2 Mar 2022
We all dream of running our own business. We know it’s going to be risky and hard work, but there are so many reasons why it makes sense to break away from the 9-5 routine and go it alone. One of the main reasons many people give for wanting to start their own business is that instead of working so hard to make a profit for other people, they want to make that profit for themselves! And working for yourself means you can do things your way and at your own pace, which is a huge attraction for some entrepreneurs.
So, you’ve got your business idea and decided that you want to be your own boss, and now you need to think about how to start your own business.
It’s an absolute certainty that, whatever you earn, you’re going to get taxed on it! So when you’re setting up your own business, there are processes you’ll need to go through to make sure you register the best business type for your current needs and responsibilities. So before you go any further, check out the government’s guidance.
If you’ve never run a business before, setting up without asking for advice could result in a few shocks and surprises. So never think you’re on your own – there’s always someone who’ll be willing to help you. While you’re the expert in your core products or services, the business side of things can feel overwhelming. In Hertfordshire, we’re very fortunate to have Wenta, an organisation that is dedicated to helping people set up their own business. With access to free advice, workshops, training and resources, you’ll learn how to run your business successfully and will be able to network with people in a similar position.
If no one knows your business exists, they won’t buy from you. So you’ve got to get your name out there. You don’t need a huge advertising budget; you just need to build up connections to let people know you exist and what you’re offering. A website is a must, of course, as well as social media accounts, especially if you’re selling directly to the public. Setting up a LinkedIn account is a good idea, and essential if you are selling B2B.
Another very effective way of getting your brand better known locally is to go to regular networking meetings. Don’t make the mistake of using them as a selling opportunity. The idea is to build personal connections and trust which, in the longer run, will result in sales and referrals.
With the best will in the world, no one is good at everything, and it may well be more cost-effective to hire experts to do the things that you’re not good at or have no experience of doing. When it comes to your tax return, you understand that investing in the services of an accountant will save you a lot of time (and pain!) and may well end up saving you more money in the long run. When it comes to websites, it’s a similar thing. You can spend time working out how to build one and how to upload content, but how effective will it actually be? And wouldn’t your time be better spent doing what you are good at rather than what you’re not? If you need your website to bring in new business, then hire a professional web developer to do it for you. They’ll know how to make sure your new brand is visible to search engines and therefore more likely to be seen by customers and clients. It’s the same with many more aspects of your business, whether it’s hiring someone to do the admin, the IT, or anything else.
Running your own business is hard work and will involve long working hours. The danger is that if you work from home full time, you’ll never feel ‘off duty’, and your family won’t respect your business boundaries (we’ve all seen the footage of kids interrupting TV interviews with people working from home). Many business people find it very useful to work from a coworking office space as work and home life can be kept separate. The additional advantages are that it’s a professional working atmosphere which many find more motivating than working in a domestic environment, and you’ll also be surrounded by other entrepreneurs with whom you can do business.
A coworking office address will also mean that your home address isn’t in the public domain. Understandably, many business owners are uncomfortable about having their home address on their websites and business cards, which they don’t need to do if they have a separate office. Even if you don’t want or need to work in a separate office, you can have a virtual office address, which allows you to keep your private life private and also shows potential clients that you are a professional business person.