If you watch or read the news these days, you might be forgiven for thinking that there are problems for the economy at every turn. Even when things do start to look up, there is always someone who predicts that a downturn is not far away. This can make the idea of starting your own business a daunting one, but it shouldn’t be – in a world where job security is a thing of the past, there is no better way to ensure you will have an income than to be the person running the company rather than the person working for one. So if the idea of starting your own business appeals, here’s how to get started.

Research

The very first thing you will need to do if you want to start your own business is research your industry sector. You need to know for sure that your ideas absolutely has the potential to succeed because if there is any chance that it might fail, it’s best to look at another idea. Starting a business that is doomed from the start because no one wants the product or service you are offering is a waste of time, money, and effort. Therefore, ask around, starting with friends and relatives, to see if there is a need. Once you have an answer there, start asking strangers; carry out market research to see whether people really are interested in your business idea.

Whatever you choose to sell, it needs to solve a problem. Think of things in these terms and it will be easier to determine whether or not your business will be successful. You should find out who will use your product and what the competition is like. You should also look into where and how your own business will fit into the market.

Business Plan

Without a business plan, it will be difficult to work out what you should be doing and when. You will instead plunge rather aimlessly into running a business and while that may work on occasion, that is probably more down to luck than anything else. Creating a business plan will help you to understand what it is you are looking to get from the business itself, and it will keep you working towards that goal.

A business plan is also essential if you want to obtain funding from a bank or investor. They will need to know that the business can pay the money back, with all the interest owed, in a reasonable amount of time. It is harder these days to obtain this kind of funding, and without a business plan it is all but impossible. It will take time and effort to put this plan together, but it will make running the business much easier in the end.

Finance

Once you have all your ideas in place and you have a business plan that maps out how you intend to run your business, you will need to obtain funding. As mentioned above, you can do this through a bank loan or an investment from an angel investor, both of which can be extremely useful for a business. If you want the money and don’t need any additional advice, then a business loan from a bank will suit (although these can be hard to get if you have no track record of success). If you prefer someone to work with you, then an angel investor is a better idea, although you must be prepared to give up part of your business in order for this to happen.

If neither of these options is open to you, or they simply don’t appeal then you could look into a personal loan from Bonsai Finance. Doing this means that you can apply for the loan yourself, rather than immediately putting your business into debt. The business could then pay you back each month, and you then use that money to pay the loan, meaning that your finances are safe. Remember, though, that even if the business doesn’t have the money to pay you, you will still need to pay your loan obligations.

Pick A Name

Choosing the right name for your business is all-important. It needs to be something that relates to what you do, if possible, so that potential customers don’t get confused. It also needs to be something that inspires confidence and gives the (hopefully accurate) impression that you will do a good job.

When you have come up with a name, you will need to see if it is already being used, or even if it is trademarked. If so, you will need to start the process again, so having some backup options is always a good idea to save time should this happen. Even if the name isn’t in use in the way that you want to use it, the web domain might be, and this is certainly something that needs to be considered, even if it wasn’t necessarily something to worry about in the past. Having a website that matches with your company name is not just useful, it is expected.

After this you will need to register the company, so you will also need to know whether you want it to be a limited company, a corporation, PLC, or whether you’re going to work as a sole trader. Getting this right at the start means a lot less confusion and wasted time later on. Plus it will put you in the right mindset when you know exactly how you intend to work from the beginning.

Marketing

Once everything is ready and you feel that you can now start work on your new business, you will need to market it, otherwise you won’t have any customers. It is unlikely that people will just discover you on their own to begin with, so you will need to get your name out there in as many places and different ways as possible.

Begin by working out what your unique selling point (USP) is as this will be the thing that you use most to sell your company to other people. Once you know what this is, you will need to know who your target audience is because you can then tailor your marketing plan to suit them.

 

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