Setting up a new business is equally as exciting as it is daunting, especially if you’re new to the world of start-ups.
It goes without saying that getting your products or services off the ground and into the arms of a loyal customer base is vital, but how do you do while ensuring your new business is running successfully? Keep reading for our tips and tricks to giving your start-up the leg-up it needs in its first few months running to get your new SME off to the best start possible.
Write-up a business plan
Before doing anything else, you have to understand what direction your business is going to go in. Take time to create an in-depth business plan, including an executive summary of where your company is based, what you offer and the mission statement. You basically want to write a biography about the company and the products in the first half before considering how you will achieve your goals.
Following this, include a market analysis so you know exactly who you’re targeting your product at. This should include the demographic of your potential customers as well as the pros and cons of your competitors. This will give you an insight into where there may be a gap in the market for you to slot yourself into seamlessly. Continue your business plan with details on where you hope to expand, your finances and specific numbers on where you want to be in a year’s time.
Stock up on essentials
The seemingly little things can make a huge difference in the way your business runs, which is why investing in good quality equipment from the start is important. If you run an office-based business, for example, make sure you have decent desk chairs, high-speed internet and a stock of ink cartridges in your choice of brand, such as Brother or HP, rather than just providing laptops.
Buying in bulk or at least stocking up in advance is far more efficient than purchasing as you need it in the long run, and means you don’t have to worry about being caught short when a client needs an essential document printed out for a last minute meeting, for example. What you need will completely depend on your business, but keeping on top of your stationery, print cartridges and the like is equally as important as decking out the office in technology.
Get the name out there
Promoting your business is essential to getting customers – they can’t shop at a business they don’t know exists, after all. With the capability to target both your local area and the wider world simultaneously, social media is a great way to get a start-up business out there. You can, of course, also use traditional methods like magazine advertisements, but make sure the publications you choose have a similar target audience as your own. This will help ensure the right people are picking it up and learning about your advertisement.
Treat your team with care
Surrounding yourself with a supportive team who will be there when things get rocky is important, but so is treating them well. It’s vital that your staff have a good work-life balance to prevent a burnout. While it may be great for business if your employees stay behind every day and work overtime, it may not be healthy for them mentally or physically. Make sure your team is rewarded for going above and beyond without pressuring them. If you notice someone looks tired, stressed or worried, pull them aside discreetly to see if you can help lighten the workload. A good team is vital for a successful start-up, especially during the early days of uncertainty, so don’t take your employees for granted and look after them well.
A backup plan
As hard as it can be to deal with, things do and likely will go wrong when you least expect it. Having a backup plan for each possible scenario will not only stop you from stressing out as you’re always prepared but get you back on track as quickly as possible. This could either be part of your wider business plan or a separate document. Either way, it should include details of who to contact should something go wrong as well as resources, details on any money that can be spared to fix the issue and how to fix it, should it be a smaller issue.
It can be difficult to think about what could go wrong, but having a plan can prevent the issue from getting worse. Exactly what you put in this document depends largely on your business and the services you offer, although it could include everything from a data breach and employee issues to lack of funds and client complaints.