There is nothing quite like the excitement of launching a new business. The sense that ‘anything is possible’ dominates your thinking – and so it should. But before you get too carried away with the enthusiasm of your new venture, here are three things you should keep in mind before you start a new company.
1. Your impact on the environment
These days everyone is conscious of the impact they have on the environment. The push to rid the oceans of plastic waste is just one example of a global push to do better than we have until now. Young people, in particular, see it as a priority for them. It is now more important than ever before for a brand to be sustainable and transparent about their business. ASOS, for example, have seen a huge growth in popularity in recent years and this has come at the same time as the brand has reduced its carbon footprint by 12% since 2012. When you come to start your business, it’s worth doing everything you can to ensure you are making as little impact on the environment as possible. It may lead you to more customers.
2. Competitive landscape
No entrepreneur should begin a new business without knowing exactly what the competition is doing in their marketplace. It is easy to come up with a good idea, apply for a small business loan and set yourself up. But, if you don’t know exactly where you fit into the competitive landscape, and what differentiates you from your competition, then you are doomed to failure. So, before you launch take a really detailed look at the competition in the market you want to target and be honest with yourself as to what you offer that they don’t. Maybe your product is better, smaller, faster. Maybe you are cheaper or can do something more quickly. But you must know exactly what that difference is, and make sure your customers know it too.
3. People, people, people
Arguably the most important decision you will make when setting up a new business is who you go into business with. It’s the decision that will affect you every single day; it’s the decision that is likely to be the hardest to back out of; and it is the decision that will decide whether your business works or you are looking for another job inside 12 months. Be really carefully when you make this decision. Friends are great, you love spending time with them but that doesn’t mean they will make great business partners. So, take your time, think carefully about the benefits that you will each bring to the company and make a decision with your head and not your heart. If you get the personnel right in your business, you are halfway to having a success on your hands. But if you get it wrong, you may find it is the one thing that will stop your business succeeding.