Starting a small business can be both exciting and challenging. To help you navigate the process and increase your chances of success, we have compiled our top 20 steps for aspiring entrepreneurs. Whether you have a brilliant business idea or are already in the early stages of launching your venture, these steps will provide valuable guidance to set you on the path to success. They are tried and tested both by us and our customers, so we know they work.
Build a Strong Support Network: Surround yourself with a supportive network of mentors, advisors, and fellow entrepreneurs. Attend networking events, join industry-specific associations, and leverage online communities to learn from others, gain insights, and seek guidance when needed. The next couple of years are going to be tough and you will need great people around you.
Market Research: is the single most important step in setting up a business. You must understand who your customers will be, what product or service they want to buy, how they want to buy it and what they’re willing to pay for it. Please read our guide to Market Research it may be the best thing you do before setting up your business!
Define Your Business Idea: Use your Market Research to clearly define your business idea and to identify your target market. Understand the problem you are solving, the value you bring, how your product or service will meet customer needs and where you fit into the market. Conduct additional market research to validate your idea and assess the competition.
Define your Product or Service: Now it’s time to finalise your product or service, define it, make it, practise it, and decide how you’re going to present it or deliver it to your customers.
Decide on your Geography: Elect where you are going to trade, locally, nationally, internationally, online, face to face, or through third parties. Whatever you decide, use your Market Research, as whatever you decide makes a huge difference to the next steps.
Work out what you need to buy: Do you need premises, a van, equipment, staff, storage, IT, software, or other industry specific items. Now is the time to get costs for everything you are going to need to deliver your product or service.
Pricing and Costing: Working out your costings, overheads, margins, and prices is critical to the success of a business. You need to know what it costs to deliver your product or service and how much people are prepared to pay for it. Visit our guide to Setting Product and Service Margins and Prices to help you on your way.
Write a Business Plan: Now you know what you’re selling, who to and what you need to sell it, developing a comprehensive business plan is crucial. Outline your goals, strategies, financial projections, and marketing approaches. A well-structured business plan serves as a roadmap and helps attract potential investors or secure funding from financial institutions. Read our guide to small business, business plans here.
Funding: Assess your financial needs and explore funding options available to you. These may include personal savings, loans, grants, or investment from friends, family, or angel investors. Create a detailed financial plan to track your expenses, cash flow, and profitability.
Choose a Business Name: Choosing the right name for your business is a big decision that can impact your brand identity, customer perception, and legal obligations. In the UK, there are regulations surrounding business names for companies, and trademarking your company name can provide additional protection.
Pick a Company Structure: Choosing the right legal entity is a critical decision for a business owner. The legal structure you choose will impact your business’s liability, taxation, ownership, and overall operations. To help you navigate this process, we have created a guide that outlines the main legal entities available in the UK and provides information to assist you in making an informed choice, click below.
Understand Legal and Regulatory Requirements: Familiarise yourself with the legal and regulatory requirements specific to your industry and business structure. Obtain necessary licenses or permits, and ensure compliance with tax obligations, employment laws, and data protection regulations.
Take out Business Insurances: Protecting your business from unexpected risks and liabilities is crucial. Business insurance provides the necessary coverage to safeguard your assets, finances, and reputation. We explain all in
Set up Bookkeeping: Bookkeeping and having a great bookkeeper are crucial to maintain accurate financial records, track expenses, and ensure compliance with tax regulations, especially Making Tax Digital. Choosing the right bookkeeping software and bookkeeper can save you time and provide valuable insights into your business’s financial health.
Buy a web Domain: Securing the right domain name is important for your business. It establishes your online presence, enhances brand identity, and helps drive website traffic. Read our guide on buying a domain name where we walk you through the whole process.
Build a Website: In today’s digital age, establishing a strong online presence is essential. Create a professional website that showcases your products or services, integrates e-commerce capabilities if applicable, and engages customers through informative content. At Juggle! we build websites for all sizes and types of business. To see how we can help you
Write a Marketing Plan: Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy to reach your target market and generate leads. Utilise a mix of online and offline marketing channels, such as social media advertising, content marketing, email campaigns, search engine optimisation (SEO), and local networking events. Track and analyse the effectiveness of your marketing efforts to optimise results.
Set up Social Media: Social media has become an integral part of marketing strategy for business owners. It allows you to connect with your target audience, build brand awareness, and drive engagement. If you’d like to know more, read
Sign up for CRM Software: Customer Relationship Management Software is really important to keeping track of your customers, your communication with them and to store their details securely. Search for names like HubSpot, Popcorn, and Zoho, and find the solution that suits your customer base best.
Outsource the jobs that will get in your way: Getting someone to do all the jobs in your business that get in the way of you delivering your product or service is really important. Outsourcing offers several advantages, such as cost-effectiveness, access to specialised expertise, and improved operational efficiency. Contact us to see how Outsourcing can help your business.
You have your product or service ready to go, you know who you’re selling to, how you’re going to reach them and have a great network around you. All you must do now is deliver exceptional customer experiences and build strong relationships with your customers.
Starting a small business requires careful planning, determination, and adaptability. By following these steps, you can lay a strong foundation for your venture and increase your chances of long-term success.
We are here to help you every step of the way with experts on hand to advise or do it for you. If you’d like a free hour of our time, just contact us, we’d love to speak to you. And don’t forget to subscribe for more great business information and insight.