Top 10 Tips for Starting a New Business

You probably don’t need to be told this, but the entrepreneurial landscape is a highly competitive one. While it doesn’t necessarily behove you to be too aggressive in terms of competition, you do need to find every edge you can possibly get, especially if you’re entering a competitive business space. Happily, there are lots of things that are within your power to achieve, even if a lot of business ownership comes down to circumstance. Here are our top 10 tips for getting a new business rolling!

1. Solidify your idea

Before you even think about turning your business idea into a reality, it’s important to make sure it stands up to any level of scrutiny. That means running your idea by as many people as possible to try to identify any holes or inconsistencies, as well as creating a cast-iron business plan that’s pretty much impossible to fault. It might sound tricky, but investors and other businesses are going to tear you apart if you’re not ready for primetime when you enter the business world.

2. Search everywhere for funding

Small businesses are finding it harder and harder to get funding. This makes sense; everyone wants to start a business, but not everyone has the know-how or the vision to actually do so. With that in mind, finding different sources of funding other than investors or business loans could have a positive effect for you. If you’re creative with your financing, then even something small like a £1500 loan could bring you big gains in the future.

3. Collaborate with others

It’s incredibly difficult to achieve anything in the business world alone, so it’s important to make sure you’re searching out avenues to collaborate with others. This doesn’t just mean linking up with other business owners, though. It also means asking friends or family members if they want to be a part of your business (assuming they’ve got the right attitude and skills, of course). By teaming up with like-minded individuals, you’ll stand a much better chance of success.

4. Secure your supply chain

We see far too many business owners think they’ve dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s, only to realise that their supply chain is flawed. If you’re an ecommerce operation, then your supply chain is everything; without a good product, how can you expect to succeed? Don’t skimp on this element of your business. Pay close attention to how you’re storing your product, how you’re shipping it, and what your returns policy looks like. Speaking of which…

5. Put good customer service in place

Attracting business is all well and good, but what happens if something goes wrong? Having robust, high-quality customer service will help to set you apart from your competition. If you head over to Trustpilot and take a look at reviews for businesses, you’ll often see negative reviews making reference to poor customer service experiences. You can create a great reputation for yourself simply by ensuring that existing and repeat customers are well taken care of.

6. Score good legal representation

Starting a business is an absolute minefield in legal terms. It’s incredibly difficult to get a business off the ground in the first place, but the number of legal loopholes and challenges awaiting you can feel staggering. That’s why it’s important to make sure you have solid legal representation in place right from the off. Don’t wait until you’re established; you might have overlooked something that could be the death of your entire enterprise.

7. Ask customers for feedback

Whether it’s through email surveys or direct conversations, you should always be asking customers for feedback. This is one of the most important things a small business can focus on; with a lot of feedback, not only will you know how to change things for the better, but you’ll also show other people that your business is attracting a lot of customers. If you’re an ecommerce outlet, ask customers to provide feedback at the end of their sales process. Otherwise, don’t be afraid to build mailing lists!

8. Research your market thoroughly

Without thorough and deep knowledge of the market you’re entering, you’re much more likely to make a rookie error with your business. You should be doing thorough, clear research about your demographic, as well as your competitors, in order to understand how to pitch your business. This knowledge will help you to fine-tune your approach to branding, in turn allowing you to build a stronger and clearer brand that people will appreciate all the more.

9. It’s all about branding

There’s a good reason you want to reinforce branding, too. Branding is the difference between a successful business and one that fails in its first year, as so many do. You might think that the quality of your product or service is the most important element, and in a way, you’re not wrong. However, the way you brand and market that product is just as important. Have you ever avoided buying something because it “just felt off”? You don’t want to give your customers that experience as well.

10. Don’t admit defeat, but do be realistic

Business is all about finding a healthy balance between idealism and realism. If that sounds difficult to achieve, that’s because it really is, but you shouldn’t let that discourage you. When you’re too realistic, you won’t take risks or shoot for the moon, but if you’re too idealistic, you won’t be able to deal with the problems that are staring you in the face right now. Always maintain a healthy balance between these two stances and you should be able to navigate the trials and tribulations of the business world.