Thinking of starting your own business? It’s a fantastic opportunity to do something you love, fill a gap in the market and take control of your own working life. It can be hard work, but incredibly rewarding, and if you start off on the right foot, you could be taking the first steps towards a bright new future. Here are some of our top virtual online assistant tips to help you get started.
Plan, plan, plan
The key to making the best start with your new business is to make sure you have a good plan in place. You’ll certainly need to show a plan if you are looking for funding, but even if you are self-funding your new venture, a plan gives you some structure, some areas for measuring success and a sense of purpose. It should include things like:
- The reason for setting up your business
- Your products or services and how you will price them
- Your competition and how you are different
- Your target turnover for the first 6 months and the first year, at least
- A marketing and sales plan to show how you will reach customers
- Details of any expenditure, such as offices, virtual administration services, websites, stock and more
You won’t make a million in a week, and life is not like The Apprentice. Set realistic targets and don’t be distracted by what others are doing. It’s all too easy to compare yourself to others – but remember that what you see on the surface is not the full story. Concentrate on meeting each of your targets and focusing on what matters to your business and your customers – and that you’re getting what you want out of your new business.
Ask for help
No successful entrepreneur does it alone. They have plenty of help, support and mentoring along the way, and they understand how valuable it is to bring in talent to manage areas where they have less experience or interest. For new businesses, taking on staff is a significant commitment and expense. That’s why, alongside the growth of SME businesses, there will always be a need for companies like Oneresource. We work remotely, can take a large number of everyday tasks off your hands, help to make your business processes efficient, and are not on your payroll, so cost less. So it’s well worthwhile considering a virtual solution to see if that would work best for you to get help in sooner rather than later.
Be where your customers are
Many new business owners just want to get out there and let everyone know what they do. But part of your planning process should be to decide exactly who your target customer is. That way, you can make sure you are marketing in the right places to the right people. This is fundamental to success – a scattergun approach can be expensive and is less likely to bring any results. Working with virtual support services that help with marketing and social media support will help you to be seen by your ideal customer.
Keep an eye on your finances
Money is almost always an issue for new businesses. Wherever your initial capital comes from, you need to build on it, have reliable cash flow and be able to pay your bills (including tax). Bookkeeping, for small businesses, is usually a completely new skill, but it is essential to your success. If you don’t want to spend your weekends and evenings poring over your accounts, or trying to work out who’s paid and who hasn’t, think about how you can get some support to manage your finances.
Getting ready to start your new business – either in planning or in practice? If you’re short on time, or need additional skills on a pay-as-you-go basis, why not call us on 0800 994 9016 or use our contact form in the menu above to see how a virtual online assistant can help?