Starting a New Business – Get Your Ducks In a Row! 
Being a Yorkshire lass, I’ve been brought up with this saying “Make sure you get all your ducks in a row….” but as I began to write this blog post I wondered if some may not know what the saying means? 
So as an information gatherer type of person I went the whole hog (there’s another saying for you!) and googled it, I found some meanings I was not aware of: 
“Real ducklings walk in a row behind their parent, hence the expression “ducks in a row”. I knew that and thought that’s where the saying came from but there’s more: 
“Other theories allude to the precise set up of duckpins which refers to a type of bowling pin or the mechanical ducks you see at a fairground shooting range.” How interesting. I didn’t know that. 
“Some say it’s from the game of pool when the balls – called sitting ducks - are lined up in a row and pocketed one after another.” I always thought the term “sitting ducks” referred to those happily minding their own business when a shoot comes along and they are set up by the beaters all at once. 
Lastly there’s a warning: “Get your ducks in a row is a cliché, some people object to it’s use and you should avoid it when you write. Use terms like “get organised” or “prepare yourself”.” 
This post thus far is a perfect example of what happens if you fail to properly plan your critical path and wander off on a tangent or, worse still, adopt a “scattergun” type approach to hitting your target market. Although it may be slightly amusing for a moment, it’s not helpful to your success. 
So, let’s talk about getting organised when starting a new business. Let’s share a few steps you might like to consider taking before you launch your latest great idea on the world at large. 
Market Research – Know Your Facts! 
Whatever you are planning to do, it is wise to first do your homework: 
Is there a demand for your service? 
Who else offers a similar service? 
What will make someone want to use your services as opposed to your competitors? 
What is your unique selling point (USP)? 
Who is your end user and how will you get noticed by them? 
What services will you need to “buy in” in order to get to launching? 
Can you afford all the set-up costs? 
What help could you be eligible for with regards to grants and set-up costs? 
How will you cover your salary and expenses before the money starts coming in? 
How will you market your business? 
Do you need professional guidance setting up such as a business coach and if so, is your local authority offering any business support that might help you? 
How do you ensure your best chances of success? 
Having a Vision and Being Accountable to it. 
Set yourself some goals, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year. 
Write down your goals and steps you need to take to achieve them. 
Diarise your target dates and make sure you plan a celebration or reward when you surpass them. 
Consider setting up a vision board. 
Action to Take 
Speak to and or engage a good accountant and establish what you need to do to set up the financial and accounting side of your business properly. 
Open a business bank account. There are many offering free accounting software and free banking to business start-ups. 
Research and choose a great website designer. Find someone whose work you love and with whom you identify. They will share your vision for how your “window on the world” should look. 
Consider your business identity and engaging the services of a graphic designer to help you establish a cohesive brand for your business. 
Liaise with an IT specialist to ensure you are properly set-up with emails etc., efficient and your data and technology is fully protected. 
Establish a launch date. 
Make sure you are fully insured and compliant with regulations appertaining to your area of work. 
Make sure you have any relevant paperwork, contracts, terms and conditions drawn up before you open for business. 
Create business pages and profiles on Social Media channels such as Linked-in, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 
Consider joining the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). They offer such a fantastic resource and wealth of information and support to businesses just like yours, together with discounted services you may need. 
If you do all of the above you should have a pretty smooth start. If you need any help, you can contact me using the contact page on this website and I will be delighted to make things easier for you. 
Tagged as: Business Start-Up
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