Right now, increasing numbers of people are deciding to set up their own businesses. There are so many reasons for this, but many people’s decision has largely been fuelled by the coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic. Of course, opening up your own business has always been an option, so it may feel odd that people are suddenly deciding to start their own now. But before the pandemic, many of us were in jobs that we didn’t think all too much about. We just turned up to work our nine to five, went home and enjoyed our free time and repeated. Since the events of the pandemic, many of us feel a lot less secure in our own jobs, even when we’re employed by major corporations and companies. The pandemic has caused all sorts of companies to collapse.
Many have been made redundant and have grown frustrated to find ourselves working for someone who can easily make the wrong decisions that result in us losing our jobs at little harm to them or their own income. Many companies have also collapsed, leaving us jobless and wanting to take the reigns of our own career path. Now that life is slowly starting to return to normal, and as more and more of us are being vaccinated, many of us now want to focus on something that we’re genuinely interested in and that we’re happy to spend our time working on and investing our efforts into.
We want to choose what we sell, we want to choose who we work with, we want to choose where we work from and what hours we work. Setting up your own business comes with all of these benefits! Of course, creating a startup is going to take a lot of work. Here are some steps you can take to get the ball rolling in the right direction!
Maintain Your Privacy
If you’re running your own business, one of the most important things you should do is to prioritize your own privacy. There are all sorts of things that you might do, not realizing that you open up a whole lot of personal information to the wider public. When you run a business you need to register your business to an address and many people put this address as their home address. However, this then becomes public knowledge and you could find yourself receiving disgruntled correspondence or worse from disgruntled customers or business partners. Some people will use their personal phone and email address for business purposes, only to find that they either give an unprofessional presence or that they start to find it difficult to create a healthy work-life balance due to people sending professional messages to your personal means of communication. The good news is that there are ways to maintain your own privacy. Pay for a business address different to your own and have mail forwarded to you or use a PO box. Set up a business email address. Take out a second phone contract for business use. This may seem costly, but it’s all more than worth it.
Once you’ve got the basics set up, you can focus on product development. This is the process of bringing the products you’ve got in your mind to life. This will likely be a lengthy process, as there are so many things to take into consideration. Here are some that you might want to take into consideration.
Carry Out Market Research
When you come up with an idea for a product, you need to undertake market research. Put simply, market research is any research into consumers and their behavior. You can learn a whole lot about what people want and what they are willing to pay for and whether your product is likely to be a hit with them or not. There are so many different ways to conduct market research, including surveys, questionnaires, focus groups, seminars, and much more. You can then edit your product to ensure that everything meets your customers’ needs.
Make Sure There’s Profit Margin
Perhaps the most important aspect of product development is ensuring that your product is cost-effective and can generate a profit. When you create a product for the consumer market, you need to make sure that not only is there a demand for the product, but you need to make sure that the cost of creating the product is significantly less than what consumers are willing to pay for it. You can determine your “profit margin” by making sure that the production costs attached to your product are less than the price tag that you will be offering to customers. Total up the costs of all the raw materials, components, or ingredients that go into the final item you intend to sell. You could need anything from Threaded Steel Pipe to wiring elements. So think of everything involved in the production process.
Of course, once you’re ready to start selling your products or services and as soon as you begin to experience an increase in demand, you can find yourself with way too much work on your hands. Trying to manage everything yourself can result in slow shipping, slow responses and an inability to develop new products and focus on marketing campaigns. This can all prove greatly detrimental to your business.
You’re going to have to accept some work at some point or another. However, if you’re just starting out in business, chances are you don’t really want to take on staff yet. Staff come hand in hand with a whole lot of responsibility. You need to provide them with contracted hours and contracted pay. This goes whether you’re making sufficient money to make a profit or not. You also have to provide them with employee benefits such as annual leave, sick pay, parental leave and more. The good news is that there’s an alternative. This is outsourcing. As demand grows, you can hand over work that your company needs to be completed to a third party.
This third party will most likely be a freelancer or an agency (who will have plenty of freelancers on their books and act as a middle person between you and them). They will complete the work on your behalf. If you’re struggling for money, you can suspend or cancel the services and not worry about being at a loss. Some common areas to outsource include:
- Web design
- Web development
- Logo design
- Product photography
- Fulfilment and shipping
- Customer support
Marketing is going to be a major part of your business process, regardless of what you decide to sell. So, make sure to seriously take it into consideration. The purpose of marketing is to make sure that people are aware of your brand and products and to encourage them to buy what you have to offer. Some common means of marketing include:
- Print marketing
- Paid digital ads
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Collaboration with social media influencers
Now, you can build a marketing team in-house and this tends to be effective, as you create a team who are familiar with your brand and can provide ongoing work that tests what works and what doesn’t. However, you can outsource your marketing too.
Of course, setting up your own business is going to take a whole lot more effort than simply carrying out the steps above. But hopefully, some of those highlighted above will help to get you started out on the right path!