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The Christmas season can provide may opportunities to start and build a nice little business which will carry you into the New Year. Here are a few ideas and some things to consider before taking the leap.

  • Do you have Capital in Place?

Starting a business can be exciting and getting off to a good start is essential in gaining a foothold in your chosen market. But you must make sure you have funds to keep you going when things are a bit tough. This can be keeping a bit more profit to one side or having some capital in reserve to cover any weeks which may not be as cashflow friendly. I would suggest having at least 3-6 months running costs and bills always to call upon if needed, ensuring you replace them when you have had to use for emergencies.

  • Are You Legal?

You need to make sure you have all the tax, legal and any essential Accreditations or Industry Standards in place before you start. If you must be registered with a governing body, make sure you have copies for proof if anyone asks to see them.  One hot topic now is General Data Protection Registration(GDPR) as companies will have to comply to certain rules by May 2018. Information can be found at https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-reform/overview-of-the-gdpr/

  • Do You Have Somewhere to Conduct your Business?

This all depends on the type of business you wish to run. If you are a retailer you may need premises and a license to operate your business. If you provide consultancy, do you use your home or get an office? There are many advantages to getting an office, but this can be an expensive initial outlay considering you would have to pay deposits and usually a couple of months up front. One way of overcoming this is to set up an office in your own home. This can be done quickly and cheaply. First pick a room you want to work in and get rid of all your clutter (good way of doing this without having to throw anything away is to use a Storage firm like Safestore). Once you are set up you are then good to go.

  • Chose the Right Marketing Channel

Depending on what you want to achieve and your timeframes, you need to consider a few options to get your customers in. First would be local advertising and registering on Google with a Local Business Listing and you can learn how to do this here - https://www.business2community.com/social-business/add-business-google-maps-01094521

There are a lot of marketing channels available to use, and you can use more than one. Here are some popular ways of getting clients and customers to through the door: -

1.     SEO (Organic Search Marketing)

This involves getting your website (every business should have one) listed in Googles Search Results pages. This is achieved by a mixture of On-page updates and Technical make up of your site, and Off-page Authority, which can be achieved by gaining backlinks from other sites. This Channel can take time to build up, so I would do this as part of a more medium tolLong term goal.

2.     PPC (Pay Per Click Advertising)

This can be done with Google AdWords or any other Paid Ads Platform. You basically pay for position on search results on the platform.  Advantage of this is that it is instant, you can set up a campaign and be up and running in front of potential customers within hours.  A disadvantage i,s that depending on the Industry you chose, it can be expensive to start. Get some expert advice before you start any paid advertising campaign.

3.     Traditional Offline Marketing

This can be in the form of leaflet drops, handing out business cards or putting up posters in your local area (with permission of course). This type of advertising can yield some surprisingly great results. Offline advertising can still provide a great return on investment, if you do your research correctly.

In conclusion, you can start a business quickly these days, with access to online advertising and make some revenue in the short term. Providing you adhere to the above and most importantly of all - do your research before you start, as starting over or making initial mistakes can be costly. Done correctly and with the right products and/or service, you can be well on the way to a great New Year with a successful New Business.