Launching a business is a daunting prospect, where do you turn for advice? As I didn’t know anybody with an online shop I turned to the internet and visited The British Library for help.

 

Below is a short list of resources and websites I have turned to again and again.

ENTERPRISE NATION

 

Enterprise Nation are an organisation which offers support, advice and guidance to small business start-ups. They regularly hold events and talks across the country, bringing together experienced advisors and newbies. Their website is a plethora of useful information and contacts.

DESIGN TRUST

 

The Design Trust is a platform full of information for designers and makers looking to start their own business. It supports with everything from branding and marketing, to sales strategies and prices. They will inspire you to start your business journey, it is a big step to try to make your dreams a reality. The Design Trust know how passionate designer/makers are and how much they value their craft. Referring to their advice will help to avoid the many potential pitfalls there are along the way.

BP PLANS

 

When setting up a new business you will come across many people who will advise you to create a business plan. This is something that I did do, it will help you to properly develop your idea and think about the various touchpoints you will need to address. Business plans should contain sections on your business vision, objectives, your ideal customer and your strategy for growing your business. There are many resources online when looking for a base template, BP plans have business plan examples from lots of various types of businesses. It’s a good place to start.

OMNI CALCULATOR

 

Pricing is always quite difficult to navigate. How do you price your product if you have never sold anything before? The Design Trust advise to work out what you would like to make in a year and work backwards from that. How many items do you need to sell in order to hit that figure? To answer that question you will need to work out your margins. How much does an item cost to make and how much can you sell it for? What’s left will be your profit. Omni Calculator have resources to allow you to quickly work out your profit margins. The keys for pricing are to make sure you are not losing money by charging too less and to research, research, research. Be sure to price your product competitively against your industry peers.

ROYAL MAIL

 

This may be a strange one but Royal Mail have been essential to my online shop. Talk to anybody with a shop and they will tell you that shipping is the biggest headache. Breakages, inflated pricing, delays these are all problems you may encounter with couriers and shipping companies. Royal Mail have been the one shipping resource who have not caused me any problems to date. Their website has lots of useful information regarding shipping and you can set up a business account easily on their website. Figure out shipping and you will be set up to always deliver your finished product in one piece.

SMALL AND MIGHTY CO

 

Marketing your business is key and that includes social media. Sam Burgess of Small and Mighty is an Instagram and social media strategy expert. In order to connect with customers, an online presence is essential. The way you appear on social media will say a lot about your brand. Photography should be top-notch, it doesn’t have to be professionally produced, but it has to get over what your brand is about. Turn to Sam to help kick start your social media journey.

PR DISPATCH

 

Rosie Davies-Smith launched PR Dispatch to offer an affordable alternative to PR agencies. Members of the platform learn what PR is and the resourced you will need to create in order to do it. To build brand awareness it is important to get your brand into print or online media. The majority of customers and clients will trust a new brand if they are recommended to it by a trusted source. The advantage of generating your own PR is that you build relationships with industry leaders and that it feels especially satisfying when your product does appear in the press.

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