5 Steps to Starting a Successful Small Business

These days more people than ever are striking out on their own in business, eschewing the 9-5 and the office in exchange for being their own boss and working on their own terms.

Tips on starting a small business

If you’re thinking about setting up in business – any kind of business – there are a few important issues to consider first.

  1. What’s the plan? It’s essential to have a business plan in place before you go it alone. Many people are put off because they think a business plan has to be a laborious process. However, even something very simple will work. When things get busy it will help you remember where you’re aiming for and who you are targeting.
  2. The money stuff.  Don’t underestimate how much money you’ll need to get your business going. This shouldn’t put you off; it just reinforces the notion that sound planning is essential. Plan your cashflow cautiously and consider what you’ll do if invoices are paid late or sales are below expected. Don’t forget to understand your tax situation too and make sure you’re saving as much as you need to to avoid a nasty surprise.
  3. Start small. However much planning you do, starting your own business is a leap into the unknown to some extent.  Keep your overheads low in the early days and build gradually. For example, start off working from home rather than renting fancy offices and use freelancers to carry out non-core tasks rather than taking on permanent staff.
  4. Use online tools. Online tools and technology can expand your reach and help you save time, money and stress. Get signed up to social media sites straight away and investigate SaaS solutions that help you with tasks such as accounting and project management on a pay as you go basis.
  5. Network. The old adage goes that people buy from people so make sure you get out there and meet people rather than just working away behind a desk. Of course online tools like Twitter and LinkedIn are essential but sometimes there’s no substitute for meeting someone face to face.

These aren’t the only things you need to remember of course; there’s the legal issues, insurance, naming the business, building a brand and lots more. However, don’t get bogged down in all this. Start small; be agile and evolve as you need to and your business is all set to be a success.