By the time you read this I may have been cajoled into taking a ride in one of the modes of transport pictured above.
For someone who is frightened of flying and can’t climb more than three steps up a stepladder that will be very scary. But it started me thinking about other scary things, like starting your own business.
So as a Start-Up’, what do you need to consider?
Start. You have just had a brilliant idea that is going to make you a fortune or maybe you have been made redundant or just want a change of scenery. Whatever your reason, you are preparing to take that big step into your own business – scary! But with proper planning it doesn’t have to be.
Technical. This is not just about the IT. It’s all of the technical and legislative knowledge you need. How will your workflow process work and do you have the equipment required? Are there any industry specific requirements such as licences or maybe potential patent/IP applications? Have you considered GDPR and most importantly is there a backup plan if the technology fails for any reason?
Announcement. There is no point in having the greatest idea ever if no-one else knows about it so you need to consider how you are going to get that message across. This will vary hugely from business to business depending on your target market and your marketing plan should be aimed at the most suitable communication methods. You also need to consider your company image and maintain it across all aspects of the business.
Recruitment. This is not just about staff but also about the relationship with suppliers, sub contractors, advisors, banks and any person/ business you will work with. Employing staff involves not only recruitment and payroll but also areas like training and health and safety. You also need to look at, for instance, the supply chain for your suppliers (particularly with Brexit looming) or the qualifications of your advisors.
Trading. So you’re all set to open the doors and start trading but you have to keep a record of that. It’s not just keeping the bookkeeping up to date, you also have to manage cash flow, control stock, plan the work and, importantly, manage sales and record all of that. There are many apps available that will help you with aspects like accounting, CRM, workflow etc so it’s worth spending a little time to get all of that in place before you open those doors. Don’t forget to plan ahead and look for systems that will give you the information you would like as the business grows.
U The most important person in your business and as you can see, there is so much more for you to do as well as actually doing what you set out to. So many business owners take on too many of the additional’ tasks so consider what you are capable of and confident in doing and then find someone to do the tasks that you are not. It may seem like added expense but when you work it out against time that you could be working and earning income or just spending time with your family it’s worthy of consideration. And very importantly don’t forget the me time.’
Planning. Once you have considered all of the above then you have a plan and you can pull together the narrative and profit/cash flow forecasts which you may need for things like funding applications etc. But plans are very transient things so don’t just prepare a plan and file it away. So many things change and you need to keep going back and updating it so you know what your next move will be and you will always have the information there to grab the next opportunity too. P’ also stands for profit and pounds so hopefully, with the proper planning, there will be plenty of those.