Starting up your own business can present you with many challenges. While you may be keen and enthusiastic about kick-starting your business, it is still important to carefully think through your plans and take steps to ensure you launch your business successfully.
From taking the bests advice from professionals to securing the right accountant to help keep your books up to date, there are things you need to put into place before you jump in with both feet.
Let’s take a look at five smart tips that have been proven to help new business owners successfully launch their new ventures and keep up the momentum to grow their business going into the future.
1: Consult a business coach
You may have years of work experience under your belt within your chosen field or industry sector, but you need to remember that this is experience working as an employee. You will need to learn a whole new set of skills that involve everything from hiring and managing staff to negotiating business premises leases and balancing the books.
It can pay you to consult with a professional business coach to learn what you need to do to be able to run a business, including writing a business plan, applying for funding or credit to secure equipment needed to operate your business and learning how to market your products or services, or to attract B2B customers.
A business coach can help you to develop the right mindset to think like a boss rather than an employee that simply focuses on just one aspect of your work. They can also help you narrow down and target the right customers for your business so you are not wasting your time floundering about and wasting your efforts looking in the wrong direction.
2: Learn how to market – continuously!
Unless you were employed as a marketer in your previous career, marketing your business may be completely new to you. Learning how to market your company can be a tricky thing to learn, but the one thing you must understand is that you can never stop marketing. There is never an end to your marketing efforts – marketing is a continuous practice and is an aspect of your business that is forever changing and developing.
Depending on your business set-up, you may reach a point where your marketing leads to a healthy number of clients or customers that you can be happy with. However, you should never rest on your laurels. Clients can drop out at any time and leave you out of pocket, so you can never relax your marketing efforts – you need to keep your profile high and look at attracting new clients or customers, especially if your business involves a high turnover of customers from one-off sales rather than repeat sales for consumables or ongoing services that you may offer.
If you plan to take on staff, then the more customers or clients you can attract through your marketing efforts the better. This means that you can hire more staff or outsource work to temporary workers to cover any busy periods you may have throughout the year. This can happen if your business is seasonal or you run regular sales throughout the year that help to boost sales.
Make sure you have a professional profile listed on LinkedIn and your profile is complete and up to date. Using LinkedIn is especially important if you are launching a B2B business where you will want to attract business peers to buy from you. LinkedIn is like Facebook for the business world so your potential new B2B partners will tend to look you up on LinkedIn before they decide whether or not to trade with you.
You should always be prospecting simply because it can often take weeks or months to establish new business relationships. If you suddenly go quiet because you have reached an imaginary quota of clients or customers, you may find yourself be quickly forgotten and overlooked by potential new business contacts.
3: Hire some virtual help
When you are just starting out with a new business you may be working from a very tight or limited budget. The last thing you want to do is blow your budget on hiring expensive office premises and paying out for property insurance, utility bills, office furniture and IT equipment, and hiring office staff to man your office.
In the beginning, you can save a lot of time and money by trying to do everything for yourself, including marketing, selling, invoicing, answering phones and sorting business mail. However, this can be exhausting and can keep you from doing the work that you are good at and enjoy the most. Doing everything by yourself can be pretty overwhelming.
Yes, there are important everyday administrative duties involved in running a successful business, but you can save yourself a lot of time, stress and worry by outsourcing a lot of your essential business admin tasks to virtual assistants. By doing this you don’t need to spend out on office premises or pay for any of the associated overheads that come with it.
Hiring virtual services can be a very positive thing! Most virtual services are usually solo-entrepreneurs just like yourself. They will be specialists in their own respective fields and will appreciate the business that you send their way.
A lot of successful business owners build very lasting relationships with their virtual assistants and will often keep them on their books going into the future. This will mean that you can run a lean business where you can keep all the nuts and bolts of your business to an absolute minimum so your bottom line remains healthy and buoyant.
It can be especially advantageous for a solo-entrepreneur that is starting off a small or micro-business from their own home office to use a Virtual Business Address for their company. Doing this will give immediate gravitas and an impression of professionalism that you cannot achieve by using your own home address for your business.
Prospective clients are much more likely to put their trust into a new business that has a prestigious London business address rather than a residential address. If you want to quickly establish a good customer base, then it can pay you to look into using a registered office address provider and the advantages that come with them.
4: Secure a good accountant or accounting service
Although it may be tempting to attempt to balance your own books, managing your accounts can be quite tricky. Hiring a professional accountant or accounting service can be the best move you make because they know business tax laws inside-out. They will be clued up on all the financial rules and regulations surrounding business accounting and will know which tax reliefs and business expenses you will qualify for that can make your company some great savings!
Hiring a good accountant or an accounting service will quite often pay back what they cost in the savings they can achieve for you over the years as your business grows and develops. They can also help you to comply with all of your HMRC and Companies House submissions and deadlines and avoid any late or incorrect submission penalties.
5: Sort an effective to-do list software solution
As your new business grows, so will the demands placed on your time. This means that your to-do list will exponentially grow over time. While you may start out relying on old-fashioned post-it notes or simple scrawled to-do lists on a writing pad, at some point you will need to look at using an organisational tool to manage your ongoing calendar of tasks.
There are plenty of free and paid for online organisers such as Google Calendar, Capsule CRM and ScheduleOnce for example. These can be a fantastic help to keep on top of your work schedule, important reminders for follow-ups and scheduling deadline dates and to store notes and contact information for clients.
Once you have these essential elements in place, then you should be organised and prepared enough to go ahead and form your own limited company. Going through the company formations process is also one of the best steps you can take for your new business. Registering as an official Limited Company will instil a great sense of confidence in your business from prospective clients or business partners because taking this step proves that you take your business seriously and will be operating an open, honest and trustworthy company.
Hopefully, these five smart tips will help you to manage your new business launch effectively while remaining in control and really enjoying the process of kick-starting your own new enterprise. Good luck with your new business!