Over 100 million businesses are launched each year across the world by excited entrepreneurs hoping to have come up with an idea that will make them a fortune. Around nine out of ten will fail due to all manner of reasons, from financing to management, whether it’s a great idea executed poorly or a poor idea that was just never going to work.
However, launching your own start-up can be a viable way to make a living. If you’ve got a good idea and the motivation then, if you go about it the right way, there’s little reason it can’t be a success. Plenty of advice is out there regarding the legal requirements of starting a business but if you want it to prosper there are various steps to take.
Research Your Market
When you’ve come up with a good idea it is vital you research the industry as much as possible to ensure the gap in the market for your business hasn’t already been filled. Speak to experts working in the same market along with potential clients and customers to see how viable it will be. Trade and industry events or social media outreach are great places to get in touch with those in a relevant industry. Where possible get a prototype of the product or service your company will be delivering to create a more realistic experience. If it turns out to be an unviable idea then it may be time to go back to the drawing board rather than carrying on.
Construct a Brilliant Business Plan
A highly detailed business plan is necessary to get your business financing in order and convince outside investors by showing it will be a profit making venture. It will also help to define your strategy and business approach, be used to set targets and work our precisely how to balance the books. The better the plan the greater the chance of your start-up being a success. You can get help and advice for creating business plans through various start-up initiatives such as The Prince’s Trust. Accountants are also a good place to turn.
Seek Out Funding Opportunities
After constructing a fantastic business plan you will know how much capital is required. There are a range of financing opportunities available to help launch your new company. Government grants are the first place to look, with some on offer for particular sectors and regions. Otherwise a bank loan, savings or invoice discounting can help you set out a clear cash flow to start off on the right foot. Work this into your business plan to make sure you will be able to pay back any amount borrowed.
Protect your assets and company against any potential legal problems with business insurance. Being hit with a costly fine can ruin a business before it has even got its feet off the ground so this is essential. If it is a unique idea your business is working on then reading into intellectual property law and taking out the right insurance is advisable to stop copycats appearing. Also, registering your company with HMRC for the appropriate tax purposes is vital. Remember to work these all into the financing element of your business plan.
Branding your business will help make its launch more memorable and stand out against the competition. Create or work with some expert designers to develop a logo that encapsulates your business ethos along with a catchy name. Setting up a website and relevant social media pages is essential for any new business and can be done incredibly cheaply. It is a great way to reach out to potential customers and clients, but be sure to regularly update them to make the most of it.
Build a Client Base
The final stage to launching a successful business is to get plenty of paid clients who require your products or services. Advertising and offering free trials or samples are great ways of gaining initial attention, while networking at as many events as possible should be extremely beneficial. Hopefully when you have the first few clients secured the word will spread as your business grows into the huge success you imagined.