Deciding to start a new enterprise is exciting but the process can be overwhelming. Here are a few things to consider to help you build a profitable business from the ground up.
The first thing you’ll want to establish is your unique selling point. Is your product or service unique, and what differentiates it from similar or competing products? What can you do to make your service faster, cheaper or better than your competitors’?
Decide in definitive terms your intended target audience and conduct, through appropriate market research. Use surveys and social media to discover what your customer base really wants. Involve your customers in the development process of your business in order to breed brand loyalty from the outset.
Writing a business plan will help to clarify your business idea and allow you to measure your progress. A good business plan will define objectives and strategies within a set time frame, and make financial forecasts based on thorough research. Furthermore, it will identify potential risks and define contingency plans.
How are you going to fund your new start-up? If you’re borrowing from a bank, providing detailed financial forecasts and copies of contracts drawn up between you and industry professionals will strengthen your case. Alternatively, crowd sourcing is proving successful for funding innovative products and services. You may also wish to check if you are eligible for a New Enterprise Allowance.
How are you going to ensure the security of your business? Consider every risk and develop a set of contingency plans. From fire hazards to data theft, there is a wealth of dangers to guard against. Email Security from Mimecast provides high levels of protection from a wide range of email threats. As the only unified email management system on the market, Mimecast provides complete email security, giving you peace of mind without adding to the load of your IT or development team.
Are you setting up as a Sole Trader, a Partnership or a Private Limited Company? The type of business you choose to establish will affect the surrounding legal structure. You’ll have to register your new enterprise with HMRC and arrange tax and National Insurance contributions. If you’re going to hire some staff, you’ll need to get Employer’s Liability insurance. You’ll also need to ensure your business premises comply with Health and Safety regulations.
A strong marketing strategy is essential to the success of any new start up. When drawing up a marketing strategy, consider the following: what is current the market situation? What trends in the marketplace affect your product? Who has the largest market share currently? What demographic are you selling to? What territories are you selling in? What budget do you have? Be sure to track the effectiveness of your market strategy over time and reallocate resources where necessary.
Whatever your new business idea, it’s essential to plan ahead. You can’t predict the future, but you can give your business the best chance with effective preparation. A realistic and confident business strategy will attract customers and investors alike.
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