There are more people than ever who want to set up their own business. There are lots of reasons for this – from wanting more flexible working hours to needing to work after a pandemic-driven redundancy. Some people are re-training so that they can start up on their own, and there’s no shortage of opportunities for those who are willing to look for something new.
Getting started can be the scariest bit – but if you know where the opportunities are, and you have the support system you need, you can absolutely become a business owner tomorrow. Here’s our quick executive assistant virtual guide to the types of business you can run.
Great small business ideas
Here are some quick hints for business ideas that might appeal to you, and where there’s always a demand for someone who can deliver efficiently, cost-effectively and reliably.
Set up an eBay business – many people make a good living from buying and selling on eBay.
Use your experience to help others – if you have particular experience or expertise, you can set up an Instagram or YouTube account and use them to help people do things better.
Set up a craft store – channels like Etsy make it easy for you to set up your own craft business. It’s quick to set up a store on Etsy and as soon as you start collecting customers and good reviews, you can expand your product range and generate more sales.
Affiliate marketing or franchising – with affiliate marketing, you become a seller for a bigger brand – think Avon, for example. Similarly, buying into a franchise gives you access to a business that is already successful. You’ll need to invest in the franchise at the beginning, and the money you make is dependent on how successful you can make your franchise operation. You can also outsource tasks like basic bookkeeping – for small business owners, so you can get on with making it work for you.
IT or business consultancy – if you have spent years working in IT or marketing, or you have business strategy experience, you could start up your own consultancy. This can be a great business model, giving you the chance to share your expertise on your own terms.
Catering and hospitality – whether you are setting up your own catering business, starting an event-planning business or setting up a venue, hospitality is a great option for a new business. People are always looking for interesting venues, ideas and food!
Photography and video – if you enjoy photography, why not make a business from it? You can also offer video, which is increasingly popular, and some photographers have also moved into drone photography to offer a wider range of services.
Pet business – there’s been a boom in pet ownership, and that creates a great opportunity for people who love animals and want the flexibility of working for themselves. Whether grooming, walking, kennels or pet accessories, it’s a great option for a fresh start.
Property development – you don’t have to be a millionaire to start a property development business. For people who love property, renovations and decorations, this is a great way to change the way you work.
For all these business ideas and more, you’re more likely to succeed if you have some dedicated support on your side. From someone to answer the phones professionally, to help with your social media marketing, getting good support around you removes the scarier bits of starting your business and gives you a virtual team that’s already on your side. If you’re ready to go ahead, here’s some practical tips to getting started.
Do it properly
Whatever you choose to do, make sure you do it properly – just setting up randomly from home may sound nice, but you could quickly run into problems about legality, tax and even getting in front of the right market. So make sure you:
Register your business – if you are going to be a sole trader (so not setting up a Limited company), you’ll need to register as such with the HMRC. That way, they will know you are working for yourself and that you’ll need to submit a self-assessment tax return. If you are setting up a Limited company or partnership, you’ll need to register with Companies House to make sure everything is set up properly.
Get a separate bank account – it’s a good idea to start a separate bank account for your business. It helps to keep your business earnings separate from your everyday spending, and it’s much easier to manage your bookkeeping and taxes.
Research your market – whatever business you decide to launch, you’ll need to know that there’s a market for it, and you’ll need to think about how you reach that market. The more research and planning you do before you launch, the more successful you are likely to be.
Make a business plan – if you need to access funding, perhaps from your bank or even from friends and family, you should put a business plan together. This will show people what you plan to do, how and when, and will give them an idea of what their investment is supporting and what return they might get.
Get some help – starting a new business is a big thing to do, and you may discover that you need help with areas of business where you don’t have any experience – such as bookkeeping, answering business calls or social media marketing. You can investigate using a general virtual assistant where you just pay by the hour, or a business task manager to help keep things moving while you concentrate on getting the business up and running.
If this executive assistant virtual guide has sparked interest in the new business opportunities available to you, and you’d like some support along the way, why not call us on 0800 994 9016 or use our contact form in the menu above to find out more?