Paul’s Top 10 Tips for New Businesses

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Whilst retailers with shop windows might be the most visible type of companies, there are many other types of business starting up on a regular basis. Here’s our simple guide for those who are thinking of taking the first steps to setting up your own business.

 

1. Develop your brand

Choose a unique name that describes your business well and is memorable, then start developing your brand. This doesn’t just mean designing a logo, but involves carefully thinking about how every aspect of your business is portrayed to your clients.

The benefit to you: People will make an association with your brand and what you actually do – they are then more likely to remember to use you when they need your services.

 

2. Register your domain

Register your business name as a domain with an internet hosting company, even before you think about having a website.

The benefit to you: You’ll be able to develop your web presence gradually as and when you can afford it, but only if you’ve reserved the name first.

 

3. What’s your USP?

Think about your Unique Selling Proposition carefully, i.e. what’s special about your business that no-one else offers? Think of a snappy one-liner (known as your ‘elevator pitch’) that describes what you do for when you meet other businesses.

The benefit to you: You’ll come across as confident and focused on your business objectives.

 

4. Work from home

Work from home for as long as possible. It’s cheaper and often easier than renting an office. Some businesses may never need to move out, but you’ll know when the time is right for you.

The benefit to you: Your overheads will be much lower in that important start-up period, and you’ll have family around you for support.

 

5. Use your time efficiently

You may think you’ll be able to work when you like, but you’ll often find that your clients work 9am to 5pm – you may have to fit into their time schedule. Get a good diary and plan your working hours/days so that you know what you need to do for when.

The benefit to you: You’ll be able to concentrate on the task at hand rather than panicking about when it will all get done.

 

6. Keep it simple

Don’t try to expand too quickly – be patient, let your business build up gradually.

The benefit to you: People’s confidence in you will build as you naturally develop your business and they come to rely on you.

 

7. Go networking

Join local networking clubs and go regularly to build up relationships with other businesses and potential clients. The best ones are seminars or presentations where you have the opportunity to learn something new, especially if they have a buffet – this is often the best place to ease yourself into gentle conversation with other people there.

The benefit to you: Get your business known in the area, and meet other businesses who may need your services.

 

8. Advertise wisely

Think hard about advertising or promoting your business in any way that will cost you a lot of money and time, for hard-to measure results. Think about where your intended market is likely to look for companies to meet their needs and get your name known. This might not be in the form of traditional advertising at all, e.g. social media, press releases, public speaking or networking events.

The benefit to you: You’ll target your market more efficiently, which should yield measurable results – if it works, do it again!

 

9. Check out your clients

The biggest mistake you can make is to work for a client without making sure they can pay for your services first. If they are a large organisation that use Purchase Orders, make sure you have one for everything you do so you don’t have problems at invoice time. If they are private or small companies, you should only accept work on the condition that they pay as soon as the work is completed – at least for the first few jobs.

The benefit to you: You’ll be sure that you’ll get paid!

 

10. Learn to delegate

Some stuff that needs doing regularly just gets in the way of your ‘proper’ work – get someone else to do it. Accounts are often the first thing that a small business contracts out – use another small business that you’ve met at a networking event.

The benefit to you: You’ll be able to concentrate on your paying work, whilst your delegated tasks are being handled by someone else whose job it is to do it professionally.

 

Interested in finding out more? Get in touch with us today!