If you are tuning in for for the very first time this year, Happy New Year! You are most likely here like everyone else, wanting to start a small business in 2018. So let’s get started with the top 5 ways to start your small business in 2018.
If you’ve been following our blogs here at UKStartups, you know that we preach that starting your small business isn’t easy but it’s very doable. It not only requires an idea, a plan, some money but most importantly it requires that YOU actually do something.
The start of every year is usually big when it comes to people wanting to start a small business. But is it just another simple New Year Resolution that you say you want to do, or is it a life altering decision that’s forcing you into it, or is it your desire to be your own boss and to become the entrepreneur you always wanted to be.
That question is important if you want to start your own small business.
Well look at it this way, if it’s a New Year Resolution – it probably isn’t too important. It’s probably on there with losing weight, stop smoking for 3 months, stop spending money on take-out..etc It’s a proven fact that many resolutions simply don’t work because of our habits and what we are used to.
If you however want to start a business because of something that happened such as you losing your job, getting into an accident, becoming a stay at home parent, the situation is a bit more critical and you have to make it work.
The next one is if you’ve always wanted to become an entrepreneurs and wanted to start your own small business, well this one is the one that works the best. As long as you actually do it.
So what are the best 5 ways to get started with a small business this year?
1. Come up with an idea
Simple right. Of course you need an idea if you want to start a small business. But you’d be surprised how many people want to start a business and are simply stuck with this first one. What to do, why that business, why not another business, what’s right for you? While speaking with one our members about starting a small business, they suggested a easy way to think about an idea (if you don’t already have one) is to think like you are a multi millionaire and you can have any business out there doing whatever you wish – what would it be, and why?
This question actually makes you think about not only money (the profits), but what you like to do, how you wish to do it and why.
When starting a small business it’s very important to be passionate about what you want to do. There are many factors that you have to consider which can include: who want’s the service or product, is there a demand, how much can you make, how much can you profit, can you do it yourself, is there a lot of competition, how much will it cost to get started, can you retire and keep on doing it, do you need a lot of employees, are there regulations and restrictions, will you like it a year from now, 5 years from now, 10 years from now…etc
Most people when selecting the type of business they want to get into, they go for something that they are familiar with. If you were a auto mechanic for the past 20 years, your ideal business will be a auto repair facility, but is it something you wish to do? Going with what you know is always the best, simply because you are experienced and you may know more about how it works then starting a new business that you have no idea about.
It’s important to sit down and write a few business ideas down on paper. As exciting as it may be, don’t jump to the first idea and say “im doing it”, without thinking about that idea and the others. Sleep on it if necessary, discuss it with your friends, your family, potential business partners. Take some time before you decide.
2. Create a business plan
Once you’ve figured out the business idea you want to run with, it’s important to come up with an actual game plan of how you wish to create the business, to run the business and be successful with it. This means creating a business plan.
Writing a business plan can sound scary, you might not know anything about business, you might not like writing, maybe you’ve never even seen a business plan – but don’t worry, sometimes it’s just important to sit down and write down everything that comes to mind about your business. Remember the key factors such; what is your business about, who is it for, why is it for them, how much is it, who else has it, why is your better, why should people buy from you, how do you get people to buy from you, how will you accomplish all of this..etc
There are many business plan templates available for free on the web and even here at UKStartups that will give you a better idea on how to create a business plan. By doing a business plan you are preparing yourself for success, so be sure to do one even if it’s not the very best.
A well developed business plan is a road map to your business success. It is also one of the main tools that will determine for you what it is your business needs or is lacking. You will be able to use your business plan when you are seeking funding from the banks, from the government or even private investors.
3. Figure out your money situation
As mentioned in the business plan section, in order to figure out your financial needs of your business, you will have to complete a business plan. Once you do so, you will be able to clearly say that you will need x amount of dollars in order to launch, to purchase equipment, tools, to hire staff, to advertise..etc
After you’ve figured out what you will need in terms of being able to launch your business, it’s a matter of getting the financing in place. There are multiple options to consider when it comes to financing:
- Your personal savings
- Your personal credit cards, lines of credit..etc
- Business loans (from the bank)
- Family/Friends/Business Partners
- Government Agencies
- Private Investors
Whichever option or options you go with, having a well developed business plan is still one of the number of things you will need.
Most entrepreneurs when starting a small business turn to government funding as there are many funding schemes that offer assistance for new startups in the UK looking to get funding in the form of grants, loans, tax breaks…etc in order to startup, to hire and train staff, to purchase tools and equipment, conduct R&D, pay for advertising and marketing and even wage subsidies to cover wages of employees. Consider looking at out Funding Database available with your membership to UKStartups in order to locate all available government funding schemes.
4. Have a professional help
Getting professional help to start your small business this year is one of the best decisions you can do. But remember that professional help doesn’t always mean spending thousands of dollars on business consultants and advisors, but it can mean just getting a little bit of help in specific regions of what you need.
Perhaps you need direction when starting up, or you need assistance writing your business plan, or you want some professional feedback on your business plan, assistance looking for funding schemes …etc, hiring help is always an expense, but it is one well worth it.
Take our Small Business Startup Portal for example, there is a fee of £239 (a on time fee that is tax deductible as a business expense). Our Portal allows an entrepreneur access to our platform that has a Startup Guide, Interactive Startup Timeline, Business Plan Builder Tool, Business Plan Review Service, Investor PitchDeck, Funding Database of all government funding schemes and hundreds of private investors, Funding Application Review Service, 1,000 + Business Documents and Templates and unlimited use of our experts for any questions or guidance.
Now that’s a worth it investment to get your business of the ground.
5. Take action
The last and 5th step of starting your small business in 2018 is to simply take action. As you can see from step 1 to step 4, it’s been preparation and research and getting everything organized. But where most people end up failing and giving up too soon is at step 5. Step 5 is to take action and actually do something about your business.
If you are still unclear about what you need to do, how you need to do it and just need help – reach out to UKStartups or take a look at our membership. We can help.
But don’t let another day, week, month or even year pass you by before you decide that starting a business is right for you.