Start – Before You Begin Your New Business

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The pre start-up phase could be the most important time of your business life. You’d be surprised at the number of prospective businesses decide on the legal status of their venture, open bank accounts, rent premises BEFORE they have done the necessary research and determined whether their idea makes financial sense and importantly after the initial set-up, whether they have created a viable commercial proposition.

These days, online service operations offer the cheapest set-up options with minimal overheads. If run from home there’s no business rates, no rental costs, no premises running costs like maintenance and extra utility bills. Keeping costs as low as possible is so important, especially as you can bet that unexpected and unplanned for costs suddenly crop up.

I was talking to a firm of accountants, DLR Accountants in Colchester, and they hold a refreshing view on new business start-ups. They provide the usual range of advice for small businesses but they act as business advisors too, providing guidance before people commit themselves before they’ve had the chance to really think things through. For them the most important trading indicator is cash flow in the first 18 months. This involves managing the flows of newly created money coming into the bank, and checking on any toxic flow away from the business. The thinking being that if you’ve managed to manage this essential lifeblood of the business in the early stages, you’ll have a better chance of making it to 2 years and beyond.

Start the way you mean to go on. Start by beginning to research, question and test your ideas before you box yourself into a corner that can be very costly.





Pre Start-Up Online Learning Offer

Great Business Ideas

You would not believe the number of people who start their own business without being fully prepared for what life has to throw at them.  Many new businesses fail in the first months because they have not learned from others and make mistakes that could be easily avoided. ‘If only’ is a phrase that should go before these reasons for failure:

If only:

  • I had chosen the right kind of business to suit my personality and talents
  • I had done my research to find out whether my business idea would be in demand
  • I had secured enough finance to help me cope with unexpected costs
  • I had carefully considered how I was going to sell my product or service


The list goes on, but the point is that they could have anticipated these issues in the crucial time before they committed time and serious money to a project that was not commercially viable.

This is where ‘Success before Start Up’ comes in.  The book will help you learn about the most popular types of business from taking on a franchise or starting an online business from a spare bedroom with only a desk, computer and you.  One thing I’ve learned is to listen to other’s who started at exactly the same place as you.  That is, without much learning.  The book captures the experiences of eighteen different small businesses to share.  Each explained why they chose a particular business to enter, whether it worked, what mistakes and what successes they had and lastly they were asked whether they would do it again.  Amazingly across a wide spectrum many of the stories were similar.

The pre start-up online learning offer is in two parts.  You will receive a copy of the book ‘Success before Start-Up and a step-by-step workbook.  The workbook will take you through the 4 Factors of Start-Up Success and once you’ve completed each section there’s a Business Model Planner sheet that you will use to add the essential information that relates to your idea.  By the time you’ve finished the fourth sheet you will have created the blueprint for your first business plan.  You will also get advice on start-up costs, the different forms of funding and tips on how to attract investors.

The pre start-up online learning offer is written in plain English and is designed to be easily understood.  Armed with this valuable source of advice and information you will be well equipped to progress and have a much better chance of succeeding and not make the mistakes that cripple new businesses.  Good luck!

The Planning Factor- Why Write A Business Plan

If you’re new to business the thought of preparing and writing a business plan can be daunting.  My advice is to take it slowly and one step at a time.  Often big projects become achievable if you reduce them to their separate elements and tackle each in turn.  By creating a plan for your business you will have examined and answered key questions on the viability of your venture, and most importantly prove this to yourself and your supporters.  Not only that you will have produced evidence  that your concept will stand scrutiny  to yourself,  to  bank managers and other potential investors including any friend and family that could make a contribution to start-up costs.

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The Financial Factor – Money is the lifeblood of your business

So, you have a cracking business idea.  Is it commercially viable?  Is the idea worth anything? Will it make you enough money to cover set-up and running costs?  Will it produce enough profit to satisfy your business and personal requirements? Essentially, will your idea create enough income through sales to give you a living and be an attractive proposition to investors or for banks and other sources of finance to provide the initial resources you need?

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The Marketing Factor – Is your idea viable?

Sometimes a business idea can strike from a clear blue sky. It can be pure invention and originality. More commonly it’s a form of re-invention, where inspiration flows from an existing product or service already on the market. You suddenly see a weakness and a way to make a dramatic improvement to make it function better or widen its application.  In the case of providing a service, it may stimulate a fresh new take on an old model.  For example, this could be providing an exciting new option to a clearly defined niche market. The restaurant sector is a prime example of re-invention and fresh customer offerings that appeal to a particular consumer group.

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