You've made the commitment to take that big step, the step forward into realising your dream of running your own business and now's the time that your dream will become a reality. It can be a daunting experience but one that's exciting too!
I set up Bo Tree Marketing nearly 5 years ago now, my daughter had just turned one and I knew I didn't want to return to full time work so decided to set up my own Marketing business. It’s been a steep learning curve, I've gone from being an employee in a Marketing Department to being the Marketing Director, Finance Director, HR Director and IT Director! I hope the tips below will help you with setting up your new business -
Set up your financial accounting - decide whether you're going to run your own finances or whether you would prefer to employ an accountant. Decide how you wish to form your business - are you going to be a sole trader or limited company and do you need to register for VAT? An accountant can assist you with making these decisions.
Invest in a website - it needn't be a complex with a lot of pages but you do need a web presence. First check that the website domain name (web address) that you would like to use is not already registered and when you do register a domain name consider also registering the .com if you've chosen .co.uk or the .co.uk if you've chosen .com even if you do not wish to use one of them, this will prevent competitors using the web address.
Set up social profiles for your business - Only choose social channels relevant to your target market, you needn't be on every different type of social media channel.
Establish your corporate identity - It's important to manage your corporate identity as customers perceptions of you, come from not only the work you carry out but the way you present yourself and your business.
Network - Networking events take place all over the country and they are now not just limited to meetings at venues, they even take place online via facebook and twitter.
Set goals - Goals can take many forms, choose goals that are appropriate to you and your business and make sure they're SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) i.e. I want to increase my turnover by 30% by the end of the next financial year.
Keep motivated - your goals should help you keep motivated, it can be difficult if you're working from home but plan your days and the tasks that you wish to achieve and you'll keep things moving forward at a good pace.
Determine your sales process - If you are providing a service where payment is usually taken after the task is complete, consider asking for a deposit. It's not an unreasonable request, it shows the buyer is committed and gives you some protection.
Market your business - if people do not know that your business exists and that you could potentially meet a need they have, they'll not find you. Marketing can take many forms, it can be offline e.g. newspapers, leaflets or online e.g. Search Engine Optimisation, a website and social media.
A vital thing to think about before you begin any marketing activities is to first consider who your target customers are. Then research the best ways to reach them, determine which marketing tools will help you reach the highest number of people in your target audience while still keeping within your budget.
Wishing you every success for your new venture!
Blog originally written for www.septemberwoman.co.uk