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How to Start Your Own Business

When you finally decide to jump in with both feet and start your own business it can be so exciting – but also incredibly daunting.

  • What should your business name be?
  • How to you do your accounts?
  • How do you get yourself online and build up brand awareness?
  • Where will your customers come from?

These are just a few of the questions which will be undoubtedly spinning around your head.

Where to Start

Firstly – take a deep breath. Get yourself a cup of coffee and sit down with a large piece of paper and a pen. Think about the following questions and write down what pops into your head:

  • Why are you starting this business?
  • Who is your target market?
  • What is your unique selling point (USP)?
  • Who are your main competitors?
  • What is your goal for a year from now?

Do some research and write down answers to all of these. Remember this is YOUR business. Allow yourself to think big and aim high. You no longer have to be restricted by anyone else’s ideas!

Now take a break from it. Sleep on it and go back to it tomorrow. Take a look at your answers again and see if you still feel the same or if you have more to add.

Once you are happy that you have clear ideas about what your business is all about and where you are going – you’re off to a good start.

Arghhhhhh – How do I Choose a Business Name?

This is a tricky one. You need to get this right. You have to like the way the name looks and sounds when you say it.

Start by thinking of your USP. Your business name can portray what you do or it can be more quirky to stand out – but every business is different so you have to do what feels right for you.

Avoid really long business names. Imagine answering the telephone to a potential customer and saying your business name. You want something short and memorable that is easy to say – and also that is easy to type! I once worked with a company called “XXXX Kitchens and Bathrooms and Bedrooms”.  Their poor staff had to say that constantly and they rarely received emails (imagine typing that out in an email address every time!).

Write down some ideas and say them out loud. If you like the sound of any of them then do some research. Is this name available? Is the domain name available? (You can check the domain availability via Who Is).

You should also avoid a business name which is too literal. If you want to expand your services and diversify in the future, a business name should not restrict this.

I would recommend thinking of something completely different! Make up a word that portrays the concept of what you do but that is completely unique to you (this really helps with Google too). My business name is a good example of this. Exalt means to raise to a higher rank or position which is exactly what I want to do for North East SME’s. Exaltis is a made-up word but the concept is still the same and it’s short, memorable and easy to say.

What Next?

I think I have given you enough to think about for now. If you’re sick of your current job and really want to start up on your own, I hope this helps you to put your thoughts together. My next posts will tell you how to get your business online, but in the meantime, if you are struggling and would like some advice, please get in touch!

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