The challenge of setting up a new business


The economy is back on the up – there’s no disputing it. This has perhaps been best highlighted recently by figures released by Companies House, showing a record number of new businesses were registered last year.

In 2014, StartUp Britain’s tracker of newly-created firms already stands at around the 50,000 mark, showing this trend is set to continue for the foreseeable future.

However, while launching a new company is an exciting time for any entrepreneur, the promise of fantastic financial rewards is sometimes further away than it may seem at first. In fact, there are many pitfalls that need avoiding in the early stages of a start-up’s life, before the benefits can be reaped.

Getting people to listen

For a start, it’s often difficult to get your voice heard over the crowd of larger, more established competitors.

You could have the best product or service in the world, but if your rivals have more resources and experience behind them to put forward a more convincing argument, then it will take some time to win round consumers.

A lucky break and patience are often vital ingredients in the recipe for success – however, with overheads needing to be paid on a regular basis, sometimes you may need things to happen just that bit more quickly.

Making a good first impression has always been something any company has to get right and that principle is even more paramount for those trying to establish themselves as credible business partners. However, with often limited resources available to impress clients, striking a balance between costs and image is not always easy to achieve.

Out of your hands?

With it being so important for new firms to hit the ground running, you could argue 2014 has not been the kindest year for start-ups so far.

Take the recent London Underground strikes, for example, with millions of people either unable to travel or having their transport delayed, the cost to businesses in terms of missed meetings and a drop in productivity because of workers being unable to get into the office is hard to imagine.

Similarly, the weather has also had its fair share of the headlines recently. Between December 8th 2013 and January 4th, Network Rail reported nearly one-fifth (17 per cent) of its services were delayed as a result of high winds or heavy rain, with almost 400 trees blown onto railway lines and 130 floods blocking major routes.

What’s the answer?

Fortunately, modern technology can play its part in reducing the risk entrepreneurs face when starting out on their new business adventure.

Of course, anything that can save a new firm money without affecting the quality of what it’s doing is likely to be welcomed. As a result, companies are becoming increasingly creative in how they apply modern practices to the way they do business.

The details are explained fully in our new white paper “Flexible working: the future of business?”, exploring how virtual offices and enabling staff to work away from the office can make a real difference in the 21st century.