Where do you start when you are looking to go self-employed?
I run workshops for those who are looking to start a business and recently I have been approached by several people regarding the steps to starting up so here they are! The below are the pre trading steps, the ones you need to get right BEFORE you can sell your goods or services
I started my company with £20, that was the total amount I had free to invest in my business idea. Looking back it was pure madness but I did it!
Below are the basics of what you need to do as the bare minimum when thinking of starting up:
- Identify WHAT you want to do, do you want to convert a hobby to a business? Do you have experience in the industry you want to set up in?
- Write a business plan detailing the service you want to provide. The business plan needs to have all of the necessary elements to enable others who read it to know EXACTLY what you do. There is a fine line between telling them what you do and giving them enough information to do it themselves however I’m a firm believer that there is something unique in every one of us that makes our business unique. I could try to replicate what you do but I wouldn’t succeed as I haven’t the same driving factor you have.
- Complete a personal survival budget spreadsheet so that you know exactly how much you need to survive per month for you and your family. The family expenses need to be covered before anything else.
- Complete a cash flow and sales forecast- you will need to have some idea on your pricing structure in order to complete this. You will need this though to enable you to see how much you could earn and how much you will need to continue to trade.
- Identify your start up costs, this will enable you to see if ‘realistically’ you can afford to start your company. Don’t go for the ‘flashy’ options. You can build your business on a budget, I did! You need functional rather than flashy at this stage. Don’t sign up to expert advice if it’s not free at this stage, if you don’t know what you are offering you cannot expect experts to know. No one knows your business the way you do. Include materials essential to your starting up however leave the ‘nice to haves’ until you have money
- If you need finance identify where you can obtain this from. If you are interested in a start up loan you will need the above documentation in order for them to know how much you want to borrow. If you already have funds that you can use be careful not to use them all at once. Stick to buying the basics until you are sure that you definitely want to start the business
- Talk to people about what you are doing, speak to friends and family and ask them to be honest with you. They will often give you the reality check. Take their feedback on board.
Without knowing these there is no point in starting up.
Are there any tips that you could offer those who are looking to start up in business?