Launching your own business can be one of the most exciting adventures that you ever undertake. But what is involved when it comes to launching your own business? Here are some of the things that you need to consider.
Your big idea
This shouldn’t be surprising but you can’t start a business without an idea. Unfortunately the drive to be your own boss isn’t enough, you need to have something, a product or a service, that people are willing to pay for. Your idea could be based on a passion, an interest, or you believe that you could do your current job better as your own boss. Whatever the reason, take that vague idea and start with it. While most people have an idea, many don’t move past this stage. This could be your opportunity to take a step that other people never do.
So, you have your idea, what now? Now you need to develop your business plan. This can be one of the most daunting steps because you need to focus on every detail of what will make your business successful. This includes your business structure, funding, and strategy. If you have a small business that you have been running alongside your regular job, you probably have a good idea about how it has been running, but you want to make it your full-time job. Creating a business plan can help you move to the next phase, or decide if your idea is worth it. It can be disheartening to discover that certain parts don’t work, but this is also a great time to make changes too.
This is probably one of the fun aspects of launching your own business, finding out what people actually want. This does not need to be a boring activity. In fact, some companies have made market research a fun game. When Innocent Smoothies was still a tiny company, they sold their drinks at a music festival with two bins. There was a sign above the bins, asking people to vote with their rubbish, asking them if they should quit their jobs and make smoothies full time. Only 3 cups ended up in the ‘no’ bin and the rest is history. If you can make your market research fun, and a possible talking point, it can make the process a lot easier.
Find your funding
If you have worked on your business plan, you will know if you need any funding and how much you need. If you are lucky enough to not need any initial funding, your focus can shift to other financial aspects. However, if you need some capital, you will have to explore your options. Local government grants might be available, depending on your business type. You could use your own savings or ask your family to invest. But don’t rule out things like crowdfunding or Kickstarter. Thousands of start-ups have been made possible because lots of people have invested small amounts in new ideas. This is also a great time to talk to your bank about a business account as they may be able to offer some ideas or help.
Location, location, location
Location can mean everything to your business. If your customers need to physically visit your business, you need to cater to their needs. Car parking and ease of access are only two factors that you need to consider. But what if you only have employees? Is the business in a place that people can get to using bus and rail services? If you need to store a lot of good, is there enough storage and access for deliveries? Choosing the right location is vital for success. Not only do you need to meet the needs of your customers, but employees and investors too.
Source your products
A big factor that you need to consider is what you will be selling. If you are offering a service, you need to find the right tools for the job. If you are selling products in a store, you need to find a reputable wholesaler. If you are creating your own products, you will need to source things such as packaging for your products. For example, if you are creating your own pet food, using https://plaspack.com/industry/pet-care/ may be an option to help you get your product safely to stores and your customers. Finding the perfect products can take time, and you may have already completed plenty of research when you were developing your business plan. But don’t be surprised, as you learn more about your chosen area that other options come to your attention.
There is a saying, “you can’t fill from an empty cup”, and this is important for all business owners to remember. Launching your business is time consuming, but it’s important to remember the other parts of your life. Having healthy boundaries where your business is concerned can massively impact your success. It doesn’t matter how old or new your business is, every business owner should assess their work/life balance to ensure that they don’t burn themselves out. This could be as simple as not answering work related emails after a certain time, or scheduling a day off completely on a regular basis. MAke sure that you refill your cup so that your business can thrive.
Choosing a name
Picking a business name is one of the most terrifying parts because this is the name that introduces your business to the world. Don’t believe us? Think about a person that you know and their name. When you first met them, did you have any thoughts when you heard their name? You probably did because most people do. Now think about how this can translate to your business. You need to find a name that you like, that helps explain what your business is, and a name that isn’t already being used. That is a lot to think about. Your friends and family can help with suggestions if you are stuck. Or you can use a free business name generator to help narrow down your options.
Government regulations and paperwork
This is what most people consider the boring part of a business launch, making sure you have the right paperwork. This means tax registration, permits, health and safety certificates, specialist cover, insurances, and the list goes on! It can be useful to check out what type of paperwork that you need when you are working on your business plan.
This way you won’t be met with any nasty surprises or hidden costs that you hadn’t factored in. You will also need to remember that some of this paperwork can take time to process and you may need to have an assessment carried out of your business premises. Some of the paperwork may require you to display certain certificates, such as hygiene or safety. All of this paperwork is important and a vital part of your business, so you will have to make sure that it can be stored or displayed safely. You never know when you will need it or be required to show it.
Ready. Set. Launch!
You have filled out the paperwork, securced your funding, and everything is ready to go. Now, you get to launch your business! It has probably been a long and hard road up to this point, and taking that final step can be scary. You can, of course, drop it and not go any further. But why give up now? Make that final jump into the world of being an entrepreneur and see your dream come to life! Launch day should be celebrated, so why not plan a small party with your family, or offer discounts for your first customers?
Freebies always go down well at launch parties (especially if you are launching a food business). Launch day can be used as part of your marketing strategy to help get people using your business. If they like what they see, they can recommend it to their family and friends, or leave those crucial first five-star reviews. This can also be a great time to reach out to other local businesses to see if they would be interested in working together.
The first few weeks after you launch might be a flurry of activity before everything settles down and you can see how you are doing. Remember, the initial excitement of a new business might wear off after a few weeks so you need to plan accordingly. But hopefully, you have been so thorough with your planning nothing can jump out and surprise you.
These are only some of the steps that you would need to take for launching your own business and are a general overview of the steps you would need to take. Depending on the industry that you are trying to break into, you may need to consider additional training or might need to take some further steps. Good luck on your journey to being your own boss.