How many times have you and your pals sat around at the pub and discussed your next, 'big idea'? Once, twice, more? Whatever the number, the likelihood is that'll it'll be far greater than the number of times you've actually tried to turn your big idea into a fully-fledged business.
The reasons behind this are simple. For a significant number of people, issues regarding the length of time it takes to build a business and the finances required to get things off the ground act is a huge turnoff – which, considering the potential of some big ideas, is a massive shame.
Starting a business takes time, commitment and hard work – but if you really believe in your idea, there's no point in letting such trivial issues stand in the way. So instead of shying away from what could be the greatest career move you ever make, buckle up, read on and enjoy the thrill of turning your brilliant ideas into a profit-making business.
Sound it out
Talking about your big ideas over a pint is one thing, but actually sitting down and working out how it'd actually work is a whole different ball game.
Sounding your ideas out with someone in the know will give you a better understanding on whether or not you're onto a winner. And even though there'll always be an element of risk when setting up a new business, it's nice to eradicate as many worries as possible before you start putting your grand scheme in motion.
Putting pen to paper
Now that your idea has been sounded out and you've been given the thumbs up by those in the know, it's time to start visualising how your business is going to look.
When jotting down your ideas, be sure to consider the following points:
- Nail your mission statement: If you can't explain what your start-up does in less than 10 seconds, consider revising it. Ideally, you need to be as informative as possible, while remaining as concise as possible. Not only will this help you to pitch to potential investors, it'll also help you to sell your idea to potential customers too.
Struggling for inspiration? Check out some of the examples below:
Amazon: It's our goal to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything at Amazon.com.
Starbucks: To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.
Google: Google's mission is to organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.
- Creating your brand: From the moment you start writing things down – whether it's your mission statement or early logo designs – be sure to keep everything as uniform as possible. For example, if your mission statement has a fun, edgy tone to it, you won't want a logo that's corporate, stern and abrasive.
- Crunching the numbers: Unless you're looking to create a charity, your business will need to make money in order to succeed. Crunching the numbers can help you understand your monthly income and outgoings, while market research will undoubtedly come in handy when it comes to making some financial forecasts. Be sure to analyse the market you're entering in detail, ensuring no stone is left unturned – the last thing you want is a nasty surprise when it comes to opening your doors to the world.
Limited, sole or partnership?
Once you've ticked everything off the list above, you'll need to register your business as a limited company, sole trader or partnership. Doing this will then help you when it comes to organising your business' taxes as well as its future prospects. A brief explanation of each can be found below:
Sole traders: Registering as a sole trader with HMR&C will make you the exclusive owner of your business, meaning you are entitled to keep all profits once all taxes have been paid. Although perhaps the simplest type of business to set up, it's worth noting that if you set up as a sole trader, you'll also be liable for any losses it makes.
Limited company: Unlike a sole trader, if you incorporate a limited company, its finances will be separate to your personal accounts – making you less liable should it lose money.
Partnership: Whereas a sole trader is one person who's responsible for a business' debts and accounting responsibilities, a partnership shares these responsibilities between two or more people.
Looking to learn more about the different types of business you can register? Be sure to check out this handy site set up by the UK government to help new business owners get to grips with all the lingo, legislation and laws involved with starting a business.
Feet on the ground
You're set up, registered and ready to go – so what's next? In short, plenty, but for the time being, the best thing you can do is keep your feet on the ground.
Setting small targets and achieving big is much better than aiming big and achieving little, so be sure to be realistic when it comes to setting your business goals within the first few months. Keep an eye on your books too – as nothing tells the honest truth about a business quite like its numbers.
Remember, our blog is the one stop shop for handy money tips, so be sure to drop by the next time you find yourself in need of a little help!