. Talk to business owners who are already working in the field to determine the pros and cons, so you come in without rose-coloured glasses.
Book an appointment with a financial advisor to help you find the best way to structure the company and whether you have sufficient funds. For example, if you are starting up a fish and chip shop, you’ll need to investigate the demand, available buildings for lease and even explore the area by foot on different days and times of the week to see what the foot traffic is like.
Be decisive and make key decisions
Now you’ve done your research, it’s time to make some key decisions. You’ll need to make a definite decision on the business structure that best suits your situation. Are you a sole trader, partnership, company, or trust? Will you be working alone or employing people to help you out with the daily operations? What are you going to call your business? Do you need to trademark it? Where are you going to set up your office? Will you lease a commercial building or have a team of remote workers?
Have a business plan
Once you’ve made some decisions, you’re going to need to take it the next step and create a business plan. This will help keep you on track and put a strategy into place for risk management, such as in the event of unexpected circumstances, what will you do to reduce the impact on your company? You’ll also need a marketing plan. How do you plan to promote your business? Will you use a digital marketing agency to manage social media or plaster your website address and face all over the back of a bus or billboard? You may also need to consider hiring a PR company to grow your public profile.
If you are manufacturing a product, you will need to consider if you are going to make it available globally, and if so, how do you plan to export it while making sure you abide by government regulations?
Know your legal requirements
When you launch your own business, there will be many rules and regulations you will need to comply with. The obvious ones are tax and business structuring laws, but how much do you know about fair trading laws, employment regulations, and your rights if you’re a franchisor or how to protect your intellectual property?
Start-up businesses are likely to fail within the first 3 years because they simply don’t have the money to keep pumping back into the business until it starts generating a cash positive turnover. It would be a Christmas miracle if your business generated cash from the day you commenced operations. You’ll need to take into consideration digital marketing, commercial leases, licensing, hardware, software, supplies and much more. A financial advisor may be able to help you find capital or business grants.
Seek the help of a business mentor
Get the help of an experienced business mentor. They can serve as a sounding board and help you navigate important business decisions. Learning from someone who has been where you are starting out can be invaluable. Choose someone who shares similar values and leadership attributes you admire. It should be a business expert who makes you feel comfortable.
Surround yourself with good people
No man is an island. To be successful, you need to surround yourself with a team of trusted individuals. When you surround yourself with the right people, and you demonstrate leadership skills and form genuine relationships with your team, your staff will be more likely to go the extra distance to help you reach your goals. When you take care of your staff, your staff will take care of your business, leading to unmatched customer service and a higher return on investment.
Invest in a financial advisor
Seek out an independent financial advisor to look over your business model and cash flow forecasts. It’s also important to find an accountant to do your bookkeeping and reduce the amount of administration that falls to you to carry out, particularly if your strengths don’t lie in taxation law or payroll. You’re not expected to be a one-man/woman band, so focus on where your skills lie and leave the salaries, PAYG and accounting to someone who knows what they are doing.