Entrepreneurship is growing fast in the UK. It seems like everyone has a great idea that they’d love to feed to a hungry market. But how do you go about setting up and running your own company? Our quick guide to running a business is here to help you out.
First of all, think hard about what you’re getting yourself into. Running your own business is hard work, and it requires certain skills. The list of what you need to run a business doesn’t just include things like money and materials. You also need traits like determination, perseverance, optimism, realism, and vision. Decent knowledge of your market and a head for accounts will also help you in the early days. Running a small business is complicated, stressful, and lots of hard work. Be sure that you really are prepared for the long haul.
“What business should I run?” is an absolutely vital question. Hopefully, you’ve already got an idea of the problem you aim to solve with your business and the product or service you’re using to solve it. Now you need to delve a little deeper into your ideas. Research the market you’re entering, and establish what makes your idea different to your competitors’. What’s unique about your business, and how will you capitalise upon that?
Running your own business isn’t just about setting up, getting funding, and rolling out a great product. It’s also about maintaining your winning streak. The modern market changes rapidly, so you need to pay keen attention to trends and developments. Keep a close eye on your competitors, listen to your customers, and stay ahead of the curve.
There are lots of things to think about when setting up a business. Can you run your own business from home? Should you take on a partner? How will you get funding? In the midst of all the paperwork and prototypes, it’s easy to lose sight of the most important thing: your customers. However, if you’re not connecting with your target audience, even your best-laid plans will fail. Make sure that you understand your customers. Listen to their feedback, and keep up with their personal preferences.
Networking is vital. It fulfils a number of roles which are necessary to run your own small business. Networking with industry peers helps you to keep a finger on the pulse of your market. It also brings you into contact with influential people who may be able to help your company out (even those you meet who are still on the make may be able to help you out as their star rises). And it helps you to gain influence and credibility within your industry. Network as much as you can. If you’re more of an introvert and dread schmoozing, get someone else to act as your brand ambassador.
Dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s is boring, but necessary. Paperwork and legalities you may need to think about include:
There are plenty of pitfalls awaiting the unwary new business owner. We’ve signposted a few of them below:
Running your own business is hard work, but very rewarding if you can get it right. If you’ve read through this guide and think that you’re up to the challenge, peruse our website for in-depth articles on more of the specifics of how to run your own company.
Food for thought
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