When you first set up your startup, you will have to prepare for some tough – but exciting – times ahead. So what should you do to make sure you get going in the right direction? Here’s a quick plan.
Sort Out the Basics
First of all, you’ll need to get all of the basics out of the way. That means coming up with a business name, creating a business plan, finding a suitable office if you need one, working out the structure of your business (the Gov.uk website has some good information on this), registering your name, opening a business bank account, and launching a website.
Arrange Your Financing
How will you finance your startup? This is going to be a big issue in the first year. You might already have some savings put away, or you may plan to take on debt. You may even want to get financing from investors.
There may be other solutions you could consider, such as using online crowd-funding services like Kickstarter, or you may even be able to find some suitable Government grants that you could apply for.
Get Some Professional Help
You will want to have a few professionals on board from the start, and most important will be an experienced accountant and a solicitor. They can provide you with expert advice, as well as helping you to avoid any problems.
A solicitor can help you with all of the legal issues you may face, and they could even help with personal situations, such as if you receive a drink driving ban or get into trouble with the law for any other reason.
You may need to take on some employees, but be very careful with who you hire in the early days. Ideally you want people who will grow with your company and who share your enthusiasm. Make the effort to find the right employees, and it can save you a lot of hassle later on.
You may want to hire more contractors at the start because they are less hassle than hiring employees. But again, make sure you choose them carefully.
Be Strict with Payments
Your cash flow will be an important concern at the start of your business, so make sure you get paid. Be firm with clients who do not pay on time, and don’t let them think they can get away with late payments. You might even insist on getting paid upfront. You can end up suffering if your clients do not pay you in advance when your business is still small, so don’t let it happen to you.
Learn from the Experts
Launching a startup is a learning experience, so make sure you keep on learning. Get tips from other entrepreneurs, read sites like Entrepreneur.com, and there are countless resources online you can get value from. Read autobiographies of famous business people, and you could find a mentor to help you through the early days.
Get Going & Stick At It
The most important thing is to just get going once you have everything in place. Don’t just let it remain a dream, and jump straight in. And once you get going, make sure you stick with it. Times will be tough, especially in the first few years, but every successful startup experiences tough times. So get through it, and great things await on the other side.
Caitlin Stevenson started her business several years ago. She has never looked back, despite the tough times and encourages others to go after their dream and start that business today.