Julian’s Business Tips: New Year, New Business Tips

Here are nine tips if you are thinking of starting a new business this year.

1. Evaluate yourself – honestly
Why do you want to do it? Are you the right sort of driven person? Could you cope with the lack of security? Can you afford to do it?

2. What is your business idea?
What problem will your business solve? Why will people spend money to have what you are offering?

3. Do market research.
Is there a market there already? If not, why isn’t anyone else doing it? Do your own primary research, don’t rely on Google, and talk to more people than just your friends.

4. Get feedback.
Try and get some sales – from people that don’t know you. Listen to all feedback, and welcome negative feedback as it’s how you’ll improve your prototype.

5. Make it official.
Start building relationships with key advisors – the minimum would be the bank, an accountant, a solicitor, an IT expert and an ‘experienced-pair-of-eyes’ business mentor.

6. Write your business plan.
This could just be a couple of sides of A4 for a sole-trader, but if you will need investment, premises and staff, you will need to do more.

7. Finance your business.
Talk to your advisors about the best ways to do this. Business angels, crowd funding, family & friends, savings, grants?

8. Start building your team.
Will you create a partnership, employ salaried staff or use freelancers? Think about what staff your business needs now, and also what it may need in the future. Can you easily scale up your business later?

9. And finally – grow!
Realise your work will never be done – continue to hire the best people, make the best product and build your empire. But the most important things are customers and cash – focus on these and you really will have a Happy New Year!