Starting a business is hard work, especially if you’re doing it on your own

Increasing numbers of people are taking the plunge into entrepreneurship, their heads full of dreams of spearheading the next big brand in their industry. But every business has to start somewhere, and many new organisations begin with just a single member of staff – the founder.

It may seem overwhelming to get your business started entirely by yourself, but it is doable. We’re here to help with our top tips for starting a solo small business. Let’s take a look.

Choose the right business structure

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is what structure your business will operate under, determining your day-to-day activities and limitations, including taxes, obligations and more.

For one-person businesses, the most common business structures include Sole Proprietorships and Limited Liability Companies (LLCs). Sole Proprietorship means there will be no distinction between your business and personal finances, while an LLC is a separate legal entity. Single-member LLCs can offer complete control and liability protection.

Create a business plan

A successful business requires a successful business plan, giving you a clear vision in terms of both your long term and short term goals. As well as guiding your business strategy, a business plan can also help you secure necessary funding and split your budget accordingly.

While there are many templates available online, a business plan should be specific to your organisation’s unique requirements. You’ll need to cover a variety of factors in your plan, including market analysis, management, product and service line ups, marketing and sales strategies, and financial projections.

Get to know your audience

Does your business idea fill a niche which is currently underrepresented? Do you know who will benefit from your business once your products/services are made available? Who are you trying to target with your marketing efforts?

These are the kinds of questions you’ll need to be able to answer before you get started with your business. Knowing your audience means knowing what services and marketing you need to deliver in order to catch their attention. Market research is essential at this stage.

Stay on top of legal requirements

The legal requirements attached to your organisation will depend on the specific services you’re offering, but chances are you’ll need to apply for certain licenses and permits in order to begin operations. This is particularly important for body and food-related organisations to make sure health, safety and sanitation are made top priorities.

You’ll probably also want to have an accountant in place to advise you on how best to protect your earnings, and to make sure you’re paying all the necessary taxes.

Maximise your tech

With online access available pretty much anywhere these days, many businesses don’t even need premises in order to get started. E-commerce platforms, DIY website builders and cloud-based storage systems make it easy and convenient to get started online, while social media provides a free and effective way for you to spread the word about your organisation.

Outsource

Just because you’re the only full-time member of staff within your business, doesn’t mean you have to take on all the tasks yourself. Certain jobs like marketing, IT security, finance and more can all be outsourced to freelancers and experts. Not only does this give you peace of mind that you’ve got experienced individuals and agencies on your side, but it also gives you more time to focus on the tasks that require your full attention, helping to take your business from strength to strength.

Need some help with starting up on your own?

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The team at TEDCO Business Support has helped thousands of businesses to grow, supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), so we’re here to support you.

Get in touch today to see how we can help you. Give us a call on 0191 516 61 02 or drop us an email at hello@tedco.org.

What we offer

TEDCO offers one-on-one support provided by a dedicated team of business advisors and a range of pre start seminars available to clients who are taking the first steps into self-employment. This could be looking at an initial idea and developing it further, looking at how to start a business plan, business competitors, business marketing.

Are you eligible?

If you are looking to start and grow a business we’d love to hear from you. Our friendly team of experienced Business Advisors are on hand to take your call to discuss the support available.

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