Taking a business from just an idea randomly floating around in your mind and transforming that idea into a full-fledged company is a big deal. Starting a business takes perseverance, lots and lots of effort, plus the willingness to take a chance on your idea and work hard until it becomes a reality.
Launching a business is all-consuming, there is just so much to consider, so many decisions to be made, and your to-do list is probably longer than your arm. When you are so focused on nurturing your business dream and making it a reality, it is easy to forget a few things along the way. Focusing on the fundamentals to get your business off the ground is, of course, essential. But, to give your business the best chance of success, and to mitigate the risk of any early disasters, it is wise to pay some attention to the following as well:
Insurance is something that many people overlook until they need to make a claim and then realize that they have forgotten to set up a policy. It is far better to arrange adequate insurance cover for your business before you start trading so that in the unlikely event that you do make a claim, it will be easy to resolve. You certainly don’t want to cover the cost of something breaking or a theft out of your start-up budget.
Research shows that 40 per cent of small businesses will need to claim over the next ten years. This includes both property and liability claims and demonstrates the importance of arranging insurance cover and making sure that you have an appropriate level of cover in case you need it.
When you pick up the keys to your new business premises, you will probably be impatient to get in and begin fitting it out so that it is ready to open as soon as possible. Before you spend money fitting out your shop or office, it is a wise idea to ensure that the building is running as it should be before you start to spend money on fixtures and fittings. Checking that the fundamental elements of the building are functioning correctly is essential. Getting everything checked over should help to minimize the risk of unexpected problems arising. For example, getting your electrics checked by a local electrician should help mitigate any unforeseen issues such as a power failure on your opening day.
Once you have had everything checked out, it is vital to remember to keep up with building maintenance so that you won’t fall victim to any unexpected problems.
Appearances are everything, especially when your business is being seen for the first time. Just like a website, your workplace has to look the part and be representative of the business in the best way possible. With that being said, it might be worth taking a look at what your workplace looks like from the outside and inside too. Perhaps your exteriors could do with a covered walkway and your interiors a new paint job? These changes can often make a big difference in the appearance of the business.
Branding is another often overlooked element of starting a business. Many new business owners believe that branding is something best left to larger, more established companies. No business is too small to need branding. All businesses need branding regardless of their size. Time spent building your brand is well worth the investment in the future success of your business.
In many ways, branding makes it easier to run a successful small business. This is because a strong brand enables you to keep your business focused and makes it easier to make decisions, as any decisions that you make will need to align with your brand.
Branding involves so much more than just having a logo; that logo and the personality that you create around it are crucial to developing brand recognition, brand loyalty, and ensuring that your products stand out from your competitors.
Successful branding brings something extra to your products, that goes far beyond the product itself, its benefits, and its uses. This is the reason that people are happy to pay more for branded goods than unbranded. Building a brand will help to drive your business to long term success by making your products more attractive to consumers, and helping to encourage brand loyalty.
When planning to launch your business, you may feel that a website is something that can wait for a little while, and can be tackled at a later date after you have found your feet a little. However, it is best to have a website up and running before your business even opens so that you can begin to establish it and start to get your name out there for the world to see.
Nowadays, a quick internet search is a primary way that most people go about researching products and services. If you don’t have a website, you will be missing out on chances to attract new customers.
Even if your business operates on a local level, it is vital to have a website; as you can be sure that your competitors do, so you may be putting yourself at a disadvantage by being without one. Creating a website right from the start will help you to begin working on your search engine optimization (SEO) and will start the process of building your search engine rankings.
Don’t forget to keep your website design consistent with your branding. As your website is in many ways, a visual representation of your brand, and the ideal place to showcase your products to a broader audience, it is vital that your website strengthens your brand.
The final thing that so many new business owners overlook is the need to delegate. No one person can do everything themselves, that would simply be impossible. If you have hired employees to help you with your business, you need to make sure that you allow them to rather than taking on everything yourself. Although your business is your priority and you want to work as hard as possible to make it a success you will need to take some time off at some point. While it may be ok to work a 50 hour week right now, this is not something that you will be able to sustain into the future. Of all the things that you could overlook when setting up a business, make sure that one of them isn’t yourself.