Making the decision to start your own company and become self-employed is incredibly exciting. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime to launch your own unique business and know that you’ll be credited with the success after all the hard work you put in.
Planning the launch though is an area which takes a great amount of organisation. You need to consider where you will work, your marketing and PR and consider where the initial finances will need to be utilised as a priority.
Location, location, location
Starting out in business will probably mean there’s just yourself to find office accommodation for. At this stage, renting office space won’t make financial sense until you’re more established for the majority of scenarios, so the choices are either to work from home or to utilise a coffee shop.
If you want to work from home, it’s important to find some space which is clearly defined as being a working environment. Trying to use the kitchen table to evolve your empire will be tricky so either use a spare room you can set it up in a way which suits you, or, if you have a garden, follow the popular trend at the moment of erecting a garden office.
Many start up enterprises like to find somewhere outside the home so they can draw a line between the two parts of their lives. Coffee shops are often used; you’ll be surprised how many self-employed business colleagues use them on a very regular basis and daily is not uncommon. If you take this route, ensure you buy coffee and other items whilst using the space and get to know the staff so you can build a good rapport.
Every year thousands of new businesses are launched. You need to be seen and heard above all your competitors and so a marketing strategy is crucial. This will encompass the ideas for your online presence – website and social media for example and how your will present your brand to your potential customers.
The best marketing strategies are ones with a long run-in period which also detail activity well past day one. It should also be flexible and adapt to your needs as the early weeks and months of the business progress.
Money, money, money
The chances are you’ll be starting out in business with limited funds. These need to be apportioned to the areas they will work for you the hardest. This could include your website launch, branding design, product development and any manufacturing requirements. You’ll also need some basic office equipment such as a laptop or tablet, printer and telephone. If you need finance on a short term basis to help get everything underway, there are companies such as Gateway Equity which are sympathetic to small start-ups as they understand you won’t have the business collateral required by mainstream lenders.
It’s a wise move to talk to an accountant at the outset regarding your tax position and the amount of help you’ll require to file your self-assessment documentation as well the other financial aspects of running a business. Be proactive in this area – don’t wait until the end of the first tax year before trying to sort everything out as you’ll have lots of paperwork to sift through and try to remember what it all related to.
Every successful business starts small with excellent project management skills and proactive forward planning; cover the essentials first and you’ll soon reap the rewards.