Making the decision to run your own business is a huge move. Whether you’ve decided that you want to take your hobby to the next level or to simply take the next step in your career and go solo. Running your own business can be incredibly rewarding and not just financially. If your business is customer facing you will be eligible to enter the local Nottingham awards for the best business practices. The categories vary from local food establishments, to retail and independent businesses. Below we provide our best tips to starting a business in Nottingham.
What Can You Bring To The Market That No One Else Can?
If you’ve decided that you want to develop your own product for the market from scratch you’ll need to make sure there is a gap in the market for it to ensure maximum profitability for your business. Do your research and find your niche.
If you are planning to offer a service, you should join closely related associations so your customers will know you are properly accredited. If you can’t think of anything off of the top of your head that you would want to offer customers, you could think of your pet peeves and invent a solution. You could even create a product that requires updating. That way once you’ve got your first round of customers, they will need to update it and you will have repeat customers. Is there something on the current market that you think you could make better, cheaper or faster? If so, get cracking. Time is of the essence.
Where Would You Set Up Your Business?
It’s easier than ever to sell products with the invention of the internet and many online market places so it’s crucial that you figure out which one will suit your product or services best. If you are a hobbyist crafter or artist, Etsy or Folksy might be your best bet. Be careful with selling digital products online as these are now taxed. You might be better off selling through a third party who will handle the taxes for you as part of your listing and selling fees.
If you are offering tradesmen services, more often than not you’ll be based from your own home, so you would want your own website domain. Think of every social outing as a marketing opportunity where appropriate. If you want your shop to have a physical presence on the high street, you need to think if what you are offering is a premium product or an essential. If you are selling fine art, you wouldn’t host a gallery in a small town, unless you have a huge online following that covers most of your sales, you’d need to have it based in a wealthy city. However if you own a café with reasonably priced food and drink you could easily have that in a small town so long as there is decent footfall.
Thankfully, Nottingham provides you options for all of the above.
Network As Much As Possible
There are many groups scattered across Nottingham dedicated to networking if you know where to look. Some are listed on Eventbrite, Meetup and many will be advertised in retailers’ windows if it is an event to a particular business sector. If you wanted to network with Authors or Publicists, you should look into book launches at your Waterstones or Heffers preferably in the larger cities. If you wanted to open a golf shop, you would need to attend golf related events and play the game regularly with your own branded merchandise.
You of course have the local BNI’s and business breakfasts, allowing you to connect with likeminded business owners who are there to support each other.
Marketing: Where Do You Start?
Marketing can seem daunting at first as there is a lot of information that needs to be processed as part of your research. If you are basing your business in a town or city you’ll need to find out the demographic information of your chosen area. This would include the gender, age range and potential wealth of those who are in residence there. You could also use Google maps to find out what shops are there already to determine what kind of people live there too.
You would also need to consider how you are going to advertise to your customers. With the internet and social media it is easy to generate an interest in your business from scratch. If you are opening a shop, it is well worth using posters on your shop saying that it is coming soon until you have furbished and decorated it accordingly. You may also want to hand out flyers including a special discount code for your opening or by hosting a champagne brunch. Look at competitors and figure out what works in your industry.
Protect Your Business
There are many ways of protecting your business; from installing security cameras to insuring it against the untoward. Thieves are a creative bunch. They can be fraudulent within a business, simple shop-lifters right to the extremist kind who shout and hold people hostage. Not only is it wise to invest in CCTV surveillance cameras but you would also want to get alarms fitted that would give you a notification on your smartphone.
This could also help reduce your premium costs when it comes down to insuring your business. Here at Coversure Nottingham we have access to a wide range of insurers and can make sure you get the insurance you need without the hidden extras you don’t need. Why not get in touch with us on 0115 837 5592 or click here for our full contact details.