Starting a business? 7 things you will need
You’ve filed all your paperwork, the deposit for your premises has been paid, and now you need to think about all the practical things you need to get your business off its feet.
While splurging out on a van for all your pickups and deliveries might not seem like a priority over owning a capable coffee machine, you’ll quickly learn how essential the tools of the trade are to have at your disposal. Everything from signage to business cards, an online presence and more are all vital.
If you’re starting a business and you want to stand out from the crowd, here are 7 things you will need:
While business cards and headed paper may seem like a thing of the past, it’s incredible what a rectangular piece of card will get you when you’re networking or interacting with the public. You want to be noticed, remembered, and most of all, build a solid client base that will be with you for years to come.
So, take the steps. Design all of your stationery with your brand identity splashed in print. Bold, courageous and business savvy need to spring to mind no matter what industry you’re in. After all, you want to leave a lasting impression on each of your future clients. So make your stationery design count.
No matter where you are based, signage is crucial if you have a shop front or are working from an office. Your company name needs to be front and centre. Whether that’s an eye-catching fascia board or a detective’s office inspired entrance door, your brand identity needs to be noticeable.
If you’re planning on hitting trade shows or exhibitions, it’s worth considering flag-style boards and portable signage too. The more familiar people are with your brand, the more likely they will seek you out.
3. Technology & office supplies
You might be a florist, screenprinter, accountant or small business owner, but without the proper technical support, it’s likely your business will never take off. Connectivity is vital, so make sure you:
- Set up line rental: customers and suppliers need direct contact with you via phone and email
- Have a workstation: whether this is a till space, office or backroom, you need instant access to your online facilities via laptop, computer or mobile device
- Do you need printing facilities? Receipts, copies of online orders etc?
- Have a computer literate employee or friend to hand for when you need extra IT support
4. Furniture and fittings
Everything from comfortable, ergonomically designed chairs to presentable shelving are all features you need to consider ahead of opening your doors.
If you are selling a product, customers need easy access to what they are looking for. That means easy to reach displays and shelving that will house your items for sale safely. If you’re selling a service, think about presentation. Do you need to instal screens? Have readily available catalogues online and as hard copies?
Then you need to think about the layout. Can your employees easily access their workstations? Are the storage facilities easy to navigate? Is it easy for customers to see what they need? From product to salesperson?
5. Kitchen/lunch space
No matter how big your business is, it’s imperative to have a separate area where you can make a drink, heat up your lunch and even sit while you’re on your break. This should be a place void of too much work paraphernalia so that you and your employees can clear your headspace.
You might want to install an all singing and dancing coffee machine, an urn for instant tea or a charity snack box. But whatever you do, make sure that your break room is a clean, accessible space where you can catch a breather before the next wave of customers arrives.
6. Buy a van
If the worldwide pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how much demand there is for home deliveries. So what better way to make your goods and services more accessible than purchasing a van. Not only will it be a driveable advertising tool, but you can cover a broader area.
Whether you want to invest in a small van like a Volkswagen Caddy or need a bigger panel van like the Mercedez-Benz Sprinter, financing your vehicle might be your first stumbling block.
That’s where car financing comes in. With a deposit of as little as 10%, you can set up fixed monthly repayments that not only make your purchase affordable but cost-effective too.
Personal loans, hire lease, personal contract purchase, and more are popular ways to finance your van with minimal fuss. But getting your hands on the best deals around maybe your biggest challenge, especially if you hold self-employed status or have a poor credit history.
However, bad credit van finance specialists make van financing much more accessible no matter what your circumstances. So you can purchase the best van for your business and pay back affordable monthly instalments that won’t break the bank.
7. Online presence
One of the first rules of having a successful business by today’s standards is to increase your visibility online beyond your local catchment area. You need a standout brand identity that points towards who you are as a company without your clients having to do all the leg work.
That means a strong online presence across social media, utilising LinkedIn and having an eye-catching and instantly recognisable brand and website. Whether you bring in influencers, web designers, or paid ads, you need to be engaging and accessible as a business no matter what industry you are in.
What’s more, you need to have up-to-date information on Google, including your premises address, contact information, and the services you provide. Everything online should be a clear sign pointing to who you are as a company. So don’t be shy—the world’s waiting.
With these 7 simple steps, you’ll get your business off to a great start. Are you ready to open your doors to the broader public? What will your first sale look like?