Launching your own business can be an incredible experience but it can be a stressful one too. There is so much that you need to consider before you can move forward. If you are thinking about taking your hobby business to the next level, there are some things that you need to consider before taking those steps.
Many people have an online presence for their business in some form. If you decide to launch your own website, you will need to think about the features which will be there. Will there be an online shopping feature? Do you need a click4assistance uk provider so that you can talk to your customers? Will you need a web designer or can you do it all yourself? Working out how you want your website to be before your big launch can help you to bring in those first important sales and customers. If you think that throwing something together and hoping for the best will work, you will have given yourself more work in the long run. If you are not sure about a website, find similar businesses and have a look at their websites to see if there is anything which inspires you.
Pick your name
There is a good chance that you already have a business name picked out but is it the right one for your business? You might have made one up one night and thought it sounded great but it needs to be right. Not only will this be one of the first things that potential customers and clients will hear to introduce your business, it will be on all of the tax paperwork too. If you are registering your company as a limited company, you will need to check the registers to ensure that the company name that you want is not already taken. Think carefully about the name that you choose. If you don’t feel happy about the name you currently have, you can always change it to something else, but it might require a lot of paperwork to be filled in. Hopefully the names that you pick will last you for years to come.
It doesn’t matter if you love it or loathe it, social media is a big part of our lives. And, as a new business, you would definitely benefit from having a social media presence. The problem is, which social media accounts do you use? There are so many platforms to choose from! From the traditional Facebook account to the new Snapchat videos, there is a lot of choice. It may take you a while to work out which places will work for your business but there is no harm in trying them all out to see how you get on. You might want to start with the platforms that you are familiar with, gathering your presence there before adding another social media account. Also, you will need to make sure that the content that you are posting on the different social channels fits the audience on that platform.
It will also benefit your business to build a website with strong SEO and topical authority, as the search engines will push your website forward to new customers, enhancing your leads and helping to generate more sales.
As a hobby business, there is a good chance that you have ticked along without worrying too much about the costs and direction that you have been taking. However, once you make that jump to being a proper business, things change. In order to make it a successful business, you need to have a plan. Making a business plan can seem daunting, especially if you have to list all of your financial goals and past mistakes as part of the plan. But, knowing what you want to achieve, the goals, and the general direction you want to go in can have a massive impact on your business. If you are not sure about how to create a business plan, there are a lot of local government business support groups that can help you to create a business plan for free.
Contact the tax office
This is a part where many people fall down as they don’t think to register with the tax office. It doesn’t matter how little or how much money you make, you need to get registered with your local tax office. Unfortunately, it is not up to you to decide if you need to be registered with them or not. If you discover that you are not making as much money as you want, you should still register with them and declare your income. It is better to be covered for no reason than to get in trouble over nothing. Also, having tax information for your business can be very useful if you need to apply for a personal loan or a mortgage.
If you have a business where you make everything by hand, there is a chance that you don’t need to source too many materials. However, if you have a product that you need made, you will need to find a plan to make the items for you. For example, if you design running leggings for women, you will need to source the fabric to be printed on and find a factory to make them. This can be a daunting task. Don’t be afraid to dig deep and ask around for recommendations. Having a product made in a factory is a huge step and it is worth your while getting all of the information correct.
Taking your business to the next step is a big job that your bank account might not be able to stretch to. Getting additional is not always necessary but it is good to know that there are options out there to fund your business. If you feel that this is a logical choice, you will need to do a lot of research to see what is available and how it will benefit you. This is also where your business plan comes in handy as it can show potential investors that your business is worth funding. However, funding can come from many places including bank loans and grants from the local community fund. It is always worth your while asking around for more information, especially when it comes to finding grants and local support.
Have you ever heard of the phrase, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? Well, this phrase applies to your business. Getting to know people is a necessary evil when it comes to business as you never know who or what can help you. Don’t shy away from making those connections and shaking those hands (if it is safe to do so). Get to know your local community as these people are the people who will be using your business. They may never buy anything from you, but they might know a person who can carry out odd jobs around the place for next to nothing. Or maybe they have heard about the latest round of grants for local businesses or employment agency. You never know what little gem of knowledge people will share with you.
Every business needs a place to call its headquarters, so where will yours be? If you are working from home, will your home address be the registered address or will you hire a mailbox to help keep your details safe? If you have a store or an office that is separate from your house or in the next town, you won’t have to worry about your details getting out there. Your business headquarters is where all of your business information is registered. If you do work from home, hiring a mailbox to prevent your details from getting out there can provide you with real peace of mind. And there are plenty to choose from. Have a check and see if there are any in your local area that would work for you. You never know, you could end up with your business name displayed proudly over the doors of your new building as well as on the tax book.
Take additional training
When you have your own business, you might think that you know everything that you need to know. However, the world is always changing so you need to be on top of any type of change that could affect your business. Taking regular training and educating yourself is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. As you get older, the mind can have issues with remembering things. If you keep your mind sharp, you can keep your mind and your business going for longer and with fewer hiccups. There are a range of things that you can attend training for such as health and safety, or industry specific training. The choice is endless and completely up to you.
As you can see, there is a lot to think about when you are taking your business to the next level. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and shop around for more information. Remember, this is your business, you have to make the decisions so make sure they are the right ones.
Disclosure: This is a featured post.