As a backer of start-ups of all shapes and sizes for many years, here are seven key steps worth thinking about if you’d like to successfully launch your own business in 2017.
1.) Find the right business idea
Your business idea shouldn’t just simply be about making a quick profit. It needs to be a good fit for you personally, appeal to your target market, and be in the right location. Building a business takes time so you should be doing something that you can live and breathe in the long term.
2.) Do your research
So, you think you’ve come up with the right business idea, but how can you market test it? Doing some market and competitor research is important as you’ll need to understand if your business idea can translate successfully into profitable business. Use your trusted network of family, friends and colleagues to see if your business idea works for other people and if they believe it will appeal to the market.
3.) Write a business plan
Most business start-ups require some kind of funding beyond personal finance, in which case you will need to do a business plan. Your business plan will need to include details of your research as well as include your products and services, a marketing and sales plan, costs, financial data and cash flow forecasts. You’ll also need to include details of your management team. If you need help writing a business plan, Business Wales can help.
4.) Make it legal
Before any business can start trading there are a number of legal checkboxes that need to be ticked. This can include registering your business name, trademarks or patents, obtaining any relevant licences and insurance. You’ll also need to meet your tax obligations. Business Wales provides free advice on choosing the right legal structure for your business and registering for tax, while financial advisers and accountants can offer more in-depth legal advice.
5.) Financing your business
To start your business, you’ll need to secure finance to suit your needs. While some businesses are started with personal finance alone, many require some form of investment from a commercial lender. Whether it’s a bank, business angel or an SME investor like Finance Wales, you’ll need a solid business plan and sound financial statements.
6.) Brand your business
If you believe branding is something just for big businesses, think again. A strong brand is critical for businesses of all shapes and sizes. It will improve customer loyalty and lead to higher sales and repeat business levels.
7.) Get ready to launch
The money’s in the bank and the legals are done. Now you can get ready to launch your business and purchase any equipment you need, fit out your premises, train any staff and start your marketing campaign. What marketing activity will you do before and after your launch date? People won’t buy what they don’t know about, so raising your business’ profile through effective marketing is key for a new business in generating sales. You’re passionate about your business, so make sure it doesn’t stay a well-kept secret!
Starting your own business isn’t an easy thing to do and although it’s a big commitment when successful the personal and financial rewards can be significant and life-changing.
Finance Wales can provide commercial loans from £1000 up to £3 million for businesses in Wales. If you are looking for finance to start your own business contact us today.