We’ve all dreamt of handing in our notice to our boss and starting out on our own, but how do you know if you’ve got what it takes? Your friends might think that your new product idea or business concept is great, but will it cut it in the real world? In today’s digital age, it’s becoming easier and easier to launch a startup – but that means that the market is getting more competitive too. We’ve put together a check-list of important things to think about before taking that big step.
Money, Money, Money
Have you thought about all the costs your business will involve? As well as obvious expenses such as materials or rent, there are many that are easy to overlook – and they can make or break your business plan. When calculating the sustainability of your business, don’t forget to add things like insurance, marketing costs and taxes into the equation.
Get The Right Location
Have you thought about where your business will be based? If it’s something like a shop or a restaurant, do your research into the right location. For businesses working from home, it’s important to think about professionalism. To help boost your profile, it’s worth considering a virtual business address so that any correspondence is directed via a more official-sounding location.
Check Out The Competition
It’s a sad fact that many great ideas occur to people at similar times, so even if you think your concept is totally unique you’ll need to do comprehensive research in order to establish what else is one the market. Have you checked the internet and local media to see what’s already out there? A Google search of the keywords most relevant to your business is a great place to start. Google’s Keyword Tool and Google Trends are a great resource for this.
Use People Power
Have you considered the amount of manpower that your venture will need to survive? It’s a common mistake to think that you can do it all yourself, only to find your start-up flagging when you inevitably succumb to burnout and fatigue. Think about what roles additional employees could fill, and weigh up the cost of wages against the potential increase in productivity. A simple first step, saving you from having to commit to the expense and legislation around employing people, can be hiring some freelancers to do important tasks for you. Check out Upwork or Peoplerhour for a good source of freelancers.
Think your business sounds good on paper? It’s time to put it to the test. Before you commit to anything, test your ideas out on your fellow entrepreneurs. Attend a local networking event, and feel out any potential interest in your new venture. If you’re based in the capital, a London virtual office can be a great way to mingle with creative minds who can help you find our feet in the competitive new business scene.