Starting your own business is an increasingly popular alternative to braving an unpredictable job market, but it can seem daunting at first. For the most part, though, the answer to “what do I need to start a business” can be broken down into three things: an idea, some capital, and premises to carry out your work. Our guest blogger, Saija Mahon, is the founder of Mahon Digital Marketing Ltd, an international digital media agency. Read on to hear her top advice about where to begin…
If you’ve come up with a brilliantly original business idea with no direct competitors, well and good, but those are few and far between. Most new businesses have to break into an existing market, and for that you need some unique selling point. It might be anything from your exceptional skills to reasonable pricing, but it should answer the question “why should I use you, rather than your competitors?”
You’ll obviously need some capital if you require premises or substantial stock, but even the smallest business may need a few start-up costs — such as someone to design your website. If you don’t have the money yourself, you can either get a loan or look for investors. Banks are a little less wary of offering loans than a few years ago, but they’ll expect you to match what they lend you.
If you’re going for the investment model, you could look for big investors, or even go on Dragon’s Den, but you’d probably do better asking friends or family. Remember, though, any shares people buy into will need to be put on a formal basis, which will probably need a solicitor.
Many businesses need an office, workshop or retail outlet to operate from, and you’ll need to account for everything from rent to energy costs. Others may be run from home, or even from a wandering laptop. It’s important to remember, though, that using your home as a business address could affect your insurance, so it’s as well to check that out.
Plenty! Although this covers the biggest points of consideration. Speaking of insurance, you may need professional indemnity or public liability insurance. It might pay too to have sessions with a solicitor and an accountant to make sure you’re aware of all your legal obligations.
There’s also the little matter of attracting customers or clients. But that’s getting into the realm of growing your business, once you’ve started it. Good luck in your venture, I can assure you it’s worth the time you put in!
About our guest blogger:
Saija Mahon is the founder of Mahon Digital Marketing Ltd, an international digital media agency that helps businesses of all sizes to achieve their overall sales targets by using the various online channels available nowadays as a means to drive brand awareness, direct sales and cost effective growth for business.
After working for some of the biggest media agencies in London United Kingdom, Saija decided over 4 years ago that it was time to launch her own business focusing on what she loves most, online marketing, and more specifically paid search, social media and search engine optimisation.
Mahon Digital has since expanded globally, operating offices from the UK, Scandinavia and Asia.
Saija has also launched business networking events company called The Caviar Club, over in Scandinavia in order to enable the digital world to meet with the physical, and the events have rapidly become the most popular occasion in the quarterly business calendar. And this is only the beginning!
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