on 07 September 18
The first few months in the life of a start-up can be a difficult period, not least because both time and money are in short supply. However, decisions made at this stage can have a profound effect on the long term success of the business. Therefore, it is wise to give some thought to key areas, to ensure that your systems are established in the most efficient and effective ways as possible.
One of the first decisions you will have to make is whether you are going to work as a sole trader or whether you want to establish a limited company. Gov.uk offers a comprehensive overview of how you should go about choosing a legal structure for your business.
Many start-ups will initially choose the sole trader route. If you decide to opt for this route, issues of tax and payroll will run much more smoothly if you have systems set up from the outset. As the Futurelink Group outlines, it is better to focus on your business in these early days, rather than having to worry about paperwork, invoicing and calculating tax.
Technology may not be your area of expertise but for any startup computers are going to form an integral part of your business. If you want to work as efficiently as possible, purchase the fastest computer you can afford, and one which gives you plenty of storage space.
It is also important to keep your data safe. This can be achieved by installing anti-virus software, changing your passwords frequently and keeping hardware, such as tablets, laptops and mobiles, secure. Data protection is not only important for you as a business, but it will also reassure your clients that their information and payment details are safe.
If you run into computer issues, such as a loss of data or hardware malfunction, you are probably not going to want to pay for technical support on every occasion. To guard against problems try to pick up as much technical knowledge as you can. A little online research will reap rewards in terms of tutorials and video help. One example is Cheeky Munkey, which offers a range of free online guides and tips for keeping your computer running smoothly.
One of the most effective ways to market your small business is online. Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, offer a free way to reach potential customers, whatever type of business you run. If you sell business to business ensure that your profile is current on LinkedIn and start reaching out to those in your network.
A website is a necessity in todayâs business environment. Even a simple site, which conveys who you are and what your business offers, will help you to attract clients. A website should also act as your home base, where you refer all potential contacts to, and from where you can build your mailing list.
When you are running a start-up alone, or with a skeleton staff, you may wonder how you are going to achieve all that you need to, with limited time and potential skill gaps. Fortunately, a rise in the popularity of freelancing has meant that there is now a vast army of people, with diverse skill sets, on who you can call.
Freelancers usually work from home and are hired on an hourly or project by project basis. Therefore, you have no long term commitment in terms of overheads and salaries and no requirement to offer employee benefits. Furthermore, it is relatively easy to find skilled staff in almost every business area, from graphic designers, to web developers and even professionals offering advice in areas such as bookkeeping, contracts and litigation.
There is no doubt that todayâs economic environment is highly competitive for any small business. However, by utilising the benefits that the internet offers, it is possible to gain an advantage. Reaching out online brings you into contact with potential clients and freelance expertise, both of which are going to be essential to help your business grow.
This blog is listed under IT Strategy & Management Community