The world of business has changed a lot over the last decade. Technology, namely the internet, has made it much easier for people to work independently; now you don’t need a fortune to hire out office space, as you can work from your own home, and advertising tends to be cheaper online (rather than offline). It is even possible to outsource work so that you don’t have to spend as much hiring full time staff. This could be why the British business population grew by 200,000 between 2018 and 2019!
So if you want to start a business, now is the perfect time – but where do you start? What is the first step you need to take if you want to start your own business?
If you have asked yourself these questions, don’t worry; we can help. Here is a simple guide on how to set up a business within three months.
How To Set Up A Business In Three Months
Month One: Find Your Idea
The first thing you need is a business idea that you are passionate about. It is likely you already have an idea if you are reading this article, but you should still ask yourself a few questions to make sure that you are really invested in your life. Ask yourself these questions; does the idea make you feel excited? Are you knowledgeable about the niche? Is there a demand for this type of business?
There are lots of businesses out there, so the easiest way to make yours stand out is to superniche it. Make it as specific as possible, so that it is noticeably different to the competition. For instance, you could add a vegan element to the business, or try to be a zero waste company. You could even only produce products in one colour – just make sure to superniche the business in a way that will appeal to your target audience.
Create A Basic, Short Term Plan
The next thing you need to do is create a basic one year action plan. It can be tempting to do a five year plan, but you should wait until you have some more experience with the business before doing anything so long-term. So sit down plan out the next 12 months, month by month. Write down everything you can accomplish each month (and make sure that these goals are realistic and attainable).
Estimate Startup Costs
Write down a list of all the intial expenses you will have to pay for (such as hiring a physical location, buying products, hiring staff, paying for a website). We suggest that you research online to get a realistic estimate for these costs.
Lay Some Groundwork
Now you need to answer some fundamental questions. Will you continue to work, or will you quit and focus on the business? If you want to do this, should you try saving up some money first? Do you have savings that you could use to fund the initial business expenses (such as buying products to sell)? Will you be taking on debt to open the business?
Once you have answered these questions you should write down potential risk factors and a basic financial plan for the next year.
Write A Monthly Expense Budget
Now you have a basic financial plan you can create a monthly expense budget. This will cover previously mentioned costs such as staff and products, but it should also include utility costs and business insurance costs so that you don’t get caught short.
Month Two: Get The Correct Licenses
Most UK businesses require a license to operate. You can find out more about this on the official Gov website.
Next up it is time to order or make stock. If you make the products yourself you may need to set aside an extra month or two so you have enough products to sell when you do open.
Set Up A Basic Website
Once you have a legal business and products it is time to set up a website. You can set up a simple one page website using Strikingly, or you can spend more getting a proper website set up. Both options are viable; it just depends on your budget and your time constraints.
Month Three: Get The First Customer
Now you have a business, a website and lots of products to sell, so it is time to find your first customer. Maybe you could find them by posting on a business social media page, or maybe you could tell your friends and family about your venture. Either way, it will feel great to make your first sale!
Write A Marketing Plan
Create a marketing plan for the next 12 months. Think about where your target audience can be found; are they using social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, or do they prefer Pinterest?
Hire An Accountant
Hiring an accountant isn’t actually an essential step; after all, you can do your accounts yourself if you want. However we suggest hiring an accountant as it means you can focus on your business, and it is also likely that they will have the knowledge to help you with tax breaks.
Write A One Year Business Plan
Your business is officially up and running, and now you have enough experience to write a one year business plan! This will help you to establish goals for the coming year, and it also makes it easier to review past months. Consider asking your accountant to help with this, as they may be able to help you set realistic financial goals.
And just like that, you are a business owner. It may seem like a difficult task getting started, but this plan should definitely help – and once you become your own boss, you will be very happy you put in all the work!