Calling all budding entrepreneurs: here are 7 ways to set your new business up for success
Almost all small business owners will agree that the first few months after launch are a rollercoaster of emotions. Thankfully, you can steady the ship by focusing on these seven things.
For many new business owners, the first few months after you open can be exhilarating, filled with dizzying highs – imagine the feeling when your first client walks through the door! – but there can also be disappointing lows too. And that’s why it’s so important to seek out advice from people who have been there before, such as entrepreneur Haylee Benton, Founder and CEO of The Fern Group.
Haylee’s first piece of advice for all budding entrepreneurs is to “have a really clear focus on what you want to do and why you want to run your own business before you take the leap.” While becoming your own boss can be really exciting, especially if it means fulfilling a lifelong dream, it comes with a lot of responsibility too.
Ready to start your own business but have no idea what to do first?
Here are seven things you can do in your first six months to set yourself up for success:
1. Before you do anything, sort out your insurance, to protect yourself, your business and your staff. This will give you peace of mind while you’re busy focusing on the ins and outs of running your new business.
2. Join an association, such as the British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (BABTAC), for community, professional advice and support from like-minded peers. Attending events run by this kind of association is also a great opportunity to network and upskill. Community over competition, always.
3. Work out your induction and onboarding process (if you’re planning on hiring staff, that is). Haylee says that finding your “dream team” is crucial and from there, you need to look after them. “At the start it can be very difficult, especially if you have a small team and you’re building processes. They’ve taken a leap of faith in you and your small business – keeping them happy in the first year or two is so important.”
4. Invest time and resources into your branding. Build a recognisable brand that your clients (and potential clients) will easily remember. There are plenty of creative agencies and freelance designers out there that specialise in branding. If you can, try reaching out to your network to source recommendations. Or, research salons whose branding you admire.
5. Maximise on profits by pricing your services correctly. By charging what you’re worth, you’re more likely to hit revenue targets, set yourself up for success in the long-term and create a reasonable benchmark for your client’s expectations.
That being said, Haylee has had success finding (and keeping) clients by offering new clients a welcome discount. “We said, ‘Come in and try us 50 per cent off’ because we needed to build the client base. I think people get worried about doing that but you have to start somewhere. Let [potential clients] try your salon and have a little taster… and when they come back, they pay full price.”
6. Create an emergency bank account for tax, pension, savings and… pandemics. “Make sure you have the right finance available because everything costs more than you realise,” Haylee recommends. “[For example] if you think your refurb is going to cost £20,000 – triple it. There are a lot of unexpected costs.”
7. Focus on your strengths and outsource the rest. That’s where we come in! Timely can help you streamline the admin side of your new business. With Timely, your clients can book an appointment directly through your website or social media pages, which will help you to fill your calendar and maximise on your time. From there, Timely can also send automated appointment reminders to minimise no-shows. It can also assist with stock management, deposits, reporting, and more. By automating your admin, you can focus on what matters: your clients.