It’s a brand new year, and it could be time to make those long held dreams happen. If you’ve been dreaming about starting up a business of your own, be it blogging or selling handmade jewellery, 2019 could be calling you to take action and make the changes needed to see your business ideas become a reality. There has never been a better time than now to make your mark, with the prevalence of the Internet allowing you to start up with minimal costs and reach a wider set of customers than ever before. However, making a success of things isn’t as easy as just choosing a company name and registering a domain. Here are the essential points you need to consider as you prepare to launch.
Know your Market
The number one reason small businesses fail? Not understanding the market correctly. Before you launch, you must consider thorough market research which assesses exactly what the opportunity is and states what the needs of your target customers are, and how your product or service meets them. It should be all about creating customer personas, and developing something which solves a problem for them.
Any opportunities you get to attend local networking events, take them. It’s such a beneficial experience to meet more experienced entrepreneurs and have the chance to learn from them – you may even meet someone who is prepared to act as a mentor for your business. Their grasp of strategic planning and insight into operations, marketing strategy and finances can be enormously helpful.
Networking events are also a fantastic opportunity to give away promotional merchandise, which will help you build brand awareness and ensure people remember you.
Find Your Fundraising Avenue
All businesses need investment to grow and develop, so securing yours is the lifeline you’ll need. There are many avenues to securing extra cash for your business. Most authorities have investment funds set up for micro-businesses to encourage economic development in the area. You can also find details of angel investors, although most tend to have a specific focus on one area of business, so make sure you match your proposal well. If you have a decent credit rating you could apply for a £10,000 loan from Evolution Money and schedule in the repayments as you gain more profit. There is also crowdfunding as a method if you think you have an idea that would translate well and gain popularity – this can also be a fabulous channel to gain feedback on what people think of your offer – you may even be able to make improvements based on the comments you get!
Learn to Love the Long Game
Running a business with it’s constant stream of day to day challenges can be all-consuming. But you’ll be making a huge mistake if you don’t remember to keep one eye on the bigger picture at all times. Make sure you schedule on regular time to look at the long-term health of your business – training needs, staff development, recruitment, budgeting and community engagement. This approach will stop any little problems in their tracks and ensure you know exactly what the picture is across the board.
I hope you found these tips both useful and informative! Are you thinking of setting up a business this year? I’d love to hear your ideas.