Top Tips for Setting Up Your Own Business

[Image - Jeff Sheldon]
Written by Sam Skelding

To help dads get their business ideas off the ground, insurance broker Simply Business have put together these expert tips.

1) Make the most of social media and online influencers

There are dozens of social media platforms and it’s overwhelming to think of using them all for your business. The key is to pick one or two platforms and do them well. Carry out some research first and find out who your target market is and where they spend their time online. A simple infographic that sheds light on who uses what is a quick way to get your head around it.

Facebook is the most user friendly and widely used platform and is usually the best starting point. Ensure any business leads recommend you via the Facebook rating system for extra social kudos.

Once you’ve become comfortable with your platform, seek out influencers in the digital space and start building relationships. A good review or mention of your brand or product by a popular blogger could bring more leads than you could have paid for.

2) Naming your start-up

Picking the right name for a new business requires some serious thought. Sometimes the best ideas can come to you when you’re least expecting them. Keep a pen and paper next to your bed in case you have a lightbulb moment at 3am. Still struggling for inspiration? Gather a group of friends and a large sketch pad and begin brainstorming. Word association games are usually a good starting point.

3) Identify free marketing opportunities

The age of the internet has created endless possibilities for marketing and communicating with our customers. The amount of choice and jargon surrounding marketing your business can make it a daunting task, especially if tech isn’t your thing.

One buzzword that has been floating around for a while now is SEO or Search Engine Optimisation if you want to impress your friends. You’ll need a website so keep this one in the back pocket if you don’t have one yet.

4) Putting the fun in funding!

Got a business idea but not enough capital to get it off the ground? There are plenty of crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo which are great to test out ideas and gain literal buy-in from the public. Another great way to test your idea and begin growing a cult following is to experiment with a pop-up shop. The founders of We Are Pop Up have put together a great advice piece on what to expect from your first pop-up.

5) Get the ball rolling!

When establishing a business, you have to start somewhere! It can be easy to procrastinate and obsess over the tiniest detail, so try not to get caught up in your shop front/stall/website before you launch. You’ll find it’s a constantly evolving process that will develop over time. Ensure you don’t neglect the legalities or slightly dull but necessary admin aspects of your business, such as an insurance policy.

6) Involve your family

Even if your family do not have a hands-on part in helping you build your business, it is still vital that they are kept in the loop. You may, for example, need to ensure that you are given the time to work in the evenings or weekends without interruption, and you will need to negotiate this with your family.

It is worth remembering though, that your family may well have skills that you can use. Many of the most successful spare-time businesses are family affairs, with individual members working together to build something sustainable.

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