Every entrepreneur should be familiar with the key steps to setting up. However there are also countless small things you can do to ease those early days. Here are our top five.

  1. Use a virtual office service

    As your company gets going, it might feel fine to be the person answering the phone. After all, every call could be a new client, employee or investor – and no-one’s better equipped to ‘sell’ them the business than you.

    But pause for a moment. Are you really giving that impression, or that of a secretary? How many of those calls end up as dead ends, or eat into time you should be devoting to other things? And what if you’re on the other line or meeting clients – who answers then?

    Why not consider the services of a virtual office. Having a virtual office take calls and forward messages could well be a far more efficient allocation of resources, all for a relatively small cost.

  2. Don’t worry so much about location

    When many companies set up, they fret over finding an address that will resonate with their intended client base and reflect their image.

    As they grow, they often find ‘giving the right impression’ like this matters less than they thought. In addition, the accessibility of central/premium areas is frequently little different to other less costly areas.

    Why not opt for a location that’s a bit less central, less of a ‘name’, but that offers better value – including, for example, more space and greener surrounds?

  3. Buy second-hand office furniture

    Similarly nothing beats brand new furniture. Whether it’s designer desks or flat pack from IKEA, the allure of all-new stuff is tempting.

    Why not wait? Maybe later down the line is a better time for this investment. Perhaps for now you can manage with secondhand items, from dubizzle, clearance companies or elsewhere. If it enables you to get the job done, isn’t that enough? Your start-up capital will thank you for it too.

  4. Encourage breaks

    Unless you’re aiming for a funky ‘Google’ environment, chances are your first furniture choices will be the basics: desks, IT and so on. It’s easy to end up with an office that’s purely practical, with no allowance for somewhere to take a break beyond a kettle and fridge.

    Add to this the ‘work flat out 24/7’ dedication that most start-ups experience, and your company culture could rapidly become exclusively serious. You’ll all end up sat permanently at desks, including eating lunch while work continues.

    Instead, consider the value of a proper break, with the space, surroundings and time it merits. It can be the perfect opportunity to pause from just ‘doing’ and go back to thinking and talking, sharing ideas and having a proper reset. It doesn’t have to be every day – maybe twice a week will do. You might find its value far exceeds constant work!

  5. Use a professional business plan writer

    Let’s assume you have a clear business idea and well-thought-out approach, and have mapped out your SWOT and other key business plan components.

    Now you need to write it down. Not all of us can articulate our vision into powerful prose. Hiring a professional business writer can make the difference between a competent plan and a convincing one, with all the impact that has on securing investment, winning customers and attracting staff.

    It may be a cost you hadn’t envisaged, or think you can get round, but it might actually be the soundest start-up investment you make.


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