Operations & resources

How are you going to get your business through tough times?

The economic climate is certainly hitting morale on many levels. This is impacting everyone from recent graduates to established professionals. And it’s dampening entrepreneurial spirit too. A recent study by FreeAgent – a cloud accounting software provider – found that 70% of workers would be loath to start a business at the moment.

Now, it’s true that both Covid and Brexit have impacted staff availability, and the current rate of inflation is seeing the cost of business loans increase. However, those new business ideas are still there in your head, aren’t they? They don’t go away. And if you’re one of those budding entrepreneurs thinking to wait for the right time, now can be the right time if you approach things in the correct way.

Tapping into expertise so you can focus on your business idea

Most entrepreneurs are busy people and there are only twenty-four hours in a day. To get a business going, you need to cover many angles, the problem is… many of those will not play to your natural strengths as a businessperson. What takes a seasoned professional an hour will take you a day, just to get up to speed, let alone make the decisions and complete the task. Thus, though budget is always tight at the beginning, it’s worth investing a proportion of it to working with experts to get things going.

A good example would be an accountant. A good accountant will know the pitfalls to look out for and the accelerator buttons to push. They’ll also be able to guide you on the best set up for your business tax-wise and get you on the right footing from the start. Another example is a marketing guru, who can save you from wasting money on pointless campaigns. Then there are HR professionals, funding specialists, tech advisers… the list goes on. You’ll know where your weaknesses lie and where you need help.

So, with that said, how do you get going?

Starting off with the right foot forward

There’s a lot to get your head around, but with good advice from knowledgeable experts you’ll put your business on the right footing if you consider the following points.

  1. Set your business structure up correctly from the start – e.g. sole trader or limited company – and understand how to operate tax efficiently. It can be expensive and fiddly to fix these things afterwards, so it pays to get good advice at the beginning.
  2. Research your market – look at your competitors and talk to your potential customers to understand their needs properly. If you have the time, test your ideas and get feedback early on so you can hit the ground running with your first product offering.
  3. Do a business plan – nothing focuses the thinking better than establishing your goals, doing a cashflow forecast, and planning your growth. But bear in mind that it’s not set in stone. If you need to adjust, update it. Your business plan is not a fixed document, it should evolve as your business develops.
  4. Work on your brand – strong branding builds loyalty and engagement and provides a platform for future growth. Think it through carefully from the start and build from there.
  5. Register your domain – get your domain name address set up from the start. Even if you don’t have a website, you’ll be using email. Plus, it helps you to bottom out your business name; if the domain you want is taken, you might need to be a bit creative with your thinking. You don’t want to get dragged into legal action because you’re trampling on a trademark or existing business.
  6. Plan for premises – if it’s appropriate. Many businesses start in a garage or a spare room, but at some point, you’ll want to expand. Don’t forget, even near the beginning you’ll be holding meetings and you may not want potential customers traipsing through your house. So start getting a feel for the commercial property market straight away so you know what you’re letting yourself in for.
  7. Consider strategic partnerships – as a business owner you don’t need to do everything. Strategic partnerships can provide mutual support, customer leads, and motivation when times are tough. And besides… going it alone can be daunting and isolating. Plus don’t forget, business networking has fuelled many successful entrepreneurs. So start investigating what networking groups are out there that would suit your business, and begin the process of making contact.
  8. Plan your IT requirements – obviously this includes hardware and software. However, data storage is important and keeping your data secure is critical if you don’t want to fall foul of regulations.
  9. Assess your funding needs – cashflow is king, so speak to your accountant about your options and pick their brains on the right funding approach for your business idea.
  10. Get your mindset ready – you’re going to need enthusiasm, stamina, determination, and focus. Ask yourself, are you ready for the long hours? Are you resilient enough to overcome failures and keep going? Mind you, if you’ve read this far… you’ve probably got the necessary determination in abundance!

And if that’s the case, good luck. Now is a great time to give it a go.

Originally posted 2022-08-30 15:15:17.

Roger Eddowes
The Business Bulletin

Don't miss out...

Enter your email address to ensure you receive the next edition of The Business Bulletin as it is published.

Roger Eddowes

Roger trained at Edward Thomas Peirson & Sons in Market Harborough before working at Hartwell & Co, followed by Chancery, as a partner. He started Essendon Accounts & Tax with Helen Beaumont in 2014. Roger loves ‘getting his hands dirty’, working with emerging, small-to-medium and family businesses to ensure they receive the best possible accountancy advice. Using an extensive network of business contacts to leverage the best guidance and practical solutions, he has been called a Business Godparent due to his caring, hands-on approach.

How are you going to get your business through tough times?

by Roger Eddowes Time to read: 3 min