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Guest Blog from FSB – Top 5 challenges facing new businesses

Reshma Begum, Development Manager for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) North East England gives her thoughts on some of the challenges businesses face when first starting out and what support is available. 

“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction” – Newton’s third law.

This may seem inapplicable to business and economic prosperity, but it is very relevant with a slight tweak. To paraphrase Newton, “for every opportunity, there is an equal and opposite challenge.”

Running your own business can be incredibly rewarding, with the flexibility to decide your own working hours, taking a leap of faith on new and innovative products or services, and the potential to grow your business beyond what you thought possible. With the right attitude, work ethic and ambition, the possibilities are endless! But with every opportunity the world has to offer, there is almost always an equally challenging journey to achieve your goals – running a business is no exception to that rule.

When you’re starting out on your own, it can feel like you are all alone in the challenges you’re facing, so who can you turn to for guidance? In truth, new businesses and those at the very early stage in the business cycle face the same challenges.

  1. I have a business idea but where do I start?

  2. What legal documentation does my business need?

  3. How do I write an effective business plan?

  4. How do I manage my business finance and forecast my cashflow?

  5. How do I market my business with a limited budget?

There is a whole host of elements to think about when starting a new business, and it can be a little overwhelming remembering to tick all the right boxes. From registering your business, to deciding the best company structure, to finding the best funding options available, to marketing your business – it can be something of a minefield!

This is a huge challenge to overcome, and it continues to be the biggest bug bear new businesses contend with. Why can’t there just be a simple guide and checklist to make sure you’re on the right track? Well there is! Actually, there are lots of different resources you can access (for free!) to support you on your journey. It’s simply a matter of finding the right avenue for you, whether that’s speaking to advisors from the Durham Business Opportunities Programme, joining organisations like FSB, or participating in mentoring programmes.

Here are a couple of tips and a step-by-step checklist to get you started:

  1. Research and development: To give your business the highest possible chance of success, the first thing to consider should be market research. Make sure your product or service meets consumer demand.

  2. Register your business: Consider the different types of company structures and ensure you choose the best one to suit your business.

  3. Building your brand: Take some time to consider what you want to achieve, decide your business goals and ambitions, and build your brand identity to reflect these ambitions.

  4. Plan and forecast: Be sure to write a full and detailed business plan to help you track your progress, and forecast where you want to be. Planning is essential to succeeding.

  5. Business finance: There are a number of possible routes, from start-up loans, to investing your personal capital, to securing public funding – make sure you scope out all of your options to enable you to make an informed decision on the best finance route for you.

  6. Market your business: It can be costly, or it can be free – either way, it needs to be effective or it will be a wasted resource. Make sure your marketing strategy is tailored to your intended audience.

FSB have a range of blogs, guidance, advice and support available to you for free on our Start-Up Hub. These are free-to-access for members and non-members, and there is no catch! So do take a look at the resources available to give your small business the best start.

Good luck on your business journey!”


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