Starting your own small business can, at the same time, be both the most exciting and scary thing you ever do! Even if you are confident about your business idea, the next step of organizing your business resources can drain both your confidence and your energy! It always helps to have a sense of the major priorities, to ensure that nothing’s forgotten and if that’s the point you’re at, then have a quick check over these business resource must-haves:
Basically this is a document which outlines what your business intends to do, including:
- details of your product or service, including manufacture, staffing and costs.
- your market research, which may include a comparison of local competitors and market viability study.
- the important details of the financial aspects of your business, including projected income and outlay.
This sounds a daunting document to create from scratch- so don’t! Invest some time researching business plans on-line and you’ll be pleasantly surprised – there are lots of templates available which are free to download. These can offer a greater or lesser degree of detail but most are easily adaptable to suit your needs. Some examples are even industry specific so if, for instance, you are planning to start up a cleaning company or a catering business, you should be able to find templates and examples of business plans in these specific areas.
Most small businesses require some investment of capital in order to get started. A business start-up loan can be applied for from most banking or financial institutions, but you will need to have already drawn up your business plan so that you can show these lenders both that you are serious about your venture and that you have completed your research, so therefore can speak knowledgeably about the local or national market that you wish to compete in.
Even if you are self-financing, you will need to have a ‘float’ of savings behind you, not only to invest in outlay for setting up your company, but also so that you can be sure of meeting your own domestic bills during the period where your business is not fully up and running (until the point where it is earning you an income). You must be prepared for the fact that this can take upwards of six months, so you should ensure that you have enough savings to keep you afloat (aim for at least a year if you can).
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