Top Ten Tips to Help Boost Your Start Up

Top Tips

Taking the leap from working for someone else to creating your own start-up business can be incredibly daunting, but it can also be the best decision you’ll ever make.

If you’re thinking about launching your own business, there are a lot of elements you will need to consider. From target markets to business plans and everything in between, Kamran Hassan, one of our business advisors here at First Enterprise, shares his ten top tips on how to take the leap from employee to entrepreneur.

Find a gap in the market

Do your research. In order to create a successful start-up, you need to find a product that’s going to sell. Once you found your niche you then need to decide what approach you’re going to take.

There are two different options you can take, either a market-oriented approach – reacting to the market and finding what there’s a demand for and creating a product around it – or product-oriented approach – creating a product that will, in turn, create its own demand. Take your time and find a product that you’re passionate about but that will ultimately sell.

Know your target market

Once you’ve decided on your product you need to really get to know who’s going to want to buy it and how you’re going to reach them. For example, if your product is a mobile phone app aimed at 18-25-year-olds, social media, particularly platforms such as Snapchat, TikTok and Instagram, is a good way to reach your audience as they’re likely to be very active across those platforms.

However, if your product is an anti-aging product aimed at over 55s, then social channels such as Facebook will be more effective. Identify your target audience and then you’ll have a better idea of what marketing strategy will be most successful.

Set yourself apart

We’re living in a time when the market is saturated with different products, so ask yourself, what makes yours different? Find your unique selling point (USP) and build around it.

Write a business plan

You’ve chosen your product, familiarised yourself with your target market and identified your USP. The next step is to summarise your business concept and create a strategic plan with a timeline to set out your goals, for example:

Q1: set up business, secure website domain, secure funding, marketing campaign, launch.
Q2: commence trading, secure new contracts, build pipeline.
Q3: take on new staff, commence second marketing campaign, measure previous campaign.
Year two: open new premises.
Year three: franchise.

Your business plan also needs to contain an operational plan of hours/days of operation, key personnel, supply chain, marketing strategies as well as an overview of the business’ finances.

Remember, a business plan is just a summary, it doesn’t have to be an extensive document. Simply set out your goals and how you’re going to achieve them.

Focus on your bottom line as well as your top line

When you’re first starting out as an entrepreneur, it’s easy to focus all your attention on the top line of your business – sales. However, for a start-up to be successful you need to put just as much focus on your bottom line – costing and how you’re going to break even. By keeping your bottom line as low as possible and your top line as high as possible you give your business the best chance to thrive.

Diversify your revenue streams

If you’re able to sell multiple products this will keep revenue coming in from various streams and is more likely to ensure a successful start-up. However, it’s important that you don’t sell something for the sake of selling it. Focus on what you’re good at and passionate about and specialise in it.

Be a leader

Throughout the creation of your business you’ll cross paths with a number of different people. From the way you negotiate with suppliers to your relationships with members of your workforce, be confident, assertive, proactive and take control of your start-up.

Low budget, high impact marketing

We’ve already mentioned social media, this is a perfect example of low budget, high impact marketing. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have enabled people to create quality content that can be shared by friends, family and customers with the click of a button. You can also pay for sponsored posts and adverts, which will ensure a higher circulation and reach a greater audience. Get the word out there.

Keep focused

Starting a business isn’t easy, if it were everyone would be doing it! Don’t let yourself get disheartened if you have a particularly tough few days or weeks. Stay focused, push yourself and remember why you started your business to begin with.

Seek advice from professionals

Just because you’ve started your business alone doesn’t mean you have to go through the whole process by yourself. First Enterprise has been helping existing and budding entrepreneurs with business advice, support and funding for more than 30 years.

As one of the leading responsible finance providers in the East and South East Midlands, we provide loans of between £3,000 and £250,000 to start ups and established businesses and also work alongside the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF). We also provide business advice, offices to work in and so much more.

Whether you’re a new entrepreneur seeking advice or funding, or an existing business looking to expand, contact Kamran on 0115 942 3772, or email

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