by J. Bayliss
When you’re starting a business from the ground up there are some building blocks that you won’t get far without. So you have your fantastic idea, and you’re ready to run with it, but before you dive into the oncoming traffic that is the market – stop, look, and listen. Wait for a gap, and then pace yourself appropriately to avoid getting squashed.
Make sure there is a gap in the market, something you can improve on, or something special about your product or service. If there is, be sure to define your business. Why were you inspired to fill this gap and who are you filling it for? A simple problem and solution relationship should be at the centre of every great idea – never lose sight of that. If someone needs to hear about your idea in a few seconds, be able to strip it down to this basic concept.
Get plenty of feedback, and listen to it. Even if it’s something you don’t want to hear. While you’re defining your business and what it does, don’t forget that the customers will have the final say as to whether what you offer is useful or not. So listen, and never stop listening. Adapt, change, scrap, recreate. Do what it takes. Write and re-write your business plan, shower critics with updated prototypes, and investors with smoothed out innovations. Find a mentor, learn from your mistakes, and learn from your successes.
Prepare to work hard. Really hard. If you believe in what you’re doing, it’s worth it. No more sick days and holidays, it’s all down to you.
4. Plan & Prepare
If you feel ready to start trading, choose the right company type for you. Incorporate, register, patent, and plan. (plan plan plan). Get your funding and finances in order, your bank account set up, have your loan paperwork at the ready for any hiccups on the road. If you’re taking risks, limited liability is usually preferable, and keeping a safety net is essential.
5. Organize, & Stay That Way
Once you’re trading, you have taxes, year ends, balance sheets, and invoices dancing around your head like foreboding sugarplums as you try to sleep at night. For an easy accounting solution that can carry you from a one man band up to 10 employees, it’s worth considering cloud accounting. Use an app, a tablet, or a laptop anywhere, anytime to keep on top of things, while all the hard work is done for you by an accountant. No paying by the hour, no finding out that your guy is in the Bahamas a week before your year end is due, and also a little help with making what you’ve got as tax efficient as possible. While you focus on your great (now well-developed) idea, someone else can focus on number crunching and send you gentle reminders if you ever need to input.
J. Bayliss is a freelance writer from Brighton, UK. They have worked as an editor of local newspaper ‘The Badger’, as a marketing executive, and with several large NGO’s and Unions in the UK. JB is currently working in-house at Crunch Accounting. They enjoy writing creatively about politics, business, and travel, and enjoys cycling, photography, and vegan cooking in their spare time.