Start-up tips and pitfalls

The rise of SMEs in the UK is opening up new avenues of growth to explore, but could also lead to a number of pitfalls. Here are our tips on how to avoid them.

Small and medium sized enterprises in the UK are growing in confidence, and there seem to be more entrepreneurs than ever. In fact, Britain was recently ranked as the most entrepreneurial nation in Europe.

However, for every success story, there’s a small business that has failed. With this in mind, there are a number of things start-ups can do to make sure they’re doing all they can to reach their full potential.



Potential pitfalls:

Attempting to brave it alone. Not finding time to widen your business network can be fatal, so get out and meet new people. The wider your network, the more traction your company will gain. Making friends with other businesses and building relationships can be an effective way to increase marketing and create brand advocates, who will spread word of your business on your behalf.

Not only that – don’t be shy about hiring people that add to your talent pool and bolster your weaknesses. Being prepared to invest in experts for key positions could be crucial to success.

Offering fair value to investors. Be mindful that attracting the right investor can come with a cost. You’ll be more successful in attracting the best investor for your business when offering fair value share of your company.

Picking the right investors for your business can take your bright idea from the drawing board to reality, so hoose backers that can add to areas you lack; perhaps through experience, expertise or a wider network of contacts.

Corporate board importance. Bringing in a co-founder, chairman, or establishing a board of advisors early on helps to allay any investors’ concerns, as well as potentially increasing your visibility and credibility.

Unrealistic financial evaluations. Creating a long-term business plan gains investor’s attention and will increase your chances of winning funding. However, keep growth expectations realistic to retain credibility: wild projections will quickly scare off investors.


Tips for growth:

Keep your customers happy. Make sure you do all you can for your current customers before looking for more. Building on them will help your business to expand organically through brand advocates.

Fine tune your marketing. Ensuring you have a thorough plan with targets, timetables, and a budget is an important component to successful business growth.

Pick the right strategy. There are a few options available to grow your business, and it’s wise to consider which avenue to take and test whether your customers would benefit.

Export if you can. There is a variety of help on hand to make exporting easier for small businesses, and the rise of the internet is opening the doors to developing economies, as well as offering new ways to conduct business.

Research is key. Ensure there is real demand for your goods and services with detailed research. Scope out the competition and create an in-depth plan to prepare as much as possible before attempting to expand.

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