Being the owner of a startup business is no small feat at the best of times. Starting your business venture after the year which bought us a global health pandemic and economic crises? It’s basically heroic.
But becoming your own boss, and transforming that lightbulb moment into an actual business, is exciting. Fortunately, we’re in the business of championing courageous entrepreneurs! With this in mind, we share some top tips for launching your own startup business as 2021 dawns.
How do I actually start a business?
The start of a new year is a natural turning point, so you might be right at the beginning of your startup journey. Get ready with our free downloadable guide to starting a business. It describes the different types of business structure, and how to set them up.
Finding support and funding for your startup business
With so much focus on support for existing businesses dealing with COVID, finding startup funding might seem rather daunting. The effects of COVID-19 are far reaching, and unfortunately emphasise the stresses and strains of launching a startup. Everyone’s expectations are different, logistics are more complex, demand has changed.
To reduce the risk of applicants abusing the system by over-claiming, grant entitlements are based on previously submitted tax returns. If you’re so new that you have yet to submit one, you won’t be eligible for SEISS funding.
But do not despair, new entrepreneur, because there is still support out there for startup businesses.
Despite the current climate, there are hundreds of grants and schemes supporting the growth and development of fresh new startup businesses. It’s just going to take a bit of research to find them.
UK Startups recommend narrowing your search down on the basis of:
specific funding requirements
Head to the UK Startups website for a comprehensive list of grants and support available to small businesses in 2021.
Navigating the end of the Brexit transition as a startup business
As if the ongoing Coronavirus crisis isn’t eventful enough, there’s the end of the Brexit transition period to think about. Whether you import cheese from Germany or employ staff across Europe, preparing your business for Brexit changes is paramount.
Think outside the box when it comes to finding work
A report by the Centre for Economic Performance suggests that people sourcing work through apps were least affected by the pandemic. In fact, a third of those report having even more work than normal. It shows the importance of keeping up-to-date with industry trends and developments, especially around communications and virtual networking. Carry out a bit of market research, and find out where the best sources of work are.
Companies are cutting costs, which often translates as a cull of freelancers. As the saying goes, now certainly isn’t the time to be putting all of your eggs into one basket. Even if it means breaking out of your comfort zone and getting to grips with a new app or communication platform, now is perfect the time to do so.
Other good habits for startup success
Although we’re currently dealing with world events, some startup business advice is timeless.
Consider your customer
Times have changed, and will continue to evolve. It means there are sure to be significant shifts in the marketplace. Take stock of these changes and listen to your customers, then do what you need to do to supply them with it.
Learn when to say enough is enough
You can’t possibly run a business if you’re burnt out. Know your limits, acknowledge your boundaries, and be open to accepting help from others when you need it.
Diversify your product and/or service
If 2020 taught us anything about business, it’s the importance of never standing still. Some industries have been hit harder than others by the COVID crisis. If you’re fortunate enough not to be one of those, take it as a reminder to stay agile and forward-thinking at all times. You never quite know what’s around the corner.
And of course…
Protect your cash flow at all costs
Chase late payments
Keep a clear divide between personal and business expenses
Don’t overspend where you don’t need to
Reduce your debt as much as possible
All great ways to keep your startup in fine financial fettle!