Lots of us dabble with the idea of becoming our own boss and setting up a business, but not all of us have the know-how or determination to actually go through with it. If you’ve decided to take the plunge, you’re probably feeling a range of emotions, from enthusiasm to unease. It’s an overwhelming experience and you will need to do lots of research and planning before you get started. Here are five things to think about in the meantime.
1. Your Branding
Consider what values you want your business to represent, your name, company colours and your logo. Get somebody creative onboard to help you with this if it’s not really your area of expertise. Figure out the demographic of your target audience, like their age and their interests, and do some competitor research so you know what your brand is up against. See if you can establish what works in the industry and what doesn’t so that you know what to replicate and what to avoid.
2. Registering with HMRC
When running your own business, there are lots of ways you can operate. The two main options are sole traders and limited businesses, which each have their pros and cons. Once you have decided your brand name and how you’d like to operate, then you can register your business with HMRC so that you don’t run into any tax related issues.
Speaking of tax; you will need to have your finances in order if you’re hoping to succeed as a business owner. It might be worth hiring an accountant to help you with this if you’re not really a numbers person.
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Keep receipts of everything you buy for the business so that you can claim your tax back on them. However, be wise about your spending in the early stages, until you’ve started to make a profit.
4. Getting a Website Set Up
Speak to a web development agency and have a professional website built for your business. This should load quickly and work well across all different types of devices. You will also need well-written content on each page of your site, containing relevant keywords. An agency will be able to give you plenty of useful advice when it comes to getting your website seen online.
You can’t expect your prospective customers to know you exist if you don’t invest in some marketing. There are free options, like organic social media, but this will take a lot longer than paying for one or two different marketing strategies. You could go with PPC ads, flyers, branded merchandise, emails and many, many other options. Don’t be alarmed if your marketing efforts don’t lead to immediate results, these things take time and you may have to experiment with a few different strategies until you find something that works.