Start Your Own Business: First Things First

Most people thinking of starting a new business will have a fairly good idea of what they want to do and what type of business they want to run. Nearly all new business owners have that “dream” – some have had it for many years and only now with a particular combination of circumstances are they in a position to attempt to make the dream a reality. After all you want to be doing something you love or that you think will make you money – and hopefully, something that will do both. But before you get carried away with a long-term dream of becoming rich doing what you love take some time to seriously research your business idea.

Start Your Own Business

According to a firm of accountants north london, what you should do first is ask yourself the following questions:

* Is my product or service something people actually want?

* Does the product or service fill a gap in the current market?

* Is the market already saturated with similar products and/or services?

* What can you offer to differentiate yourself from your competitors (tip: this should not simply be under-cutting competitors on price as that is a very risky strategy that is unlikely to lead to long-term growth)?

The reason so many new businesses fail to become a success is that the business plan (if there ever was one) was faulty in the first place. It is one thing knitting jumpers of painting canvases, for instance, for a hobby but quite another matter to do it on a commercial scale, market the idea successfully and actually make a decent profit.

There are some great small businesses out there that do not get the custom they could if they invested more time and effort in marketing their products and services(notice I don’t say investing more money, as it is not always a case of more financial investment being needed, rather more focused effort on selling your product). And I know this from tough personal experience when my first business had a great product and great feedback from customers but just not enough customers. Back then I hadn’t realised that I should be spending much more time than I was simply promoting the products – online, on social media, via networking. I just sat back and expected people to find my website and that was a very common mistake I later learnt.

When you are researching your market, never rely on friends and family for feedback. They invariably want to support you and not be too critical but at this stage you usually need someone to be brutally honest about your business idea. Friends and family’s best intentions will not help you make the best decisions about whether to embark on a business.

So where can you get good advice?

Well there are plenty of good websites and forums aimed at small, startup businesses, including government and tax websites for the nitty gritty. Most of these offer good, impartial advice, but do watch out for some forums where many of the members are just trying to sell you a service (now there’s a business idea!)

Kevin Kholi

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