Ideas are easy, execution is hard; however, often it’s purely a lack of forward planning that stops new business projects from getting off the ground. While there are certainly plenty of details to consider, following a set plan, like the one below, can make launching a start-up a more straightforward process.
Step one: do your homework
Your business idea may feel like the greatest thing since sliced bread, but that doesn’t mean others will necessarily share your view. Start by doing some research: is there a strong market for your product or service? Are there any direct competitors and if so, how well are they doing? Approach any well-placed friends, family or work connections for insight and advice.
If you’re satisfied your idea is worth pursuing, it’s a good idea to draw up a basic business plan. This will help to organise your thinking and can be adapted for potential investors further down the line.
Step two: name and domain
Having survived this early scrutiny, the next step for your business is to give it the right name; something memorable that will immediately make sense to customers and potential investors. Again, it’s worth running this by other people to get their take on it. A quick Google search can determine whether your name is already being used. If not, your next step is to register it as a web domain, which can be done through any number of sites such as 123-reg.co.uk.
Step three: formalise
If you are planning to trade within the first few months of launch, you will need to formalise your business, either by registering it as a limited company or by setting yourself up as a sole trader. This can be done relatively easily by searching for ‘companies search and registration’ then your company: Companies House in the UK, ASIC in Australia, SEC in the USA.
With the administrative side completed you can switch to the more creative task of designing a website and logo. There are a number of DIY website options that can help keep costs down, such as WordPress and GoDaddy.
With all three steps completed, the hard work now begins. Depending on where you’re at you’ll need to think about raising capital, marketing yourself and possibly hiring staff. Approach your project with the right work ethic and commitment, however, and there should be no stopping you.