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The Complete 15 Step Guide to starting up a new business.

Ordering a sandwich to take-away is usually a straightforward transaction. You order, pay, and wait until it’s packed and ready-to-go. Easy!

However, when considering a new business, you will see the entire behind-the-scenes process, such as choosing the ingredients and where to get them, designing the menu, the packaging, choosing staff and premises, and much, much more.

Before you sell your first sandwich (just for example!), there’s more planning that you, the new business owner needs to do, so here are some steps to ensure you have your boxes checked, t’s crossed and i’s dotted.

Here are 15 steps on how to start your own small business:

1. Evaluate your decision

2. Form a business idea

3. Do your market research

4. Devise a business plan

5. Ask for feedback

6. Come up with a business name

7. Pick a business structure

8. Make your business official

9. Take care of your finances

10. Build your team

11. Design your logo and branding assets

12. Create a website

13. Choose a location

14. Promote your business

15. Learn and adapt


1. Evaluate your decision

Your decision to start your own business can change your life forever, and you must ensure that you can and want to swim before diving in at the deep end.

First of all, time and money – you’re going to need lots of it, and there will usually be some competition out there thinking and doing the same thing so consider first;

· Love and Passion – You are going to spend most of your time on this project, so is it something you absolutely love to do.

· Do you understand the technical aspects? You will need to know more than just the basics – you will need to be a specialist.

· Can you see yourself as an entrepreneur? Do you have staying-power, can you take the initiative, do you have self-reliance, a success-driven mindset, self-confidence and the ability to lead?

· Are you good at communicating? You will be doing a lot of networking, negotiating, managing, and dealing with customers and suppliers.

· Can you afford it? Even after digging into your savings or business loan, you’re will probably end up spending a significant amount of your own money, that you might not get back if things don’t work out as expected, so…...

· Are you prepared for it not to work? There will be times when it feels so right, and times it feels so dark, so it’s important to brace yourself for having to throw in the towel, and to be honest with yourself when answering these questions.

2. Form a business idea

Researching your chosen market is crucial as your initial business idea needs to form before any other actions are taken.

  • First of all, what do you want to achieve? This must at first be a realistic, achievable goal, with a list of objectives that you can return to often, to steady your balance if you have a wobble or start to veer off track, so it’s important to write it down or type it up.

  • Is there something unique that you are considering that hasn’t been done or isn’t available in your area?

  • Is there a better way to do something that you have devised?

  • Have you found a way to use your skills from another industry in a new area?

These are a few questions you can ask yourself to start coming up with business ideas.

3. Do some research

Did you know that 42% of businesses fail because there is no market need?

You must therefore make sure that your idea has the potential to succeed by understanding how and where it fits in the market. A good start is to simply Google your business idea, and see who’s doing something similar, in another town or even country. Make a note of their terminology and any additional ideas that you come across on their websites and LinkedIn pages.

You need to find out if there is a demand, whether it’s already been filled and, if there is a way that you can do it better.

Consider how you feel while doing this? Does it make you feel excited and confident or concerned and defeated? You can move on only after these questions have been answered and you feel confident.

4. Business plan

The next step is to compile a business plan which will help organise and streamline your ideas. This can also be used to attract potential partners, investors and banks, aswell as help you appreciate the reality of what you are considering. Here are some of the most essential elements to include:

· High-level summary: This is a brief summary of your business idea. If someone asked you what your business is all about, how would you explain it to them in less than a minute. (Google Elevator Pitch for ideas).

· Industrial analysis: This is a statement of how your product or service would fit in with prospective customers. For example, How large is the market, Is it expected to change?, Who are your competitors?, What are their key strengths and weaknesses?

· Customer analysis: Identify your target audience and describe how you plan to reach them?

· Operational plan: What is your plan of action? Do you have a clear timeline? What are the milestones you wish to accomplish? Think in terms of years and quarters.

· Financial projections: How much will you need to invest? What will you charge for you products/services? How long until you will start earning a profit? Do you need investors?

5. Ask for feedback

Now take your business for a test drive to prevent making any significant mistakes that could have been spotted and corrected ahead of time.

Consider how you can test it with people you know, in order to get a feel for how the experience will be for your customer. Ask them to be brutally honest when giving their feedback, and then record this in a standard way, so that you can return to this later and use it to make improvements.

6. Come up with a business name

So, if your idea still sounds like it will all be worthwhile, you can make it feel real by naming your business. Take your time though, because once you decide on a name, it’s going to be everywhere from your website’s domain to business cards, logos and paperwork.

Remember to Google your business name and see if it is being used.

7. Pick a business structure

You need to choose the type of business that you will be forming; Sole Trader, Partnership, Limited Company.

8. Make your business official

It’s important to get all the legal and formal paperwork done before you take your business out into the world. This includes;

· Registration.


· Licenses and permits.

· Insurance.

9. Finances

You will need a business bank account to begin saving your investments, loans and takings.

This will need to be separate from your personal bank account.

You’ll also need to record your income and expenses in order to both understand how much money is coming in and going out, and to calculate your taxes.

This can be done using spreadsheets, manual books, or an online accounting system. In some cases, you might have to use an online system under the new Making Tax Digital scheme.

10. Build your team

Are you doing this on your own or maybe you want to work with a business partner who will be there for support and to bounce ideas off of. Look someone with strengths in areas that you’re not so good at to fill in the missing pieces.

The same goes for employees. Unless you have a very small scale business and want to be a sole trader, it can be difficult wearing multiple hats such as accountant, sales and marketing, aswell as being on-the-tools. There comes a point when you may need to hire a team or use free-lancers or contractors for assistance.

11. Design your logo and branding assets

Your logo will be the most memorable part of your business that gets seen on invoices, letterheads, labels etc. so you need to make sure you get it right.

You’ll also want to make sure that all of your other assets are aligned and fit into the style of your brand, including your slogan, color palette and fonts, business cards, social channels and anything else that has your business name marked on it.

12. Create a website

Will your website be the center of your business perhaps with an on-line store, or a way to keep people informed, where they can go and find information when they need it. Either way, a business website is an absolute must in this day and age because if you aren’t providing the required information online, someone else will be.

Also, bear in mind that your website will be pointless if no one can see it on the web. This is where proper SEO (search engine optimization) comes in along with social media marketing.

These will help your website get seen when people are searching for specific words.

13. Choose a location

If need to buy or rent an office space or store front or warehouse, then this will require more research. For example, Consider the neighborhood, the people that hangout there, the vibe, the foot traffic, and where your competition is located. Not forgetting of course the affordability and practicality of this major decision that needs to be Home for the foreseeable future as moving will be an added expense and loss of time you don’t want to deal with.

Once you have established an address and physical location, register your business in local directories, like Google My Business, and Bing.

14. Promote your business

Ok, now you can start to promote your business using Social Media and email marketing which are once again services available to members of our Discount Club which is available to all of our customers.

15. Learn and adapt

Every move you make as you trade will be a mistake or a success.

You will learn that from your financial dealings, your website analysis, and from your customer feedback, but don’t let these methods of trial and error get you down, but rather make you wiser.

So keep on going. Experiment with new goals and objectives and expect to succeed in some ways, and not others. The experience you gain, the closer you’ll be to succeeding.

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