Seven steps to launching your own business
Posted May 3rd, 17:00
2 min read
Helen Di-Girolamo is a marketing manager for Development Bank Wales, which makes commercial investments in businesses based in Wales. Here, she shares tips for getting your business idea started.
Development Bank Wales have funding specifically to meet the needs of startups, so we know what a business needs to do before it can launch.
Here are seven key steps to launching your own business:
1) Get your idea right
Your business idea should be about more than making a quick buck. It needs to be something you’re excited about, appeal to your target market, and be in the right location.
Building a business takes time, so you should be doing something that you can live and breathe in the long term.
2) Do your research
To know whether or not your idea is right for the market, you’ll need to test it. Doing some market research and competitor analysis is important as you’ll need to understand if your business idea is viable, and ensure you’re not making any assumptions.
There are a few ways to do market research, including simply chatting to family, friends and colleagues.
3) Write a plan
Many startups will require more financial help than your own personal funding, and if you’re looking for any kind of loan or investment you’ll need to write a business plan.
However, even if you’re not looking for outside funding there’s no harm in writing a business plan to help clarify your vision and aspirations for the next few months and years.
A business plan includes research, details about your product or service, your plan for marketing and sales and financial data and forecasting.
4) Take legal steps
There are a few legal requirements that need to be fulfilled before your business can start trading.
This includes registering your business name and business address, trademarks or patents, obtaining licences and insurance.
Make sure you’re meeting your tax obligations and have chosen the right legal structure for your business needs.
5) Sort out finance
To start your business, you’ll need to secure finance to suit your needs. While some businesses are started with personal finance alone, many require some form of investment from a commercial lender.
Whether it’s a bank, business angel or an SME investor like Development Bank Wales, you’ll need a solid business plan and sound financial statements.
6) Brand your business
Branding is incredibly important – it’s one of the main ways you sell your business to future customers, and it can make sure they stay loyal to you. Spend some time thinking about the message you want your brand to get across, and go from there.
All the above has led towards being able to launch your business. Make sure the money is in the bank and everything has been signed on the dotted line, so you can start recruiting and marketing.
Marketing is essential for a successful launch – otherwise you won’t have launched at all! Think about how you’re going to get your business out there and what marketing activity you’re going to do in the first few months of trading.
Starting your own business isn’t an easy thing to do and although it’s a big commitment when successful, the personal and financial rewards can be significant and life-changing.
Development Bank Wales can provide commercial loans from £1000 up to £5 million for businesses in Wales. If you are looking for finance to start your own business check your eligibility here.
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