There are plenty of resources out there to help British small businesses make the most of their ideas. According to the current coalition government and trade organisations like the Small Business Federation (FBS), promoting UK small business will give the sluggish economy a superb boost, both in terms of native trade and helping small business owners to export overseas and tap new markets.
1. Make a business plan
It can be too easy to overlook costs and end up with a great product that doesn’t cut it as a profitable business model when factoring in unplanned costs. The basic business plan should include a rundown of all start-up costs (e.g. if the seller has to have custom packing foam cut to size, paying a childminder, website design, etc.), a definition of products, services, customers and profitability, and how the company can grow.
Postage will be a huge part of the financial outlay for the new small business, so it’s essential to plan all postage and packaging costs before making the commitment.
Getting a thorough business plan in place affords the time to move the numbers around and identify problems and solutions in a sensible way.
2. Look for custom packaging solutions early
Some products require custom packaging. It’s not a great idea to wing it and assume a little profit will mean being able to afford more appropriate packaging solutions.
Getting in touch with custom foam suppliers that can create effective products on the right budget can be a great way to start a long-lasting business relationship. Some companies even offer marketing advice and help to small business owners looking to capitalise on a great product with excellent packaging.
3. Adhere to a strict but realistic turnaround time
For the fledgeling business, building up a great reputation is crucial to long-term success. For a small business owner sending their product out in the post, promising more than they can deliver is a death knell to their credibility.
Be realistic about postage fees, turnaround times and what kind of commitment can be offered in terms of postage insurance and replacing lost/damaged items.
4. Look for partners
This can be a superb way to start out without investing in something like custom packaging. There are two routes to follow.
The first is to use a fulfilment company to store products, take orders and handle all shipping concerns. This is typically done for a set fee per item depending on what the product is and how much is shipped.
The second solution is to approach larger distributors and have them sell the product. This can curb profits, since they’ll take a large share of it, but it can be great for small business owner looking to get their product out there and properly marketed right at the beginning. Most distributors will buy in bulk, which can certainly help a start up trying to raise funds to grow their business.