Tips for Starting a Small Business
Reading Time: 6 minutes

When you are looking for a good financial future and you are also looking for a good work-life balance, you might consider starting a small business. Whether it’s a self-employed side hustle or you are trying to create a business that could be your full-time income, doing so could help you to have the flexibility you want with a family as well as ensure you are financially secure as your family grows. 

Taking the leap into entrepreneurship, although exciting, will take a lot of planning and hard work. So let’s first have a look at some of the steps you should be taking to get started on your journey:

Start With Your Idea 

Before you can do anything else, you need to know what type of business you want to run and start planning for how it will work. Have a look at your competitors, and make sure there is definitely a space for your service or product. If the market is already extremely saturated you may need to think of other ideas. You should also look at things like your skillset, your finances, and what you will need to do to get where you want to be. 
For example, do you need to retrain in anything before you start or can you retrain while you are earning? It could be that you need to save to be able to fund your start-up costs. Depending on your type of business you will need to consider things like HVAC glossary BuildOps and using a CRM system, how you are going to store your data, how you will take payments, how you will invoice, will you need new equipment or an office space refurnishing, and more.

Looking At Your Business Structure 

When you have an idea of the type of business you want to start you need to think about the legal side of it. You can choose from options like sole proprietor, partnership, LLC (limited liability company, or corporation. Each has different qualifiers and requirements and each structure comes with its own set of pros and cons. It may be worth speaking to a solicitor or even an accountant to figure out which is best for your business. If you are just starting out then the chances are it’ll either be a sole proprietorship or partnership until your business grows. 

What Is Your Business Called?

You might already have an idea of what you want to call your business but if you don’t now is the time to start thinking about it more seriously. You can’t really trade or advertise your products or services until you know what you are called. Choosing your business name has to be one of the most exciting parts of setting up your business too. Have a sit down with any partners, do some research, and start playing around with some names. You should always check that names haven’t already been taken so they don’t infringe on anyone’s copyright or trademark. Once you have your business name you need to register it. You should also think about purchasing a domain name. This way you can ensure that you have a domain for your business, even if you don’t start planning your website just yet. 

Create Your Financial Plan

Most businesses need to have some cash flow in the beginning to get things running therefore, you must think about putting a financial plan in place. Before any profits roll in you are likely going to need to have some savings put to one side. If you have a family it may take you a while to save the money you need, however, it’s not too early to start your plan. Even if you aren’t ready to start your business full-time, looking into the finances behind will not only help you to get started but will also give you an idea of how successful your business could potentially be in the future. 

You should look at things like: 

  • How much it would cost to run your business for 6 to 12 months?
  • How much it would cost to get all the equipment that you need?
  • The cost of any training needed to improve your skills. 
  • How much any materials or stock will cost you?
  • How much marketing will cost you month-to-month?
  • Do you need to pay wages? 
  • Whether you will be paying yourself or putting everything back into the business. 

Once you have looked at your financial plan you will be able to look at funding options. Depending on your business type, there will be many different ways that you can secure funding. These will include: 

  • Investors
  • Grants
  • Personal Loans
  • Business Loans
  • Crowd Funding
  • Savings 
  • And More. 

When you have a plan for this, you will be able to set realistic goals for the type and level of funding that you will need for your business to run smoothly and be successful. Make sure you have a business plan in place to show to potential investors and banks. 

Do You Need Permits Or Licenses?

T is essential that you check with your local government to see if any permits or licences are required for you to run your business. There will be different restrictions depending on the type of business and the areas you are running your business. For example, if you are baking cakes you may need to obtain a health and safety certificate and undergo inspections before you are able to sell your cakes to the public for a profit. Before you sell anything make sure you have the ones that you need to be a legally trading business. 

Think About Marketing Your Business 

You probably won’t be successful with your business if you don’t think about marketing. You could have the best business idea and business in the world, but if you don’t spread the word about it, no one will know that it exists. You need to tell people why you should choose your business and what makes your business unique. For small businesses using social media and a website are the two best ways to market their business. You can also try digital advertising, email marketing, and other content creation. In today’s world videos are a great way to market your business on a variety of platforms.  Just make sure they are well-edited and the message is correct for the target audience that you want. 

If you want to learn more about marketing your business, this video will help: 

Set Up Your Website 

With the way that the business world is nowadays, you can’t afford to not have a website in place. Having a website means that you could potentially earn a passive income, your customers have a place where they can learn about you and contact you easily, and your sales potential is higher. You no longer need to have a physical bricks and mortar store, you can essentially use an online business platform in place of bricks and mortar store. 

If you were to set up a physical store you would want it to look and run as best as it can, the same goes when you are running your website. It needs to be well-designed and appealing. You want it to look professional and stand out so it may be a good idea to speak to a professional service. 

Create Your Working Space

Before you can really get going with your business you need to make sure you have the right space to work from.  If you are planning to work from home, it will depend on how much time you are dedicating to it to how much space you want to use for your business. If you are just starting off with a few hours here and there, then sitting at the dining table or in the living room might be ok for now. However, if you are making the move for this to be a full-time career and your primary source of income, you are going to need a more permanent space to work from. It really wouldn’t be advisable to try and run your business from your lap in the living room, you need to have somewhere you can focus and be professional. 

If you can, try and have a separate space in your home where you can dedicate it to your business. If it’s private then it’s even better but a small space with a screen could work in a large room. When you have a working space you can sit down and focus, it gives you the right frame of mind for your business and will help distractions stay at a minimum. Also if you need to use equipment or store stock, it’s not going to be very good if you start taking over your family living spaces. You risk having a bad work-life balance when you do this. If you don’t have the space at home for an office or a desk, it might be worth looking for a rented office space or installing a garden building to use as a business. 

This short guide should help you if you are thinking about starting your own small business. Do you have any other considerations that need to be included? It would be great to hear about them in the comments below.