New Year, New Start-Up – Top 10 tips for success
January and the start of 2023 is the time when attention turns to new year resolutions for many, including small business owners and start-up entrepreneurs looking to put their ‘big idea’ into practice.
Do you have a burning desire to be your own boss and create your own company? After Christmas, lots of people set new goals, they reassess their priorities and lifestyle, they are reinvigorated and find a zest for following their passion or dream to run their own business.
According to the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, at the beginning of 2022 there were 5.47 million small private-sector businesses in the UK.
Although the last twelve months have been a rollercoaster ride with the cost-of-living crisis, rising interest rates, energy bills and inflation, many people remain undeterred and have taken the ‘leap’ into starting their own business.
However, it is worth noting that 20% of new businesses fail in their first 12 months, while a staggering 60% don’t make it past the first three years.
So, if you have recently set up a new business, or are thinking about doing so, what can you do to maximise your chances of success? Here are our ‘Top 10 tips for start-up success:’
- Make sure it’s right for you – be honest, do you have it in you to go it alone? Can you work long hours? Can you handle pressure and financial insecurity? Have you got the tenacity to make it work?
- Is your product or service a ‘must have’? What will differentiate your offering from competitors? Why will customers want or need it enough to make that purchase?
- Carry out market research. Find out about your market and the potential demand for your goods or services. Talk to prospective customers, suppliers, and competitors. Test the market before you hit the point of no return.
- Write a business plan. This sounds a bit boring, but this is the exercise of thinking through all aspects of your new business and how the challenges will be met. Set longer term objectives and forecasts. Use the plan to measure your success over time. Don’t be afraid to adapt the plan as you go – it isn’t set in stone. It will also help you access funding if needed.
- Get the structure right – will you operate as a sole trader, limited company, or limited liability partnership? Each has pros and cons, but it’s good to get the optimal structure in place from the off.
- Is the brand identity right? This will connect you and your business to your customers, so get it right.
- Ensure you have the required finances in place. How much cash do you need? Where will the funding come from? It could be savings, or family. But also, the government offers start-up loans that could help.
- Premises – will you be working from home, or do you need an office or warehouse? Will you have room to grow here? Will you rent or buy? What about business rates or insurance?
- IT systems – hardware, software, cyber security. Getting the investment in the right solutions initially will save money in the longer term.
- Don’t think you can do everything – seek help. The right advice and support can help with legal, accounting, business planning, funding, new product development, HR, marketing, sales… Focus on your strengths and bring in expert help in other areas.
For more business advice or information about starting a new business, contact a member of the Westcotts team or get in touch with me.