Today I want to share with you a simple guide on how to start your own business. With more people than ever before being self employed now, this might well be something you have been thinking about yourself.
I took the plunge a few years ago now and I am so happy that I did. Over the years my business has developed in different ways, and as I write this today, it consists of this blog, social channels, Etsy store and Patreon memberships. I love being able to work for myself and the challenges and the flexibility that it gives me.
It can seem daunting to take the leap into starting your own business, but follow these steps and you will be in business in no time!
This is where it all begins, and here I would say that your business idea today doesn’t have to be a million-pound project with huge investment and original inventions needed.
We can often think that a new business needs to be this mammoth concept, yet oftentimes the simplest ideas are the best.
Your idea might well be a brand new invention you’ve spotted that there’s a need for, but then it might be something you’ve seen a thousand times, yet you feel you can bring something different to the party, or feel you are particularly skilled in the area.
Most businesses will fall into the latter category. For example, you might be setting up an ironing service, a blog, a dog walking business, a store on Etsy or you’re going solo as a plumber rather than working for someone else. We have seen all of these businesses before, but that’s not to say that there is no room for yours.
Think about where your skills and passions lie. If you have an interest in an area, yet don’t currently have the skills to match, look into training and courses that you can attend to bring you up to scratch.
The Business Model
Take the time to think about how your business will work.
This goes beyond the headline idea, you need to think about your goals, how income will be generated, who your customers will be, how you will find them and what sets your business aside from the others.
This is a good time to carry out some market research to ensure that you are on the right track.
You can look at what similar businesses are offering in your area. This is a good way to gather ideas and to spot things that you would be keen to do differently. It will also help you with your pricing structure.
You will then want to check that there is a market for your business and that your proposition will appeal to customers.
You will be able to find a unique selling point (USP), whether it’s in the location, the service offered, or simply the fact that it’s you offering it. Search for the USP and be sure to build around it.
The Business Name
This is an area where you could spend weeks procrastinating.
Whilst it is important to go with a business name that conveys what you do and you’re happy with, this is not the be all and end all so don’t get stuck here!
Do check that any name you come up with can be registered to you, and most importantly these days, that the web domain and social media handles are available for it.
Set Up a Website
If your entire business is online, you will want to spend a fair bit of time around this step to ensure you have it all set up correctly.
However, if the website is more of a front for your business and a marketing page to direct them to contact you, it will only need to be a few pages and can be set up inexpensively and speedily.
If this is the area that worries you, there are plenty of experts around that can do this for you quickly and easily.
Your business might make use of an existing website to promote your business, such as Fiverr, Etsy or Trust a Trader. There are thousands of sites similar to these, designed to help sole traders to find their target audience, so do make use of them if they are relevant for you.
It is then worth choosing one or two social media platforms to promote your business on.
Think about the platforms where your customers will be spending their time, and go for those.
Register as Self Employed
This one can often sound really daunting, yet it is super simple.
You can do it all online, just pop to this government page and follow the step by step instructions.
Get Your Supplies
This area can be a large undertaking for some, and then barely existent for others.
You might just need a laptop and you are away!
For others, you might need stock, premises and packaging, requiring some research into suppliers, costs and delivery times. It’s also considering your storage options at this point and arranging a suitable workspace.
Many businesses do start within the home, so you might find your kitchen table becomes your office for a while as you establish your business.
Believe In Yourself
Often the trickiest hurdle of all to overcome.
Many people have great ideas for running their own businesses, yet few actually go for it. The difference isn’t in the idea itself, the skills or knowledge, it’s simply that those that give it a go have pushed themselves over this final hurdle.
Believe in yourself. Give your business a chance. What’s the worst thing that could happen?
Just do it.
If this is something you’ve been yearning to try for a while, then just do it.
A new business can often be set up alongside existing work and commitments, if you’ve the energy and drive to put into it.
Give it a go.
Get everything that you need to have in place, and then start trading.
You might want to give it a few days or weeks, build your confidence up, and start telling friends and family about it to get the word out.
When you’re feeling more settled and confident, you could go for a bigger launch and make a real song and dance about it.
Whatever it is that you’re wanting to do, best of luck!