When it comes to starting a business for the first time, entrepreneurs are often running around trying to juggle 15,000 tasks at once. Although this is almost always necessary to start, keep afloat and grow a successful business, it often means the essentials are overlooked.
Essentials aren’t just things like the medical kit shown in the photo above and they generally aren’t very exciting, may not seem necessary straight away but are essential to starting and growing a new business. In this guide, we’ll take you through four essential things every new entrepreneur needs when starting a business.
1. Professional website
Whether a new business is based online or mainly operates / deals with customers in the physical world, it’s expected at a minimum to have a website that provides information about the business, products details, contact information and more.
On top of this basic requirement of having a website its expected that any businesses website will have a professional design, be accessible on all devices (including mobile) and showcase the brand effectively (this is in no small part due to the proliferation of easier to use web technologies and a large pool of designers).
It’s no longer a conversation about the benefits of getting a website up for your business; it’s now an absolute necessity whatever the business is. So the question becomes how do you get a website setup? When it comes to setting up a website you have two primary options:
- Build the website yourself (using technologies like WordPress or any number of content management systems installed on a basic server)
- Hire a web designer to build a website for you (via any number of freelancer platforms or by visiting your local web design firm)
- Create the site using a website builder (which handle the infrastructure and allow a lament to build and update a website with ease)
There are positives and negatives for each of these options. Building a website, yourself will likely take more time but give will give you more control and understanding of how to operate a website. Hiring a designer will allow you to get the exact look of website your looking for but will cost likely considerably more.
The best option for any new business needing a basic website (where the entrepreneurs have little or no technology experience) is arguably to use a website builder as it cuts out the complexity, allows you to edit your website easily and is generally reasonable regarding price (usually monthly billing).
2. High-speed computer
How much time does any new entrepreneur spend working on a computer? The answer is almost always invariably most of their time or a large amount. Often entrepreneurs will settle for slow or out of date equipment which ultimately slows down their ability to produce work and potentially opens the door to data/work loss through lack of reliability.
For example; Imagine if your new business required you to drive every day, you likely would straight away find and purchase the best possible company car, balancing performance and economy. Although often overlooked it’s the same concept with your computer, you need a fast, reliable and relative economic machine but you entrepreneurs often settle for computing equipment that is unreliable and slows them down.
Whether it’s waiting a few minutes for your computer to start, a program taking 30 seconds to load or a sluggish response from the keyboard, all these activities are repetitive, add up over time and can seriously slow down work output and efficiency.
3. Fantastic business cards
Even in the age of digital, businesses still consistently find and generate new customers by attending business and networking events (particularly in the B2B space). Thus, face to face interaction and making a good impression as well as being able to pass your contact details to new contacts is critical to early-stage business success (through sales or partnership).
Business cards are a critical part of the process when it comes to new entrepreneurs seeking new clients and partners. They allow entrepreneurs to pass on their contact details and project a clear and strong image of their business.
So how do you get a decent business card that represents your brand and business the way you want? There are many providers out there that offer a great range of business card options and products. Suppliers like HelloPrint, in particular, allows you to design and print bespoke business cards at a fairly economical price. You can also provide your design for printing if you prefer not to design via their platform (additionally, they provide a large range of other services and products including flyer and leaflet printing).
4. Good accountant
There’s an old saying that goes “a good accountant will save you more money than they cost you”. Even in the age of digital accounting software and cloud-based services, having a reliable accountant to oversee your company finances and file accounts/end of year returns will almost always save you more money than it costs to hire an accountant in the first place.
Even for a new business when it seems like an accountant shouldn’t be needed because of a lack of complex expenses or paperwork, accountants are critical. This is because they’re able to advise new entrepreneurs on tax efficiency, make sure financial accounts are properly filed (avoiding HMRC fines) and generally provide an entrepreneur and a new business with solid financial advice regarding key matters such as understanding expenses, revenue, cash flow and much more.
Subscribe for entrepreneurial & small business advice
Subscribe to our newsletter for advice and insights on starting, managing and growing a small business in the UK.
Essentials are key to future success
Starting a business is one of the most difficult things anyone can do, it’s easy to get lost in the early complexities of starting up and overlook the essentials. However, now hopefully you have an understanding of what some of the essentials you need are and why they’re so important to help you in starting and growing your own business.