The past year has been one of the most disruptive in recent memory, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, you might think that this is not the ideal time to finally launch that business you’ve been dreaming of.
In actuality, nothing could be further from the truth. We’ve all had to toughen up over the last year – and that toughness could be the perfect drive you need to get a business off the ground.
Why 2021 Could Be The Perfect Time To Start A Business
The pandemic has brought consumers round to new ways of shopping, which could be perfect for a budding entrepreneur to take advantage of. It has also posed new problems which you could consider using your business to solve.
You can find many great examples of this in the restaurant sector. Many businesses have survived and even thrived as takeaway-only places, where before the pandemic, this type of restaurant was by far in the minority.
Choose Something You Love
Doing what you love can be invaluable in ensuring business success. Determining what you can do that you will truly thrive and enjoy should be the first step that you take when starting a business.
Consider your hobbies and passions and see where they could translate to a tangible business. What are you good at? What do you enjoy talking about or know a lot about?
A good example could be a business creating knitted garments. With the right skills, there is a significant demand for handcrafted goods. You could consider starting with a few items, offering commission and then branching out to selling knitting supplies and kits to other would-be knitters.
Preparation Is Crucial
You will need to be fully prepared before you start your business. This should include a comprehensive business plan. You can find examples of business plans for free online if you are unsure of how to start. You should know, as far as possible, precisely what your costs and projected revenue will be. Understanding your business plan inside and out can be one of the most critical elements to a successful start up.
Don’t Quit Your Job Too Soon
Where possible, you should aim to keep working in your current job for as long as possible. It might be tempting to quit to allow yourself to focus on your business plan, but you might find that this could lead to months without any income. This could be disastrous for anyone relying on savings to kickstart their business.
Instead, you could try to work around your job, quitting only when you are sure your business is prepared and ready to go.
Be Prepared For Hard Work
The first few months of any start up can be challenging. This is likely to be even more true in 2021 due to people still dealing with reduced incomes. You should be prepared to work hard, often for little return initially. This is why having solid funding and savings is essential for those first months in business.
It is essential not to allow those first months to dishearten you – many entrepreneurs have been in your position and gone on to thrive. Tenacity and drive will help you to make your business a success.
You may have to make sacrifices and live frugally initially, but once your business is off the ground and you start to see returns on your investment, the struggle to get there will have been well worth it.
Know Your Market
Market research is vital for any business. Once you have decided what your business will be, you should start researching what your target audience wants. This is why doing what you love can be so helpful, since you will already have an idea of your market’s demands and requirements.
Even if you’re sure you know the market reasonably well, you should still do your homework into your target audience’s demographics and shopping habits. You could consider finding a niche in the market that is currently being under-served. Filling a niche in the market is one of the best ways to target a specific audience and get your product or service out there.
Ask For Advice
It can help to have a fresh set of eyes look over your plans and give you feedback and advice. If you know someone who has started their own successful business, this could be perfect. You could ask to show them your business plan, provided you trust them, and see if they have any ideas or can identify any issues with your plans.
You could also consider making use of online forums and discussion boards. There are plenty of forums devoted to business leaders asking for and providing advice. This can be a great way to get an objective opinion about your business. However, it is worth remembering that you should be careful how much you give away of your business plan and sensitive information online.
Funding is essential for any start up. It can seem daunting to find the best funding – there are so many options out there. You may be lucky enough to have enough savings set aside to self-fund, but many of us are not that fortunate.
You could consider government loans for your business, though these can come with exacting requirements and may not be for everyone.
You could also look into start up business loans to get your business off the ground. These are government-backed loans that provide a cash injection to help you with initial costs such as stock, premises and marketing.
Capalona is an excellent example of the kind of finance broker you should consider to find start up loans. They can provide help and advice to people of all backgrounds and financial backing, perfect to get your start up matched with the right funding to succeed.
You should ensure that you have the advice and help of a professional accountant when starting your business and as you go. An accountant is crucial to ensure that you run your business profitably and also in accordance with the law. They will be able to keep your business up to date with taxes, VAT and use their expertise to advise you on money matters.
While it can be tempting to save the costs of an accountant, a mistake in your accounts can be disastrous down the line. For your own peace of mind, it is a good idea to enlist the help of an accountant. It will also free up your time, allowing you to focus on what you do best – running your business.
It may be tempting to go in big when starting a business. You should consider instead starting small, with a niche as mentioned above. This will help you ensure you don’t bite off more than you can chew and put you in an excellent position to learn as you go without being overwhelmed.
You should consider starting with a few select products or services. You can then branch out as your business takes off and as you feel prepared and ready to do so. This can make all the difference in ensuring that your business is a success.
Outsource Where You Can
Outsourcing can be a great way to allow you to focus on generating income and hype about your business. You should consider outsourcing tasks such as admin and accounting, as mentioned previously. This can be invaluable in giving you the time you need to focus on your start up. You will also receive the benefits of skilled professionals, which is particularly useful if your business is not yet in a position to hire staff.
A good marketing strategy is essential for any new business. You could consider both traditional and digital marketing to get your business out there. What you use will largely depend on the types of media your target audience consumes the most, but an excellent place to start is social media.
You should ensure that your business has profiles on all the major social media platforms and post engaging content to attract and engage with followers. Word of mouth through social media can be an excellent way to attract new customers and get your business noticed.
If in doubt, you should consider getting professional advice or outsource your marketing. Marketing is a vital part of getting your business known, and generating brand awareness, so you can’t afford to let it fall by the wayside.
Recruit The Best Talent
When you can, you should ensure that you hire the best people for the roles in your company. While you may not have much money to spare for employees to begin with, you could still lay the groundwork by making your business an attractive place to work.
For many people, salary isn’t the only significant factor in choosing a business to work for. Having a positive work culture can be an excellent advantage for any business, and you can start developing this from the very start.
Showing that you are committed to an employee’s training and development while they work for you can be another excellent way to attract and retain the best talent.