Deciding to set up a business on your own can be an exciting prospect, but it can also be daunting if it's something of which you have no prior experience. Fortunately, there is plenty of help and guidance available to get you on the right path and to ensure that you reap the benefits from your new venture.
No new business owner is expected to be an expert in all areas of business management, so don't be afraid to ask for help. The Federation of Small Businesses is a professional body that can help new businesses get off the ground, so get in touch if there are specific areas about which you need advice.
This could include aspects such as how to deal with your financial affairs and taxation, in addition to any legal issues or specific requirements around insurance, health and safety or data protection. Some of these areas will be essential to your business, whilst other types of information can provide strategies that help to minimise your costs; vital for any new start-up looking for long-term success. Getting to grips with some of these essential parts of the business can get you off to a healthy start, avoiding potentially costly or time consuming issues further down the line.
Successfully working for yourself also involves knowing who you are and what you want to achieve. Even if you are a one-person outfit, think of your business in terms of a brand. What is the message that you want to get across to others? How can you serve their needs? Create branding that your target audience can easily recognise and understand, and use it consistently in all of your communications.
Where you work and how much space you require will depend on the nature of your business. At the very basic level, you might only need a laptop and internet connection, which gives you increased flexibility regarding your work location. Try to maintain a professional set-up wherever you work, however, so that you can avoid any distractions, especially if you choose to work from home. It is often hard to stick to traditional working hours when setting up shop for yourself, but do try to set your hours as best as you can so that overtime does not become the norm. If you try to abide by a set of rules or criteria, such as your work ethic and types of clients or work you prefer, you will not only find your work more enjoyable, but you will also be able to carve out the reputation that you desire for your business.
Building up recognition is one of the key considerations for any new business, so think about how to grow your client list and make your brand more visible. Having a website and social media presence can be vital, but make the most of other networking opportunities such as attending conferences and events. The Federation of Small Businesses is a good place to start exploring various networking opportunities in your region.
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