Starting your own small business can, at the same time, be both the most exciting and scary thing you ever do!  Even if you are confident about your business idea, the next step of organizing your business resources can drain both your confidence and your energy!   It always helps to have a sense of the major priorities, to ensure that nothing’s forgotten and if that’s the point you’re at, then have a quick check over these business resource must-haves:

Business plan:

Basically this is a document which outlines what your business intends to do, including:

  • details of your product or service, including manufacture, staffing and costs.
  • your market research, which may include a comparison of local competitors and market viability study.
  • the important details of the financial aspects of your business, including projected income and outlay.

This sounds a daunting document to create from scratch- so don’t!  Invest some time researching business plans on-line and you’ll be pleasantly surprised – there are lots of templates available which are free to download.  These can offer a greater or lesser degree of detail but most are easily adaptable to suit your needs.  Some examples are even industry specific so if, for instance, you are planning to start up a cleaning company or a catering business, you should be able to find templates and examples of business plans in these specific areas.

Finance:

Most small businesses require some investment of capital in order to get started.  A business start-up loan can be applied for from most banking or financial institutions, but you will need to have already drawn up your business plan so that you can show these lenders both that you are serious about your venture and that you have completed your research, so therefore can speak knowledgeably about the local or national market that you wish to compete in.

Even if you are self-financing, you will need to have a ‘float’ of savings behind you, not only to invest in outlay for setting up your company, but also so that you can be sure of meeting your own domestic bills during the period where your business is not fully up and running (until the point where it is earning you an income).  You must be prepared for the fact that this can take upwards of six months, so you should ensure that you have enough savings to keep you afloat (aim for at least a year if you can).

Insurance;

Do check all aspects of insurance as you move into setting up your business.   Consider:

  • Changes to your home insurance: if you have set up a home office, are trading from home, or even holding stock in your garage, check with your insurer to make sure that your policy covers this.  If your current policy doesn’t, then update it so that these items are included.  It’s bad enough putting your home back to rights after an accident or burglary, imagine having to get your livelihood back on track too!
  • Business insurance: if you are trading from a retail or office unit where customers and clients visit you, or you are providing a service that goes to the customer’s location, make sure that this is covered by a specific insurance, such as public liability insurance.   Any good broker should be able to identify cheap business insurance that covers the basics that you will need, but if you have a very specific business idea, you may want to talk directly to some insurers to identify who can offer you both the best deal for the maximum cover.

These three are the mainstay business resources for whatever industry or market you are planning to join.  Pay plenty of attention to preparing these three properly then you and your business can have a firm foothold as you step into the wide world of business!  Good luck!

Related posts:

  1. Finding the Right Business Insurance for your Business
  2. Business Loans and Finance

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