• Small Business Start-Up Guide

    Small Business Start-Up Guide

    Do you have a great idea for a business but are not sure where to start? It can be overwhelming with the minefield of advice and articles that are available. We aim to shed some light on setting up a small business, and the steps to take into consideration. Also, shedding light on the benefits your business could gain from being a member of the Chamber!

    The steps needed when setting up a small business vary compared to setting up a large business. Focusing on certain aspects in order to gain the most from your local area is very important. So, make sure you are giving yourself the best chance of success for your small business by looking over our start-up guide!


    Establish Your Business Idea

    One of the most obvious and important steps to starting your business is the idea. Ensuring your business is something that you are passionate about is vital to success, leading you to care about your business and better results. If you already have an idea, this stage is a great chance to note down in more detail. How your business will make money, who your target market will be, if you have products how will you produce them and how viable it is as a whole. 


    You don’t need to come up with your complete business plan yet, that comes later. However, it is a great opportunity to do some more research into your idea.

    Research Competition in Your Area

    For small businesses, the majority of your competition will be fairly local. This is a great place to start for your competitor research. Searching what you would expect your customers to search for will give you a good idea of how competitive the market is. Becoming more aware of how competitive the market of your business is gives you a chance to pivot and find ways to adapt your original idea that will make your business more appealing. 


    To go a step further you can start doing some market research on your future potential customers. Conducting surveys and questionnaires from direct customers will give you a great indication of what consumers want and how you could tailor your new business to them.

    Create your business plan

    So, you’ve come up with an idea and researched your competition, as well as the target audience. The next step is to produce your business plan! This step provides a great opportunity to pen down your idea and spot potential problems. The document should serve as a roadmap for you to refer to when continuing the steps for setting up your business. 


    There are many ways to write your business plan, we recommend including some of the following sections:

    • Business Summary - This should be the first part of your business plan, but often it is written last. It summarises your new business proposal, as well as highlighting any goals you may have for the business and how you plan on achieving them.

    • Business Description - This part of the plan describes what product or service your business solves and why your idea is best. This step gives you the chance to demonstrate why your business will be successful. 

    • Missions and Goals - This step should include your business’s primary mission as well as goals or accomplishments that you hope for your business to achieve. This provides a great part to refer to to keep your business on track.

    • Products or Services - This section describes your product or service, going into how much they cost, who is responsible for creating them, what materials are used in their production and how much it costs to make.

    • Background Research - This step in your business plan is to summarise your findings from your competitor research. Outline what you found out from your market analysis. This may include competitors' prices and how they compare to your product or service.

    • Marketing Plan - This section is your chance to come up with a plan of action for when your business is live. How you will make people aware of your product or service and kickstart sales.

    • Financial Plan - Your financial plan will outline the money that will be put into your business to start, as well as projected financial statements. Taking into consideration the cost to produce your product or service as well as the budget for marketing.

    Register Your Business

    There are a few options you will be presented with when registering your business. Whether you register as a sole trader, partnership or limited company there are important factors to consider. Helping you find the right option for you. Find out more about the options for registering your business.


    Join Cornwall Chamber of Commerce

    Now your business is registered, you can join the chamber! Being a member of the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, or any region in the UK, provides you and your business with countless opportunities. From joining the chamber, you open your business up to a wide range of benefits to support and drive your business forward, in your local area, nationally and globally. From frequent networking events allowing you to meet other small businesses in Cornwall to gaining access to a range of business support to help you advance effectively. Find out more about the membership benefits of the Chamber of Commerce.


    Set Your Business Free

    Now your business is registered and you are a member of the Chamber, it’s time to get to work! Make the most of the resources provided by the Chamber and begin growing your business. Refer to your Business Plan when needed and don’t let the business support opportunities available to you go to waste. We hope this guide was useful and we can’t wait for your business to join our ever-growing community! 


    If you want to find out more about why the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce could transform your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch


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