Over the decades, it’s become a trend that after large global events, people decide to make big changes in their life. We’ve seen huge baby booms after wars, and the housing market in the UK has been booming since COVID-19 restrictions began to lift.
Similarly, many people have decided that now is the time to launch their own business. This could be a result of people losing their jobs and taking the opportunity to do what they have always wanted, using their time on furlough to follow their passions or simply realising that life is too short!
There’s so much to think about and consider when launching your own business, however. Let’s cover off the basics that should be at the top of your to-do list…
Business plans are important
A business plan is vital to the success of launching any business. It can be tempting to jump straight into launching once you have your idea, but this is a mistake. Preparation is key! A business plan helps you outline the steps you need to take to make this launch a success, and ensures continued success in the future.
Your business plan also forces you to develop your business idea and brand into something solid and considered. It should include your mission statement, a description of your business and your key target audience, a list of your products or services, an analysis of the current market and opportunity and a financial plan.
You must register your business
In order to successfully set up your business, you must register it. This means your company will be legally recognised as a business in the UK.
What you need in order to do this will depend on your type of business, where you work and whether you take on people to help you. The Gov.UK website should tell you all you need to know. At the very least, you will need to register with HMRC to make sure that you are paying your taxes to the correct amount and deadline.
Protect your income
Finances can be scary when you begin flying solo. You don’t have a monthly solid paycheque to fall back on, no holiday pay or sick pay. So, what happens when things go wrong and you physically cannot work and earn money? You should seriously consider taking out income protection insurance.
Income protection insurance does what it says on the tin – it protects your income. If you become seriously ill or injured and cannot work, you can claim on your policy and receive a regular proportion of your salary (up to 50-70%). This insurance is really important for everyone – but arguably especially for anyone self-employed. It’s the safety net you need so you can keep on top of your day-to-day financial responsibilities if something happens to you.
Business mentors and coaches are your best friend
Starting your own business can feel totally mind-boggling. Where do you even start? Sometimes, you just need someone to sit you down and help you work out the details. Business mentors and coaches can be invaluable when you are starting out, so surround yourself with positive people that can help you.
A lot of running a business is practice and learnings, so it’s difficult to expect to get everything right the first time around. Mentors and coaches help you minimise mistakes by passing on their wisdom. Whether your business mentor is your parent, a friend, an old employer – or even someone you have come across online or on social media, you might be surprised at just how much useful advice they can offer based on their experiences.
Keep the passion
The most important ingredient to a successful business? Passion. That’s what gets you through the failures, the long hours and the hiccups, and gets you to the big successes, your first sales and your milestones. Without passion, businesses and business ideas can fizzle out pretty quickly.
Whatever it is you decide to launch, make sure you are doing it for the right reasons and that it is something you truly believe it – not just a way out of your 9-5 job. Passion is the key to being continuously driven and challenged in what you decide to do.