So you’re going to start a business. According to BLS data, 20% of businesses fail in the first two years, with a further 45% failing in five years and 65% during the first ten years. In fact, only 25% of new businesses make it beyond 15 years. None of these statistics should put anyone off, because nearly every business falls at a very basic hurdle. If you want to survive in the business world, the basics need to be adhered to. In this article, we’re going to talk about all the tips you need to know before starting your first business, from simple tools like a brand name generator to more complex practices such as finance control. Starting with the most key tip of all:
Have An Existential Crisis
Have a what? An existential crisis, that’s what. Okay, we don’t mean questioning the beginning of the universe or how on earth nearly six million years of evolution has led us to Keeping Up With The Kardashians. We mean your own existential crisis. Why does your business exist? Where do you belong in the business world? What problems are you solving, and do you really need to exist in this specific space? When it comes to giving tips to start a new business, this is the most crucial. Every business must define their business concept and know for sure why they exist and how they will solve an ongoing problem for their customers.
Conduct Market Research Again… And Again… And Again
Once this is understood, it’s time to do your market research. What’s that? You’ve already done your market research? Well, do it again. And again. Seriously, the business market is constantly changing. One moment a number of customers only want one thing. In the next, some new technology has got rid of the problem, and the trend has swung in the opposite direction. As well as this, the market you are entering might become saturated more quickly than you think. In the UK alone, there are an average of 90 new businesses being created every hour, which means a market can become overcrowded very quickly.
Dig In The Brand
Next, you need to dig into your brand. By that, we mean make your brand the root of everything you do. While we have mentioned a brand name generator – which admittedly can be very helpful to immediately formulate a strong name – building a brand goes beyond the name itself. It should be everywhere, from your website to your offices, to your content. This also applies to your social media pages. In 2023, social media is essentially the second home for every business, where you can engage with your customers and create an online community.
This is where your brand needs to be really strong. If your product is suddenly trending, a customer should be able to recognise and be drawn to the brand it is representing. For this reason, the brand needs to be keenly thought-through and good enough to engage customers, simultaneously allowing them to differentiate your business from its competitors.
Follow The Rules
Getting a little more complicated – and dull – every business needs to ensure that they follow the rules and do everything they can to control their finances and follow regulations. One of the most crucial aspects of this is planning for taxes. Taxes are very complex, and you need to know what taxes you need to pay as a small business. These will include sales tax, property tax, income tax, self-employment tax, the list goes on. Once these are planned for, you can get your finances in order, hire a bookkeeper and start to ensure your budget is looking agreeable. You must also look into all of the wide-spanning and local regulations that you will need to follow to stay operational in your chosen location.
Set Up Your Headquarters
Speaking of location, you need to set up shop and know exactly where you need to be. Where is your target market? What city or place is best suited for your business to exist? Similarly, if you are going to be remotely working and running the business from home, you need to ensure that your website is fully operational and accessible – this is, after all, going to be the online version of a physical shop. There is a power to visual storytelling, so web design must also be focused on to make sure it looks good, and customers want to linger on the page – it takes around ten seconds for a potential customer to click off a website, so the aesthetics are crucial.
No matter whether you’re in a physical location or working online, you will also need to assemble your Avengers, which means building a team of superheroes who know the sector inside out and are actively engaged in what you are trying to achieve. Look for job applications that stand out from the crowd, with applicants who are passionate about the sector and are motivated to do a good job. If you do this, then you are in a great position to start growing your brand and becoming a dominant entity in your chosen space.
As mentioned before, setting up a company is no easy feat, especially in the current climate that we find ourselves in. But one way to give yourself the best chance of survival is a road-map that covers the basics. Concept, research, branding, regulations and the building of a hub and a team. These are the things that will prove crucial on your journey to becoming a fully fledged business.