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Tips for starting a business

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Running your own business has many benefits, such as greater flexibility, more control over your work/life balance and a greater sense of reward. It also allows you to bring your own ideas to market or take advantage of your years of experience.

Starting up a new business however can be challenging. If you’re thinking of taking the plunge in 2022, here are some tips on how to start up a business and where to find support, giving you the confidence to become your own boss.

 

Find your niche

Finding your niche is essentially doing some market research around your idea for a business or product and realising your unique sales proposition (USP). This is important in today’s entrepreneurial landscape, as having a novel idea is more likely to gain attention and potential investors, than an idea or product that is already on the market or has been done numerous times before. If you have a novel concept or technology, something that has truly not been done before, then it is worth protecting your new intellectual property. This is so that other businesses cannot copy your idea and product, specialist law firms like  Bailey Walsh & Co can help with IP legal matters.

With a business’s USP being as important as it is, doing market research prior to starting your business is crucial in improving your chances of success. Competitor research will also benefit your new business in the long run, by giving your business a solid marketing angle to gain customers with, by knowing how your competitors are performing.

On the flipside, you may have worked for someone else for several years and feel that you have enough experience and knowledge to set up on your own, whether you’re a solicitor, product designer or marketing consultant. In this case, it’s not as vital to have a niche, it’s more about showcasing your expertise, talent and approachability to attract the attention of business leads and customers.

Creating a business plan is the first step to kickstarting your business.  You can get business support from programmes like AD:VENTURE and Enterprise West Yorkshire.

 

Funding and finance 

For many new start-ups, support and funding  are key  to getting off the ground. There are a few different methods of funding that are available for those starting a business:

  • Funding from the proprietor, partner, friends, or family.
  • Government funding, such as the Start Up Loan
  • A loan from the bank (although banks usually want cashflow first)
  • Crowdfunding – these days many products and businesses are funded using crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter where the public can help fund your idea if they like it.
  • Private investors – there are lots of investment opportunities available where you can pitch for funding in return for a share of your business, such as Angel investors
  • Initiatives, such as AD:VENTURE in the Leeds City Region, also provide start-up grants and support to access finance streams to help your business grow .

A key element of business survival is having a strong understanding of your projected income, expenditure, breakeven point and using this information to forecast your cashflow carefully.

When it comes to finance and choosing the right legal structure for your business, please make sure to consult an accountant and legal adviser before proceeding. There is a lot of help online from HMRC to understand your tax obligations click here. Banks are also a great starting point for offering new entrepreneurs software to help prepare financial projections and business plans. Chambers of Commerce offer networking opportunities and advice on exporting if you plan to trade overseas.

 

Investing in office space

When starting a business, a big decision you need to make is where you are going to base your business. While many start-ups are set up from home, others take the plunge and invest in office space. Having a physical office does have many benefits, such as:

  • Having an address for your business that is not your home
  • Separating work from your personal life and the personal lives of your employees
  • Being able to communicate more easily with employees by seeing them face to face instead of over video calls and messages
  • Instant ability to bounce ideas off colleagues

Lucy Garner from Packaging Elements explains how this format has helped her business

“Innovation and development are fundamental to Packaging Elements Limited so a link with the 3M BIC has always been very apt. We are based close by but being able to, for example, have samples delivered to the 3M BIC address rather than a residential address is logistically easier and contributes to our professionalism.”

For more information out Virtual Offices you can read our blog here.

 

If you are looking to start a business in the New Year and considering renting office or lab space for your start-up at or looking at alternative, more cost-effective options, such as a virtual office, contact the team at the 3M BIC to find out more on 01484 505601 or e-mail info@3mbic.com. For other start-up support in West Yorkshire please seek out Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, your local authority or go to AD:VENTURE. As for legal advice please consult a solicitor and for financial advice please consult a bank, accountant, or financial advisor.

 

 

 

 

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