11 Questions To Ask Yourself When Running a New Business
Today we have a guest blog from Issy Wiggins – Turner. Issy shares some of her wisdom on running a new business. As the owner of Go Easy Travel and Where’s Your Website and Co-Founder of the 10-12 Business Club Issy definitely has some great advice.
11 Questions To Ask Yourself When Running a New Business
As a business owner, it can often be a lonely existence, particularly if you are a solopreneur, with no one to ask or share a problem. It is often not until something happens that we think, why didn’t I consider that?
When starting up in business it is also all too easy to go on a major spending spree “setting up your new company” but do you really need to have everything at once? Recently I got together with other like-minded business owners and we brainstormed questions that we wished we had asked ourselves when we first started up in business. There were some interesting questions that we came up with and most were all down to personal experiences that we could have avoided had we considered these questions.
There are so many things that you need to consider as a business owner and hopefully some of the following questions you may already have asked yourself and answered them sufficiently.
1. Do I need a separate office?
If you work at a desk then yes it would be nice but it’s not mandatory, however do consider creating an area that is distinctly your workspace. Find an area that can be closed off from the rest of the house in some way such as; use of partitions, dividers, drapes, or even a bookcase.
You really need to create some sort of boundary. If internal space is an issue you may need to look at alternative working spaces for all or part of the week. There are some companies that have business lounges where you can work if you have taken out membership with them.
These companies will provide a desk, internet access plus use of kitchen etc. some even provide a full virtual office with business address and call answering. A great option for when you are starting up in business. Even locating a suitable coffee shop with WIFI where you can go and work for chunks of time to be focused.
2. Should I have a proper desk & chair to work from?
Yes. You are your sole employee so you need to look after yourself and that includes your posture and back! Make sure you have an ergonomically sound workstation to go with your PC or laptop plus suitable office chair – just borrowing a dining room chair is not recommended if you want to be fit for your business.
3. Should I invest in a separate telephone line?
Yes. It’s a small investment and speaks volumes when the call is answered as a business and not a home or personal mobile. Also consider a good modem with business broadband connection, which is fast and reliable. VOIP telephones are another option if you do not want the added cost of installing a new line. They can be configured with a local number (some with 0800) voicemail ready or with an app that allows you to divert to your mobile when out and about! Virtually plug and play into your router and your business phone is up and ready to be used.
4. Do I need to invest in a backup for my business files?
Yes. If your computer crashes, all your records are gone. You can buy a basic back up drive and use it as additional disc space connected to your computer. It is always a good idea to buy two and use one as the periodical back up and store somewhere else in case of fire or theft at your business office location. This includes at your home or store with a family member or friend.
Another good way to back up your files is to use one of the many “cloud”-based solutions available, such as Google docs, iCloud and Dropbox. These can also be very useful for sharing documents if you are in a collaboration or partnership.
5. Should I open a separate bank account?
Yes. While not legally required for tax or business operating purposes, this is important, because you never want to mix your business money with your personal money. Make sure you get into the habit of paying yourself a monthly salary and when times are good a bonus! Consider using a simple app or software for tracking expenses.
6. Do I need business insurance?
Yes. Business insurance is always a good idea to cover for visitors to your home/office. Personal liability indemnity insurance may also be required for your profession, consider also insurance for long-term illness. A chat with an insurance advisor will answer all your questions and give you a quick quote.
7. What business licenses do I need to consider?
If your profession dictates professional licenses are required, always advise your customers of your certificates. If you play music, you may require a license to play for customers or employees see PPL or PRS. Check out this government site for licenses that may relate to your business https://www.gov.uk/licence-finder
8. Do I need a business will?
Yes. A will is always a good idea to ensure that there is provision if you are not around. You need to consider your customers in this planning and ask yourself questions such as, how will a project get finished? What happens to my customer if I am no longer here? If you have a business partner, you need to consider how your passing will affect the business and how it will be transferred or will it have to be closed?
9. Do I need a partnership agreement?
Yes. If you enter into a partnership, make sure you set up an agreement and allocate shares that can be sold or transferred if required and always define roles as well as an exit strategy.
10. Do I need a Business or marketing plan?
Yes. Without a business plan with forecasts and targets, you will have no direction in your business. If you are no good at forecasting or creating a business plan, speak to a bookkeeper or accountant for help in setting up your business plan. A marketing plan will help you to understand where and how you will find your customers.
11. Do I need terms and conditions for my business?
Yes. You should consider all areas of your service that you provide whether it is goods or services it is advisable to introduce terms and conditions. These should be displayed on your website and given to your customer when you are contracted to do provide goods or services. Employ the services of a good local solicitor or business coach to help you set up terms and conditions for your business.
About Issy: As Owner of Go Easy Travel and Where’s Your Website and Co-Founder of the 10-12 Business Club, I love being involved in different projects and enjoy the variety that my work brings to my working day, hence my 3 hats! Where’s Your Website and The 10-12 Business Club allows me to network in a non-travel environment and keep up to date with new business processes and technology.
Go Easy Travel are an independent travel agent founded in 1999, part of the Global Travel Group, one of the largest independent travel consortiums in the UK. Go Easy travel has grown by providing expert travel advice for busy people. Specialising in tailor-made itineraries, sports and adventure holidays.
Where’s Your Website evolved from helping other local business to create a professional presence online. We offer many online solutions such as new websites, digital marketing and social media training. I help you to create a clean digital foot print for you and your company and drive new business to you online.
The 10-12 Business Club offers local business the opportunity to connect and network with like-minded individuals through a structured monthly meeting. Our meetings include inspirational presentations and brainstorming business sessions.
Thanks so much for writing for us Issy.
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