How do you start a new business from scratch? From Rietmark experience I learned the following.
1. Plan your new business well in advance and plan everything to the finest detail. Write a business plan for yourself, even if you do not plan to apply for external funding. It helps you to focus, and to be convincing when talking with your first potential customers.
2. Your first customers will probably be friends and family. Treat them professionally and as if they are your most valued customer. The experience and honest opinions you will get from them, will assist you when canvassing for your first ‘unknown’ customers.
3. Do as much as you can yourself. Save money by being the ‘chief, cook and bottle washer’. Only when certain aspects of your business is taking too much of your time, you can start delegating. For instance, outsource your bookkeeping or appoint an administrative assistant to handle the paperwork while you are busy growing your business.
4. Some businesses can be operated from home, at least for the first few years. Although there is some disadvantages, such as the difficulties of keeping your home and work life separate, you will keep your overheads to a minimum.
5. Separate your home and business finances and use a proper bookkeeping system from the word go. For a start-up business you may only have to buy an entrance level package, but make sure you can upgrade your programme as your business grows.