When starting a business, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the things you need to do. There are so many details to think about that it can be hard to know where to start. We’ve created a checklist to ensure that you get off on the right foot with your launch.
Starting your first business is just as exciting as it is nerve-wracking. Even if it feels like you’ve got too many things happening at once, there are always ways to ease the stress of the process.
Whether you’re nurturing a lockdown side-hustle turned full-time job, or you’re just starting the planning process, we can help. Read on to discover our five simple steps to launch your first business legitimately, successfully, and without hassle.
1. Do your research
It’s crucial to seriously consider the potential longevity and viability of your new concept. Think about your target market and find out who your direct competitors are if you have any. Once you’ve done this, test your idea against the market with a focus on identifying a genuine need for the product or service that you’ll be offering.
If there is a real demand, then you can proceed to develop your idea. If not, then it would be wise to look at other potential avenues of income before giving up. Be honest about what you know and what you don’t know. Ask questions and research as much as possible. Don’t be afraid to reach out to experts in your field to get more information and advice.
2. Protect your new business
One of the most important things that you’ll need to do before opening your doors is to arrange an appropriate cover. If you take out comprehensive business insurance, this could keep you protected under any unforeseen circumstances and give you peace of mind, from looking out for your tools to the building itself.
The good news is that the majority of small businesses can get a business insurance policy that will cover almost everything.
3. Get organised
You’ll also need to ensure you’ve completed all the necessary paperwork. Starting your own business involves checking over multiple forms, signing agreements, and ensuring that all the details are as accurate as possible.
If you’re new to being an entrepreneur, it’s not always easy to keep on top of your documents and administrative commitments, including tax. We’d recommend investing in services from an accountant to reduce your workload through busier periods for your business.
4. Register your business
All businesses must be registered, whether as a sole trader, limited company, or as partnership. It’s always worth checking how to set up a business according to the most recent regulations. This process needs to be completed in advance of any proposed opening date or before you start trading.
There are several ways to register a business, with most down as either a sole trader, limited company, or partnership. Work out which one is best for your company before going ahead.
5. Work out your financial requirements
Any visions for your future business will rely on the financial backing that you have available. Even if you have ambitious plans, it’s essential to look at the bigger picture and not rush into any unrealistic financial commitments.
You don’t want to get yourself in too deep, so make sure you consider the long term. This means looking at how you can be financially supported in the short-term as well as the longer term.
Start with the basics: will you need an office facility, or could you run your business remotely? Could you do all of the work yourself, or will you need to hire and train a team of colleagues? Planning for several months along the line will shape your company, with its future guaranteed by strong financial backing.