How to Start a Small Business: What You Need to Know

So you have a great idea for a business and can’t wait to get cracking? You might think you’ve already done the hard part, and arguably, you’d be right. Having a great small business idea is a large part of determining whether your business will be a success or not.


So you have a great idea for a business and can’t wait to get cracking? You might think you’ve already done the hard part, and arguably, you’d be right. Having a great small business idea is a large part of determining whether your business will be a success or not.

So you have a great idea for a business and can’t wait to get cracking? You might think you’ve already done the hard part, and arguably, you’d be right. Having a great small business idea is a large part of determining whether your business will be a success or not.

However, a great small business idea is only the beginning. It is what comes next that can prove confusing and tiresome for many would-be entrepreneurs. For good or for bad, there’s red tape that needs to be cut through before you can get your small business off the ground, and many practicalities that need to be considered.

Follow this step-by-step guide to starting up your small business and you’re sure to be on your way to being a successful business owner in no time:

Step One: Business planning

The saying goes that to fail to plan is to plan to fail, and this is never truer than in business. No matter how good an idea you have, if you scrimp on the planning stage then it is unlikely to ever materialise into a successful business.

Writing a business plan is a good idea, even for those who may not have a practical need for one in order to secure funding. The act of committing your business plans to paper will help you to see any weak points in your idea more clearly as it forces you to look at the business from an outside perspective.

A key aspect of any business plan is market research. Any would-be investors are going to want to see facts and figures to back up why you feel your business is sure to be a success; and as your company’s biggest investor you need to thoroughly examine all factors that could affect the chances of this being realised.

Step Two: Secure investment or interest

Those looking to secure investment in their small business idea need to look at their business plan as their key sales document. The product or service on offer should be clearly and concisely explained with sums, facts and figures to back up why there is a need in the market for such a product/service.

Potential investors will expect to see predictions of financial business success in both the short and long term, and it is essential that these predictions are tangible and realistic.

Your target market should be clear from your market research, but it is a good idea to gauge interest at an early stage. It is important for your small business security that you have clearly identified the people who are ready and waiting to utilise your service or product.

Step Three: Get ready to launch your business

Congratulations You’ve secured investment for your business and have identified a target market that is snapping at the bait. Now it’s time to begin realising your business dreams.

Step three is all about the practicalities, and what they are exactly will depend very much on what type of business you are looking to run. You may need premises, a venue or an office from which to run your business, as well as equipment, staff or stock.

The possibilities of what will be required to get your small business off the ground are as wide as the possible business ideas out there. The tricky part is to identify exactly what you need and then get hold of it as cost effectively and as quickly as possible.

Some businesses are required to hold public liability insurance, and if so, it is important to shop around for the most suitable cover at the best possible price.

It is also important to register your small business with HMRC otherwise you face being hit with a £100 fine.

While you are carrying out this essential business preparation it is a good idea to be simultaneously marketing your product or service so that potential customers are aware of you from the off.

Step Four: Opening your business

Once you have all the components of your business in place, it is time to open the doors to the droves of customers who are sure to be keen to utilise your service or product. Surely, this is where the hard work really begins?

Todd Cardy

Adelbert Swaniawski

Todd was Editor of GrowthBusiness.co.uk between 2010 and 2011 as well as being responsible for publishing our digital and printed magazines focusing on private equity and venture capital. Connect with...

Related Topics

Business Pitching