Business Start-up basics – a simple check list for when you are first starting out. Posted In: Business Start-up and Growth 31 Mar 2010

One of the most important things you can ever learn about business is the basics of a business start-up. When you have the confidence to get things started the right way from the outset, it will make all the difference in the work you do. Careful planning is fundamental to the success you have with your business. Planning doesn’t end on start-up as there will still be many things to plan and prepare for all through your business owning life.

When you want to plan a successful small start up, it’s important to consider these points:

  • Be Realistic – project plan your time and who will do what. Each member of the business should have a role and a list of responsibilities that go with this role. This is what will keep you all on task so that you are achieving realistic goals for the business and the start-up process.
  • Legal Administration – No one likes this, but be sure to understand the requirements for company registration at Companies House plus tax, VAT and reporting to HMRC.  Both organizations have detailed easy(ish) websites to use.  Take some time to read them.
  • Marketing – Blog, website, articles, and press releases are all ways that you can market the new start-up business online. No matter how large or small the business, there are ways that you can benefit from online marketing. It’s also very cost-effective which is important for a start-up that is likely to be on a limited budget.  One other tip – if you are completely new to these areas enter the key terms in your favorite search engine with “how to create” before it – e.g. how to create a blog and you will find some great free resources on precisely that.
  • Selling – cold calls, emails, flyers, and advertising will all be part of the selling process. It’s a tried and true process that must be done.  Some one in your start-up team (if there is a “team” and its not just you) will hopefully enjoy the “sell”.  Its selling that drives the business forward – understand who will do it and how.
  • Working!  What product or service are you delivering? When, how, where, and in what time to complete? What benefit will your product or service offer to the customer or client? These are important aspects of the working process of your start-up. These are the processes that will become habitual over time but when you are just starting out, you need a solid plan to remain on task and keep all employees and staff on task as well.
  • Finance – Do it yourself or get an accountant/bookkeeper but be sure to maintain your financial records.  Remember cash is king. It’s important that you manage your cash properly and that you know where everything is going out or coming in and what for. It may sound obvious but it’s a part of the business start-up that some business owners forget about while they are distracted making sure everything else if going off properly.  This cant be overstated – if nothing else simply write out all your expenses and take that total away from all your likely income – hopefully you got a positive number!

When you consider these business basics, you will give yourself a fighting chance to start your business with your eyes wide open.  There will be bumps and surprises along the way; with a bit foresight you have a better chance of coping with them.