2020 is not only the start of a new year but a new decade. This makes it the perfect opportunity to realise your entrepreneurial dreams and launch your own business. Planning a successful startup in 2020 will require you to take care of these crucial steps.
Identify your business idea by solving a problem
The most important thing when setting a business is having a good business idea. You’ll succeed in business if you can identify a problem enough people have and provide a solution to it, either in the form of a product or service. The best ideas often come by looking at your own life and noticing that something is missing or not working well. For example, the founders of Uber launched their business because of the problems they faced with commuting.
The important thing when identifying your business idea is to focus on these three core questions:
- Who are my customers going to be?
- What problem am I going to solve?
- Why am I qualified and the best person to solve it?
You should always test your ideas before you move forward with them. Don’t just come up with a product or a service and then launch a business – figure out if the customers feel as positive about it as you do! Testing your product or service can help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of it and develop it further. It will also help you save time and money – you are better off knowing your business idea won’t succeed right at the start rather than six months down the line.
Sort out the legal bits
When you have a solid business idea in place, it’s time to jump from ideas to action. Planning a successful startup also requires you to think about the legal and official stuff. The most crucial thing here is to think about your business structure. Are you looking to operate it as:
Each can have its pros and cons that you’ll have to work out and analyse for your specific business situation. Once you know which legal structure to go for, you must register your business with HMRC. Please also keep in mind that you might need to register for VAT!
Depending on your startup, your business could need additional licenses and permits to operate. Planning for a successful startup requires you to sort these out as soon as possible. If you need information on the permits you may require, you can talk to your local council, for example.
Draft a business plan
Planning a successful startup is about careful analysis of your business idea and the markets it would operate in. It’s a mistake to think business plan is just a pile of paper you give to the bank or investors – it can help you identify the best actions to take and ensure you navigate the risks better.
A solid business plan will have:
- Executive summary to provide a concise view of your business
- Company description with a clear mission statement
- Market analysis to identify your customers, the market and your competitors
- Organisational structure to detail your business and management structure
- Details of your product or service
- Marketing plan to go over your sales strategy
- Financial projections, including your funding plans and the budget on a larger scale
One of the most crucial parts of the business plan involves the market analysis and your financial projections. You need to have a clear idea of your market and who you are competing against, as well as the projections of your cash flow. You can’t run a business unless it is making money!
Find financing for your startup
As eluded above, starting a business is going to require money. It will take a while before your business can start making enough on its own so you might need some help to get started. There are many options for you, and you could consider:
- Taking a traditional bank loan
- Applying for startup funding
- Crowdfund to launch your product or service
The best option can depend a lot on your business type and model. The important thing is to ensure you know exactly how much capital you need to launch and run the business day-to-day. Make sure you understand the terms of your loans or funding deals – talking to a professional accountant can really help ensure your finances are on the right track from the start!
Getting help when planning a successful startup
It takes a lot of knowledge, skill and focus to launch a successful startup. No matter how well you prepare for it, some things in business can catch you off guard and you mustn’t try doing it all alone. There is plenty of help out there for would-be-entrepreneurs and you should always jump in on it when you can.
A good strategy is to think what aspects of running a business are those you’re not the most excited about or equipped to deal with. Perhaps you need help with the numbers, keeping the books in order or crafting a good marketing plan. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and take advantage of business resources and professional services.
We here at Devonshire Green can help you with company formation, wealth management and small business accounting. If you are planning a successful startup in 2020 and you need help with the finances, then contact us. Together we can turn your entrepreneurial dreams into a success story!