Starting Your Business
There are many aspects to running a successful business but these are our top five tips.
1. Pick the right people for the job. Within your student company, you have five key roles. These include Managing Director. Finance Manager, Company Secretary, Sales and Operations.
Download the job descriptions here.
Build up an environment in which everyone participates so you can form a positive culture. Together, you can achieve a great deal more than working as individuals.
The student kick-start event will show you how to put the right person into the right role.
2. Documentation and good administration are vital to running a successful business. This includes keeping accurate records of meetings, action points and your finances. You can find helpful templates in the meeting and finance section of the website.
3. Start with a good plan. Download this business plan template to get you started. You need to know the objectives of your business, your strategy, the market you plan to sell in and your financial forecasts.
4. Market research is key. Not only do you need to know your competitors, but you also need to understand your customers.
To be successful, you need to be able to keep up with the latest trends. There are so many companies that go extinct just because they couldn’t keep up with what was going on in their field. Make sure that you’re studying your competitors and the major trends in your industry.
5. Begin work as soon as possible. Even if you don’t have your business idea just yet, start raising the funds to get moving.
Choosing a name for your business
The name of your business does not have to be the same as your product or idea. This way, if you change your idea or product, you do not have to change the name of your company.
Remember that the business name must be professional and easy to remember. Your business name will appear on all your communications, such as letterheads and emails.
When deciding on a product or idea for your business:
- Look at social media – people are forever complaining about life’s problems on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
- Read magazines, newspapers and catalogues such as Ikea or Argos.
- Go to the supermarket and browse the shelves.
- Listen to Radio 4 – it always has programmes about unusual businesses or pursuits.
- Read the user comments on a blog post or online newspaper article.
- Switch off your computer and think of your hobby and do something that interests you.
- Create a discussion group on an Internet forum.
- Set yourself a challenge – try to come up with an idea which doesn’t use artificial products, create a carbon footprint or use orange dye. You’ll be surprised how creative it makes you.
- Take a walk around your school and listen to what the students are talking about.
- Learn a new skill.
- Perform a random search on Wikipedia.
- Make a list of things you use every day and think about how you could improve them.