Last week, QuickBooks gave you the first part of “9 things to research before starting your business”. We now continue on with the second part of the list which features on branding, web presence and funding, amongst others. Take a look below for more information on what you need to look out for in order to get going with your company.
Brand Your New Business
Getting your brand name out in the market is a necessity to starting and maintaining a successful business. Many media outlets are now online, but strong conventional methods still remain. Attend conventions, give away products at fairs or just start building business relationships to help grow your business. As mentioned above, the most important step in marketing your brand is to understand your target market. After figuring that out, your best practices for marketing, whether online or offline, should begin to reveal themselves.
Develop Your Overall Web Presence
In today’s market, building a web presence is almost mandatory for successful businesses. Some niche businesses may succeed without it, but the first step for many new ventures should be to set up a website. Do some research on what type of website is best for your company, and hire a web developer if you need to. Once that is established, build your social presence, maybe create a blog, and explore other online avenues. See what works for your competitors, and try to find ways to improve upon their methods. For the majority of businesses, after launching a site, a good first step is to set up multiple social media accounts; after all, it’s where the majority of consumers are, so it only makes sense for you to be there too. Once you’ve conducted your demographic research, establish yourself on the appropriate social media channels, and from there, create marketing collateral that you think will be most likely to reach and engage your target consumers.
Prepare a Plan
In order to raise capital, you’ll need a business plan written out to show to investors. Your business plan is a roadmap to success. It demonstrates how your business plans on generating revenue, and it outlines what makes your team and its offerings unique and worth an investor’s time and money. How you write your business plan will vary according to your industry, so, again, research your competitors and use their plans to shape yours. You can get advice on creating your business plan and download free templates at the UK government’s gov.uk website.
Find Sources of Funding
Unless you just won the lottery, you most likely don’t have the out-of-pocket funds to launch your business. Research whether to take out a loan, get certain investors to buy equity, or look into what grants are available for your company. Once again, the UK government’s website has everything you need to weigh up your funding options and apply for grants.
Licensing and Legal Documentation
There are certain legal documentations and licenses you will need to obtain in order to lawfully run your business. After the initial documentation of registering your business, you’ll also need to consider industry- and/or location-specific licenses. For example, if you are a restaurant that will be serving alcohol, you will need a liquor license. Gov.uk has a tool for helping you locate and apply for exactly which licenses you need.
As you’ll soon find out, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to starting your own business. Luckily, there are many resources out there to help you in your endeavours.