Everyone who has tried or even been successful in starting their own business knows how much time and energy it takes to not just get it off the ground but to ensure its sustainability.
In 2022, out of the 4,894,356 business that were currently registered in the UK, 753,168 were new start-ups (see Government Companies statistic 2022) With over 35% of all registered businesses currently being in their infancy (1-4 years), it’s not surprising that many feel that small to medium sized businesses are the back bone of the UK economy. The Role of Small Businesses in the UK Economy | Bionic.
I have an idea!!! But where do I start?
If you are a risk averse person like me, you start at the very beginning and try to answer all those questions going around in your head by investigating all aspects of your idea.
Can I do this?
No one can answer this for you. You know yourself and know your own capabilities, skills sets and limitations. Being honest with yourself and not getting carried along with the dream having your own business and being your own boss is crucial.
Starting a New Business is Easy, all you have to do is complete the relevant paperwork, submit it, a few checks are carried out and hey presto, you are now in business. But is that the right start to a new business? Us risk averse people know that is not the way we would do it and if everyone who is starting up in business really thought it through, they would realise that without investing the time and resources into the idea in its infancy would very likely lead to its downfall. We who are risk averse need to ensure we are making the right choices, have an idea of where we are going and have the confidence in our ability to get there. Have you?
Do I have the time to start up a new business?
Investing time both prior to setting up a new business and managing the business is crucial to any successful new business. Being in business is not just something that can be started on a whim, in a rush or on the basis of a day dream, being in business is hard work, a huge commitment and if not managed correctly can take over your life. So, what can we do to ensure we are not living to work but working to live.
PLAN, PLAN, PLAN is essential, prior to even registering your business or taking the leap from employment to business ownership.
PLAN by researching your product/service – Does this product exist? If I must make it, how much will it cost me? Where can I buy the materials to make my products? If it is a service, can I provide this service on my own? Will I need employees? Will I need special premises/equipment to provide this product/service?
PLAN by researching your competitors – Are other people providing this service/product? Where do they provide this service? How much do they charge for this service/product?
PLAN by researching your market – Are there enough customers out there for another company providing the same products? Have I got a UPS? (Unique Selling Point). What are my customers? Where do I want to provide this service? Where do my competitors advertise?
PLAN by working out your finances – How much do you need to cover your personal finances? How much is all the equipment/premises going to cost prior to starting up? How much do I think I can sell?
Once all of the above and no doubt more questions and work is completed you will now have an idea of your products, the costs, your competitors and once it is all compiled into one document you are now in a position where you have the beginnings of a business plan and as long as you have been honest with your findings and have the energy and time to continue you are now in a much more informed position to make the decision of whether or not you want to start up your own business. For more information on business planning see the government website Write a Business Plan
My business is registered and now I have customers – what do I do?
Congratulations, this means your business is off the ground and your planning is working. You have customers that want your product/service from you. All you need to do now is provide the products/services they require and keep on top of your increasing customers. EASY? Yes, in the beginning when you only have a couple of customers and suppliers etc but it’s not as easy when the business grows and your customer, supplier base increases, without the correct equipment and systems in place in can get very complicated, confusing and very stressful.
KARRM Holiday Letting’s approach
So, what has KARRM done to address the needs of a growing new business, with increased customers and administration whilst trying to also find a balance between work and home life.
KARRM became one of the initial trialist for ESP’s CORE Software System. KARRM was interested in a system that was cloud based, that could grow with the business, that only had features on it that was needed and not loads of other stuff that just got in the way, a system that would not need replacing in a couple of years if the business model changed or the business grew further, it needed a system that was for its business and that could evolve as the business needs changed and CORE was presented as just that. KARRM registered for being an ‘Early Adoptor’ Customer who not only saw the system first but also helped in developing it to where it is now.
KARRM started out 2 years ago, as a holiday lettings company to initially manage 3 family holiday homes that was owned by a husband and wife team, both working full time in other businesses. From the onset having a company that just managed 3 holiday homes was never the plan. The plan was always to develop the business into a one stop shop for holiday lettings services, whether this was managing the holiday homes and lettings for other owners, carrying out changeovers in between other owners guests or dealing with general repairs and maintenance issues as we wanted to ensure the business was viable and able to make money. Working a full time job and running a small start up business was no easy task, so being risk averse, KARRM owners developed and implemented a plan that would enable one of them to quit their employment and work in KARRM full time. Getting to this point was very hard, both juggling work, a household, a family and a start-up business, there wasn’t a spare minute in the day to just sit a relax. But after 1 year and as planned, all that hard work paid off. The business is now in its 2nd year and in a position where it provides all those services for nearly 30 other owners, has a team over 9 people and provides its services on 4 major holiday homes and caravan sites in Lincolnshire.
The growth of the business wasn’t straight forward, providing the services was the easy part. Managing the company administration, employees, customers, finance, health & safety and a growing business went from a couple of hours per week to a full time job, with constantly updating calendars, looking through records time and time again, searching for dates, makes, models of holiday homes, spending hours on invoicing and then having to repeat it over and over again as the teams got bigger and the customers increased. Information sharing was a nightmare, trying to only provide certain employees certain bits of information and others more. It was becoming very stressful and the more successful the business was at providing it services, the more customers were wanting to come on board, which then led to an even bigger administrational headache and lots of stress. We were drowning in time consuming processes, administration and paperwork.
But that is a thing of the past!
‘KARRM now runs primarily on ESP’s CORE Software System. All its holiday lettings, property management customers, changeovers, repairs and maintenance, worksheets, timesheets and now even its potential customers are now on CORE. The systems has totally streamlined all the business and reduced the administration to just a couple of hours per week. It has totally took all the stress out of the administrational side of the business, I don’t have to try and remember everything, nor worry about who’s got what information and if I’ve invoiced everything, it is all on our CORE system and with its process builder, automatic alerts and task builder, I can manage not only my own but all of the teams work load more effectively and my wife now has the time to develop our website and finally get a better nights sleep.’ – Keith Jones – Director/Owner of KARRM
Starting a successful business is not only about having a great idea and having the guts to take the risk, but also about investing time, resources and commitment to make it work. It can sometimes be a thankless and repetitive job that has its negatives and positive but just remember going outside your comfort zone can open so many different avenues and experiences that you never knew existed.
So, setting up the right business for you, should make enough money to cover its costs and provide what you need and eventually also provide you with the freedom you deserve for all your hard work you have put in. So, ensure you have the correct equipment, premises, systems, plans in place that will provide you with the foundations to a successful business. Book a chat with one of our friendly team to help streamline your back office processes from the start of your journey!!