The novel coronavirus has completely transformed the way that we do business, not just in the UK, but across the world. Many kinds of business have become unviable, virtually overnight, leaving many twiddling their thumbs at home, having been furloughed or made redundant.
If you’re in this position, then you might view it as an opportunity to develop your side-hustle, perhaps turning it into a full-time source of income. But how can you make this happen?
Create a Strong Business Plan
Every successful business starts with a business plan. This is a written document where you’ll be able to thrash out your intentions, your aims, and how you’ll measure success. With your plan, you’ll be able to persuade would-be collaborators that your idea is worthwhile – but, perhaps more importantly, you’ll be able to think your business idea through more thoroughly yourself.
Apply for a Small Business Loan
Getting off the ground often requires an injection of capital. This will allow you to be competitive in attracting the right talent. If your credit score is less than stellar, then you might struggle to attract funding from mainstream lenders. Your business plan should help you to know exactly how much you’re looking to borrow, and the rate at which you’ll be able to pay it back. You might also look into government-backed grants (more info on this here).
Staying on top of the numbers is critical if you’re to prevent your business from haemorrhaging cash. Regularly examine and audit your expenses, and ask whether each is really necessary. If you’re struggling to see the big picture, then you might find it worthwhile to seek the advice of a financial adviser.
Commit Your Time
When you’re trying to get a small business going, then you’ll be amazed at how many hours of the day the whole exercise consumes. Expect this and embrace it – but be sure that you aren’t getting bogged down in minutiae, and that you know when to delegate. Don’t attempt to micro-manage everything yourself; cut costs by installing your own kitchen at the new office and you might find that you actually spend more time than you thought you would.
Look into Marketing
Branding and marketing are activities whose importance is often underestimated by new entrepreneurs. But if you can’t effectively get your message across, then you can’t expect to be able to attract and retain customers, or to be visible in a more general sense. In a digital age, marketers have a range of technological tools available to them, but traditional, physical marketing still has an important role to play. Flyers and leaflets, for a certain kind of local business, are absolutely critical.
To prosper, you’ll need to surround yourself with the right team – people who can offset your weaknesses and emphasise your strengths. These might just be part-time staff and freelancers to start with – and you might find that you don’t need to go any further than that.