The Council-funded Wiltshire Business Support Service, launched in 2012, has supported 3,000 businesses, over 30% of which have been brand new start-ups. Here are the Top Ten things they recommend you consider before starting your own business:
- Sole trader or limited company ? – which you choose will impact on the tax you pay and how much legal and financial responsibility you have.
- The competition – who else is doing what you’re planning to do and how well do they do it ?
- Define your target audience – appealing to everyone appeals to no one. Focus on your target audience and style everything (from your website to your marketing campaigns) around them.
- Your business name – get this right first time as re-brands are expensive.
- Get your name out there – no point having an amazing business idea if nobody knows about it. If you lack a big marketing budget, start small and focus on building relationships.
- Your web presence – did you know that 50% of small businesses don’t have a website ? Most want one but they either think they can’t afford one or don’t have the skills to put it together themselves.
- Your USP(s) – customers will only stop buying from other businesses if you can offer something better or different.
- Funding – if you can’t secure the funding you need to launch your master plan, start small and prove the business works, then go back to the bank or investors with more evidence.
- Write a business plan – this should not be a chore but a chance to prove to yourself that every aspect of your business model works and makes sense.
- Route to market – where will your business come from ? Consider all your options from market stall to ebay, pop-up shop to mail order, to picking up business at networking events and via social media.
To keep up to date with the latest news and events, call 01225 402096, visit www.wiltshirebizsupport.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow them on Twitter @wiltshirebiz.
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