If getting started with that business idea you’ve been holding on to was your New Year’s resolution, then you’re in good company. Research from domain registrar Reg123 suggests that Britons are 10% more likely to start a business in January than other month, with up to 10,000 new business websites launching.
For many, the Christmas break provides an ideal time to work on new business ideas, passion projects and fulfil dreams of going it alone. This is particularly true during times of political and economic turbulence as jobs become less secure and firm look to contractors and freelancers to cover gaps in employment.
With Brexit looming we're potentially heading into a period of political turmoil. In such times estabilished firms tend to tighten their belts and take an ultra conservative approach to business. For startups, freelancers, and those going it alone, this often creates an opportunity.
Of course with any New Year’s resolution the key is to ensure that your business dream lasts past January and hopefully past the first year. To help we’ve compiled a few top tips to get you started.
Test your idea
Market research is a costly business, but we’d always recommend you test your idea before you jump in head first. Depending on your business idea are likely a number of low cost ways to test your idea, from google advertising leading to a sign-up page, to selling on eBay/Amazon, to getting out and gathering opinions directly from your target market.
Leverage your network
Be sure to let all your friends and family know of your new venture, and reach out to former colleagues and contacts. Marketing is an expensive activity, but word of mouth is often free and much more valuable.
Don’t get bogged down by minutia, instead focus on your vision for the business, where you want it to head and what you have to do to get there, the small details can be worked out later. Start with the grand plan then work backwards from there.
As a business owner your time is finite and valuable. It’s important to spend it on value-add activities that deliver the highest measurable return. If necessary back office tasks such as general admin, accounting etc… should be automated or outsourced.
Simplify your proposition
At some point you’re going to be asked “what does your business do?” It doesn’t matter who’s asking, friends, family, bank manager, prospective customers, you need to be able to tell them in a single sentence. If you have to explain it it’s probably too complicated.
Top resources for entrepreneurs and starts ups
- How to start a startup – great series of Youtube lectures by Stanford University
- Writing a business plan –
- Business is Great – Government support and advice website
- Paying tax on your side business
- Register your business with HMRC
The complete guide to opening a business bank account for those with a bad credit history – our guide to opening a business bank account. Read this first
- CashPlus – open a business account in just 5 days with no credit checks
- CardOneBanking – business banking without credit checks
Running your business
- Domains and website hosting with Vidahost
- Accepting card payments – our guide on accepting mobile card payments
- Freeagent – Easy online account software you can file your tax return from
- Marketing donut – articles and advice on marketing your business