First thing’s first: as any entrepreneur will tell you, there’s never a right time to start a business.
You’ll always have reasons to delay your project. Maybe you find the thought of losing financial security too daunting, or perhaps you’re struggling to get to grips with how the company creation process works.
But if you wait for the perfect moment, the opportunity might pass you by entirely.
That said, the trick to launching a start-up or small business successfully is creating a strong brand story and purpose; offering something your customers need, and something your industry isn’t expecting.
There are also other factors to consider, such as how confident you feel in your abilities, and how comfortable you feel with your decision to go it alone.
Here, we’ve listed a few things you’ll need to think about before you quit the 9 to 5 and start something new.
Aspects to consider when starting a small business in the UK
Are you knowledgeable enough?
You don’t need to have 30 years’ experience in your field to start your own company – but you should have a solid understanding of your products or services, and your industry as a whole.
Is there a demand for your product or services?
If it’s already been done, you’ll struggle to compete – but if you’ve come up with a completely new concept, your idea is much more likely to gain traction. Before you take the plunge, make sure what you’re planning to offer will fill a gap in your market and satisfy a very real demand within a specific demographic. In many cases, the more you can niche down, the better!
How will you fund your start-up?
Every new business needs capital. Bear in mind that, if you want to raise funds from external investors, you’ll need to put together a sound business plan with clear financial projections. There are also many available grants and bank loans created specifically for small businesses.
You may also consider trying crowdfunding as an alternative to the traditional channels of funding. Many start-ups found their funds on websites such as Kickstarter.Crowdfunding is a successful and exciting way to engage with a future audience and have a community feel to your enterprise.
However, crowdfunding can be time consuming and requires a lot of forethought. You’ll need to decide what you may give to your crowdfunders as an incentive, how long it may take to reach a funding goal, and whether your idea is something which people will support.
Of course, you don’t need millions and millions to begin a business, starting a new venture with limited start-up capital is doable, and in the long run can be super profitable.
Where will you be based?
Plenty of successful start-ups and even more established businesses are run from home. Amazon was famously founded in Jeff Bezos’ garage. Most small companies can function perfectly from home, but if you plan to host client meetings or prefer to work outside of your home, you may choose to use a co-working space or rentable meeting rooms as a day office.
There are many things to consider when deciding on basing your business from home. Firstly, do you have the budget to afford renting an office? Do you have space and the discipline to work from home? Do you hope to employ staff from the start? And more.
If all you need to run your business is WiFi, a laptop and yourself, then maybe home is the best venue. However, you can register a virtual office for your company to keep your residential address out of the public eye and give you the professionalism of an office address.
Are you truly ready to become self-employed?
Self-employment is incredibly liberating and rewarding – but it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted! From promoting your business through to managing your tax affairs, the buck stops with you when you’re running your own organisation – and you’ll almost certainly be working long hours, at least while you’re finding your feet. Make sure you’re ready to embrace all the ups and downs that will come with your new situation before you commit to creating a company.
However, by leaning on all available resources such as using an accountant or a company formation agent (like us!) can help you take the hassle out of registering your company and starting your business from scratch. We offer a range of solutions designed to support new business owners, plus plenty of additional services and resources to guide you along your way. Explore our packages here.