Have you been thinking about starting your own business? Chances are you'd like to, given our recent survey of 1,000 Brits found that 80% would consider
becoming an entrepreneur.
While there are barriers to starting a business - the survey found that financial risks (54%) and fear of failure (40%) were the two most likely reasons
people decided not to start a business - there are all kinds of things you can do to help your business plans come to life, some of which you might
not have considered.
Plan like you've never planned before
Whatever sort of business you'd like to start, the amount of time you spend planning what you're going to do and how you're going to do it can easily have
an effect on your success later on.
This means drawing up a really detailed business plan that includes in-depth research into the market you're going to enter, the people you're going to
sell to and the existing competition. You need to be sure that you hit the ground running, and that you won't end up spending a load of cash changing
your business once you've started.
Try and get lots of feedback when you're planning. Family, friends, business gurus, your future customers – the more feedback you get, the more sure you'll
be that you're on the money!
There's no escaping it: most businesses these days need an online presence, whether it's for taking orders and shipping goods, or promoting and advertising
Before you start trading, set up a social media presence, build a site yourself, pay someone else to do it for you, or use an existing site like eBay or
Shopify to get your business out there and trading.
The net will also help you keep in touch with customers after you've started trading, offering a really valuable way of getting feedback from the people
that matter most.
Be creative with space
A lot of small businesses will need a little extra space when they start – if you run an eBay store you'll need lots of space for the products you're selling,
for example. The natural reaction to this problem can be to hire office or industrial space, but this can be expensive.
In contrast, a self-storage area can provide a useful space for storing, packing and more. Operating out of an inexpensive storage area can cut down on
costs, make sure stock is secure and stop your home from turning into a warehouse!
Great for young businesses, they give you a bit of leeway until the business is off the ground and you can afford something more permanent.
Don't forget the marketing
Running a business is a learning process, however much you know about what you're actually selling, and nowhere is this truer than when it comes to marketing
This includes making sure that your website is optimised so it appears on search engines, running email and social media marketing campaigns and creating
useful content – all of which will draw people to your business and put it in front of the people who are most likely to buy. Different marketing tactics
work for different businesses, so be prepared to try a few strategies before you find something that fits.
Check out these guides from Moz
for marketing knowhow.