So you want to start your own business?

Starting up a new business can be both exciting and rewarding if done correctly there are plenty of business opportunities in East Anglia for all types of businesses and an abundance of networking and support groups available to promote your services.

Being your own boss will reward you with plenty of highs and lows, as long as you have the correct knowledge and experience in the industry sector you enter into. However, this is not all you will need to ensure success! Having the correct advisors around on a regular basis will increase your chances of success!

Here are tips from us in setting up a new business.

Firstly what is your Legal status going to be? your options are, Sole trader, Partnership or Limited company. This is a very important decision in your business planning and should not be thought of lightly. Always seek professional advice before making this important decision.

Make sure you have a business plan: This is a very important tool that will keep you from deviating from your goals. Many start ups fail to appreciate the importance of a good business plan, it should act as your business bible! After all if you’re not going to follow your ‘plan’ then what’s the point in spending all those hours planning in the first place!

Having access to a business mentor can be a good way of talking through any ideas & issues. It can be lonely at the top especially if you are the only person in the business! Business mentoring can be useful to everyone at all levels of business large or small.

How do you intend to operate your business? Will you set up as a home based to begin with to save costs, or do you intend to rent a unit or office space? Getting the right business advice on this is key especially if you intend to inject start up capital into the business.

Choosing the right location is also very important, put yourself in the shoes of your clients/customers, how easy is it for them to get to you? Is there ample parking? What passing trade can you expect? Location, location, location!!

Marketing is important for letting customers and businesses know you exist: target marketing can be a useful technique to focus on customers that will help you grow in the early stages of the business.

It can be quite costly to advertise a new business therefore think clearly about how you plan to do this. For example you could try targeting a specific group of customers in your industry that you feel would instantly benefit from the services or products you have. With a little research you will soon compile a list of businesses ready for use. Focus your time and costs on these potential customers, rather than spending £000s on traditional gunshot advertising like newspapers or magazines. Sometimes baby steps can produce just as good results if the marketing is focused and precise.

Many businesses under estimate the importance of networking; this can be a very cost effective way of telling a room full of people who you are and what products or services you have to offer. There is a saying I recently learned “it’s not what you know or who you know, it’s how well you know them and how well they know you!” Building relationships within a referral networking environment can be a very powerful tool which can help potential referral partners generate quality sales for you

Naturally it’s very important to ‘know’ your product or service but business networking is not about turning up to an event and selling to anyone who will listen. It’s a process of relationships, socialising, making new contacts who may be interested in doing business or know of others who are looking for what you have to offer. Join a network group!

Lastly get an accountant and business advisor on board ASAP! They will be with you right from the start to offer sound business advice, and complete your bookkeeping and accounts so you can concentrate of growing your new business. The cash flow of your new business is up there as one of the most important aspects of financial planning, it’s very difficult to run a successful business if you don’t have any cash!