Who can start a business? 10-step guide to starting a business

posted by 3 years ago in Features

Do you have an idea that you could turn into your own empire? If you’re thinking of taking on the entrepreneurial route and wondering to yourself who can start a business, you’re not alone.

Starting a business that will succeed is not an easy task to set yourself. However, the challenge can be extremely rewarding. You don’t need a degree, lots of money in the bank or even previous business experience to get started with your own business idea. The most important thing is that you have a well thought through business plan and the determination to drive your new business forward.

We’ve put together this guide to help you understand who can start a business and what you need to consider in the process.

1. Why do you want to start your own business?

This is one of the most important questions you must ask yourself and you must be honest with your answer. Understanding why you want to start a business will build the foundations for how your business operates.

So, why do you want to start a business? These are some of the most common reasons why entrepreneurs start their own business;

  • Extra money to boost current income.
  • To help improve family-life balance.
  • Working around a young family.
  • Fed up with the 9-5 day job and looking for more freedom.
  • A business idea that is just niggling away at you.
  • Finding a gap in the market.

Do you fit into one of these reasons? Or are you still wondering who can start a business? You can start a business! Establishing why you want to start a business is just the beginning of your journey. Consider asking yourself;

  • What are you passionate about?
  • What skills do you have?
  • What are your strong points and where are your expertise?
  • What kind of lifestyle do you want?
  • How much capital does your business idea?
  • How much money do you personally have to invest in your your new venture?
  • What does success look like to you?
  • Are you prepared for failure?
  • Are you ready to be an entrepreneur?

There is a lot to consider, but don’t let this put you off! It’s better to have taken everything into consideration and get started on the right foot.

2. What’s your business idea?

Are you someone who already has solid business idea? Or are you trying to establish what business idea to go with? Either way, it’s a good idea to start off brainstorming and getting everything in your head down on paper – things can look different or become clearer!

What are you looking to achieve in your new business?

  • Solutions. Fix something that’s been bugging you?
  • Skills. Is an industry behind the times and your skills could take it to the next level?
  • Better. Do you believe you can do something even better, for less money and quicker?
  • What’s the next big thing?

Where does your new business idea fit in? Focus on what you’re trying to achieve, why and who will benefit. Once you understand this, your market research will help you further.

3. Have you done your market research?

Market research is an absolute must for anyone looking to build a new business idea.

Why is market research so import?

Market research allows you to go out there and understand what’s currently available in your chosen sector. By doing this, you can gain an understanding of what’s currently on offer and how it’s approached by existing businesses. There are a number of factors to take into account when doing your market research;

  • What’s the demand like?
  • Is the industry saturated?
  • How are you going to approach your audience?
  • What’s your unique selling point?
  • Is anyone else doing it? If not, is there a reason why?

Conducting market research on your competition is key to understanding what your business objectives are. Types of market research include;

  • Primary research. Start your research by analysing your competitors effectiveness in the marketplace. What is their current sales performance? What are their plans for the future? Find out more by conducting interviews, surveys, questionnaires and focus groups. The more information you can collect, the better understanding you will have.
  • Do not stop there! Secondary research. Start analysing published data and begin establishing benchmarks against your competitors. Gain insight into your target demographic – how old are they, what do they do for a living, what’s their lifestyle and interests.

This will guide you into driving your new business venture in the right direction with a strategic approach.

4. What do your friends and family think?

Now you may have an understand of what your business offering is going to be, ask those nearest and dearest what they think. Whilst their opinion will be massively important to you, don’t just take their word for it. This is a common mistake lots of new entrepreneurs make. It’s imperative that you reach out to a wider audience and get neutral feedback.

Get more feedback. There are multiple ways of doing this, you can take the lean startup approach. This involves taking your product or service to market at a controlled level, gaining feedback and then acting upon that before going again. It can be a slow process taking this approach.

Alternatively, you may want to allow potential customers to interact with your offering and get their feedback. A great way to understand if you need to make any improvements before going to market.

Naturally your friends and family will want to give you their advice, which could prove useful. Don’t under estimate the power of neutral feedback.

5. Ready to go? Make your business official!

Still asking yourself who can start a business? Well, you can! Now you have an idea, it’s time to decide upon your business name and start putting all the legalities in place.

Put a checklist together of what actions you need to take to do this. These may include;

  • Business structure (limited, partnership, sole trader).
  • Business name.
  • Registering your business with HMRC.
  • Do you need a license to operate?
  • Trademarks, patents or copyrights.
  • Startup bank account.
  • Business insurance.

It’s advisable to seek professional advice to ensure that you have your business requirements covered.

6. Write your business plan today.

Get your plans down in writing, setting timescales, costs, resource requires and expected returns.

A startup business plan is a document that helps keep you focused. Typically a new business plan will include a description of the business, it’s objective and product offering.

Include details on your target audience and an evaluation of the market. How is your team structured and what are their roles within the business.

More importantly include, your projected income, profit and cash flow projections.

7. How are you going to finance your business?

Whether you have £0 or £10,000 to get your business going, consider your business finances before you start.

How can you start a business without investment?

Starting your own business with no money is not impossible. From starting on a shoe-string budget, obtaining grants to go out crowd-funding for your business idea. There are so many options available!

You may be wondering if or what type of grants can I get to start a business? Grants are typically providing by region, HMRC is a good place to find out what options are available in your area.

There are many crowd-funding solutions available, the UKCFA will help you understand what crowdfunding is and how you can get started.

8. Where is your startup business going to be based?

Try and keep costs to a minimum when starting out, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and before you know it, you’ve over committed.

Where does your business need to be to get started? Can you work from a home office or co-working space? Do you need a retail premise or warehouse? Your premise requirements will be entirely dependant upon your business purpose, number of staff and costs.

Think about starting small with a short-term commitment and then grow your commercial premise inline with your business needs. Unnecessary overheads can be crippling to a new business.

9. Developing your business product or service.

Congratulations you’ve taken your business to market, pretty awesome! Don’t stop there, the key to success is to continue building on your business offering.

Continue to repeat your market research efforts and find ways to improve your product or service. Whether you’ve been buying and reselling products and now want to explore manufacturing to cutting out the middle-man in a serviced environment.

Enhancing and developing your business can help reduce costs and drive an increase in profit.

10. Drive sales!

It doesn’t matter what business sector you’re in, generating revenue is pivotal to the future of your business.

There are so many different ways you can drive sales both online and offline. Remain focused and write a marketing plan to devise the best strategy for your business needs.