The ultimate step by step guide for launching your small businesses

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Economic downturns have been shown to drive entrepreneurialism and as a platform that has supported small businesses and side hustlers for over 20 years we've teamed up with GoDaddy as part of our #GetGoingWithGoDaddy to help inspire any budding entrepreneurs to get started and help those kitchen table businesses level up.

From cleaning businesses to handymen, cafe owners to upcyclers, we’re proud to support our vibrant community of small businesses, helping them power up to reach customers and to grow their workforce. 

So we’ve teamed up with GoDaddy as part of our #GetGoingWithGoDaddy to create a simple step by step guide to launching your small business. and help turn that passion project into a sustainable business. As Well as the chance for 3 people to WIN £500 GoDaddy Credit for your passion project business ventures.

1. Assess & review where you are and where you want to get to

Any small business requires investment and commitment. So it’s good to start by mapping out your reasons for launching it and thinking about what the next few years could look like to set your expectations, so you go into it with your eyes wide open. Some good questions to ask yourself are:

  • What are my reasons for launching my own business?
  • What matters to me?
  • What am I good at?
  • What does the market look like?
  • Is there enough demand for my product or service?
  • Can I launch it and scale on the side of my current job or do I need funding?

2. Make a plan

The above questions will help with the all important Business Plan (a written document that describes your business and covers objectives, strategies, sales, marketing and financial forecasts). 

Your business plan will also help future investments for your business and also help with suppliers, headcount growth and support from your customers.

For help on creating a business plan, GovUK has provided everything you need, from templates to advice. So now there’s no stopping you.

3. Creating and coming up with the (perhaps not) big idea

Rule number 1 Do what you know and focus on your existing knowledge and skills.

Lots of successful businesses are launched off the back of an existing job or hobby, so this is an area where you can seek inspiration. For example, will your skills allow you to launch a consultancy business? Or are you good enough at yoga to offer classes? Or are people willing to pay for the jewellery you make?

Do what you know, what you are good at. If you can utilise your existing knowledge and skills, you should be able to find an idea that works for you. 

If there is a customer need/demand and you have the skills, that’s often a great recipe for success.

Rule number 2 Don’t overthink it.

Whilst it can be tempting to look for a new approach, don’t get hung up on “original” ideas.

Originality isn’t a must – if people have proved an idea works, then it’s a sign that it could work for you too – think how many upcyclers you’ve spotted on Pinterest, or how many French tutors you’ve seen advertised, or how many gardeners there are. 

If you’re struggling to come up with an idea, then GoDaddy has created a list of 30 work from home business ideas.

Rule number 3 Do your homework.

It’s so important you do your research and fully understand the market. Many good ideas come from people who find that existing businesses or products aren’t meeting their needs. If this is the case for you, you’ll need to ensure you validate your idea by conducting market research.

  • Create customer personas, identify people who match your target demographic and ask them to answer questions relating to your business. This could be expensive at first but investing money at this stage of your business is a good idea. You can also call upon friends and family here if they fit the profile of your customer.

  • Seek data already available, accessing things like the governmental statistical data and industry reports – but unlike asking your target audience yourself, you may not have all the answers you are looking for.

  • Search the market, by simply searching on Gumtree, you will be able to see what other people are charging for similar products/services you will be selling. Obviously, you would need to consider the quality of the product/service and whether you would be delivering a similar standard or a higher quality product/service.

  • The power of social media. Grow your social media following. Getting new social media followers can be challenging, particularly if you’re just starting out, but these techniques should help attract followers:

  • Connect with existing customers
  • Engage with people
  • Make a content plan
  • Identify influencers
  • Run giveaways
  • Use paid advertising
  • Use eye-catching, branded imagery

For further details on building your social following, GoDaddy have put together some tips on 7 ways to get new social media followers for your business in 2022.

Once you’ve build up a following you can reach out to your followers, many of these platforms have the ability to reach out to your followers with polls or quizzes, so you can use these tools to your advantage, with minimal effort.

Here are some helpful guides and further reading to help you conduct your research, position and price your business. .
Carrying out market research
How to Price Your Items to Sell on Gumtree

5. Get to grips with legal and financial issues

Don’t be put off with all the legal jargon or red tape. To get started, here are some financial and legal questions to setting up your business:

  • Sole Trader or a Limited Company?
  • How will you raise funds to start your business if you need them?
  • What tax you will need to pay?

As no two businesses are the same, you may want to seek advice from a small business adviser. You can find a directory of small business advisers here.

6. A web presence for your business

Having a business website of some kind is a crucial part of getting started. Whether you’re planning to sell your product/service via your site, or just want it to act as a brochure where people can go to find out more about you, it pays to get your site up and running early on.

Top Tip – You should make sure you secure the domain name(s) you want as soon as you can in order to avoid disappointment. (You’ll also need to make sure those domain names don’t violate anyone else’s intellectual property.)

When it’s time to build a website, GoDaddy has you covered with their website builder, which can be achieved with relatively small effort with everything you need, from:

  • 100’s of modern, professional templates to choose from.
  • Access to free professional images.
  • Built-in tools that will help you easily grow and engage with your audience.
  • Simpler updates, so you don’t have to worry about keeping your site safe and secure.

Hopefully the above has helped take your small business off the ground and we wish you all the best on your new business venture, be sure to check out some of our other #GetGoingWithGoDaddy tips to help bring your passion to life and be your own boss.

Simple guide to building an professional identity online with GoDaddy
Turn your passion into a business with GoDaddy’s tools and guides