How To Start A New Business
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Here we are again at the beginning of a brand-new year!

This time of year often makes people take stock of their lives and create new goals. If you’ve decided that this year is going to be the year you start your own business, you might be wondering where you should even start.

Last year we posted a blog called Business Goals for The New Year – but what if you don’t yet have a business? What if starting a business is your goal for this year?

You might be thinking:
• How do I start?
• Where do I begin?
• What do I need to consider?
• Am I even capable of doing this?

This blog will apply to you if you’re starting a business from scratch or if you’re looking to include a new venture in your business.

There are times in life when it’s best not to overthink or plan, and instead just dive in with both feet. Starting a business is not one of them! When starting a business, planning and carefully considering your options is the best way to ensure success in the long term.

Read on to discover what you should consider and keep in mind as you take your first steps into the unknown.

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I won’t lie to you – there are going to be tough times ahead if you go ahead with starting a business. There will also be brilliant, bright, happy times, but tough times, nonetheless.

Having a reason why at the forefront of your mind can help keep you going when you find yourself getting bogged down and stressed.

It’s a good idea to make sure that your ‘why’ is tangible in some way – consider writing it down somewhere visible or even create a vision board. Your reason for embarking on this business journey will help keep you on the right path when you feel as though you’re struggling!

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“Finance” can be a scary word. If you’re not a mathematically minded person, you might shy away from the whole idea of budgeting and just keep your fingers crossed that it will work out.
You can do a task simply for the love of it, but that won’t pay the bills. For your business to be sustainable long-term, it needs to generate income.

Carefully planning out your finances is a must if you are going to take a leap of faith into the unknown.

• How are you going to stay afloat if you go through a rough patch?
• Do you have the money necessary to get things off the ground?
• Will you make enough to cover your expenses but also make a living for yourself?

If you haven’t already, you might be interested in reading our blog “How to Maintain a Healthy Cash Flow” which should give you a good starting point!

If you don’t know where to begin, it might be worth looking into finding an accountant or business coach who can guide you through what you’ll need to do to make sure you keep your finances in check.

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In a world where new businesses are created daily, what is going to make you stand out? Why should someone come to your business instead of another?

Don’t think of your USP (Unique Selling Point) as purely a marketing ploy – think of it as an opportunity to have a lot of fun. Creating a business that is unique and doing something no one else does can be incredibly rewarding.

Your individuality could be something that you offer that no one else does, or that you offer something in a different way to other similar companies. We’ve listed some examples in case you’re struggling to think of what could make your business unique:

• A sustainable alternative to a product already on the market
• Making something commonly difficult/complicated (for example crafting or cooking) simple and easy
• A more inclusive version of a product which has traditionally excluded certain groups of people
• Offering a product which is typically expensive in a more affordable way (beware: make sure that low-cost doesn’t mean low quality!)
• A product which has ethical benefits (e.g. the sales of which partially fund a community project or charity)

When thinking of what makes your business unique, remember that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You don’t have to think of something that has never been done before in history – you just need to have something which will help you stand out from the masses and from your closest competitors.

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One of the best skills you can develop as a business owner is being able to admit it when you don’t know something. We all have our blind spots and gaps in our knowledge. Knowing about those weak spots gives you the power to do something about them.

Is there any training you can undertake before you launch your business to make sure you get off to a good start?

Are there any gaps in your knowledge that you’d like to patch up, so you are in the best position possible to launch your business?

Everyone has gaps in their knowledge, but it’s far better to face up to these gaps and address them than bury your head in the sand and pretend you know everything!

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Your branding is your business’ identity. What kind of identity do you want it to have?

This is (for some) the most fun part of launching a business, so you may have already thought of this before.
If you haven’t, however, it’s worth spending some time thinking about your branding so that you’re not just throwing it together at the last minute. If you’re struggling for ideas, it might be useful to consult a professional to help you put together your branding principles.

A marketing professional can help you put together the visual aspects of your business that the world will see such as your brand colours, logo, and fonts.

The visual aspects of your business are what will help convey your brand’s overall identity, so it’s worth taking the time to think it through!

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Along with your branding, the values that you instil in your brand are part of what creates your company’s identity.

If someone were to offer you an underhanded way of getting ahead, would you take it? Would you be willing to go to any extreme to guarantee success?

Or would you want to operate on a system of complete honesty and candour with your customers? Would you want your business to be known for its inclusivity?

It’s important to know your own personal values because they will become the values of your business. Which of your own values do you want to pass onto your business when you launch?

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You may be starting a one-man-band kind of business where you are solely responsible for what happens, but you may also wish to consider having a team from the offset.

Whether you’re planning on hiring people from the start or hiring people as you develop, it’s worth thinking about what kind of team you’d like/need and how you are going to manage that team.

Consider:
• What are you likely to need help with further on down the road?
• How are you going to lead your team if you have one?
• If you’re planning to go it alone, are you going to be able to spin all the different plates that are necessary when running a business?

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You wouldn’t go for a long walk without having even a vague idea of where you’d like to end up and starting a business shouldn’t be any different!

It’s completely OK to not know exactly where you want to go at this stage. But in order to make decisions effectively, you will need to know at least the general direction you want your business to take.

• Do you want to launch an online business that will develop into a physical shop?
• Do you want to expand your team?
• Do you want to explore launching new products or services?

Be aware that your destination may change as you go along – and this is completely OK! Your destination doesn’t have to be set in stone; it just needs to be a roughly drawn map that you can use when you’re feeling lost.

If you’ve been thinking of launching your own business, hopefully this has given you an idea of what you should be considering before embarking on your adventure! Don’t forget – we have other blog posts that are aimed at small businesses so make sure that you check back frequently for more advice.