For any new start-up business, the statistics are ever such a little bit daunting. Most start-up businesses ultimately fall by the wayside, with more than half of start-ups (in the UK, at least) failing within the first five years.
Enough of the negativity though. Starting a business is an incredibly exciting time, and by preparing yourself properly for the adventure ahead, there’s no reason you can’t join a long list of success stories.
Here are a few tips to help your new business go the distance…
Formulate a clear plan
The key word here is ‘clear’ - not necessarily detailed. Sometimes, the shortest, simplest business plans are the best. Condense your plan down to its core idea, and be very clear about what you want to achieve and how you’re going to do it.
Rather than trying to include every last detail in one single version of your business plan, you might want to tailor different versions to different target audiences. For instance, if you’re writing your business plan with the intention of getting funding, be sure to include the kind of financial detail that investors will be looking for. What returns can they expect? How long will it take to generate them?
Pick your people carefully
You’re only as good as the team around you, so surrounding yourself with great people is absolutely critical if your business is to be a success. If you’re going it alone as a sole-trader and you’re not planning to employ staff just yet, this still applies to you!
At various points on your journey, you’re almost certain to need legal, accounting or marketing support, and the people you choose to trust to supply this help are very much part of your team. Seek out personal recommendations, or connect with professionals at networking events (not everybody’s cup of tea, but a great way to drum up new business and make contacts).
Know your figures
From the very start, however modest your income might be, get in the right financial habits. Learn to make sense of your numbers, and establish cash-flow forecasts rather than relying on the occasional glance at your bank balance.
Of course, you’re not on your own with this one. Choose a pro-active accountant who will work alongside you throughout the year (and especially in the crucial early stages), rather than paying someone simply to handle your tax return at the end of the year.
Roll with the punches
Establishing a successful start-up is rarely plain sailing - there will be choppy waters to negotiate at times! That’s when you’ll need to knuckle down, roll with the punches, and remember why you started this venture in the first place.
See each obstacle as a challenge that will ultimately make you and your business stronger - and never lose sight of the end goals you set for yourself in that very first business plan.
Starting a successful business- If you are a business start-up or still in the planning stage, get in touch with us at Inform and use our expertise and advice.