As a start up, navigating the world of business is a daunting task. In the trade sector, standing out from the crowd is a matter of risk assessing, forward planning and laying the groundwork for success.
‘How to start up a business?’ is something every budding entrepreneur types into a search engine at least once. Understanding what generates income and a steady revenue stream is the whole point of being your own boss, so it’s only natural to work out the best course of action.
That’s why we’ve put together some handy top tips to make establishing your own business a seamless task. By following our guide, you’ll start out on the right footing that – with a little due diligence and effort – will help you thrive and survive.
Back your start up with qualifications
As a tradesperson, be it in carpentry, construction, mechanical or electrical, your skills are highly sought after. That said, when people search for a trader, they want to see evidence that the person they choose for the job has the required skills.
Various courses offer reasonably priced and straightforward ways to gain certification in your field, e.g. NVQ’s. Then, while you’re studying, think about building a portfolio of work to showcase your abilities. Sometimes, photographic evidence is enough to convince potential clients that you’re the real deal.
Be sure to take high quality before and afters, and ask for reviews or testimonials from people you’ve worked with before. Explore our latest articles on how to shoot great video from your phone and the best techniques for snapping professional-looking images.
Top tip: The right qualifications validate your work rates, which is important for start-up businesses. People are happy to pay for experience and proven quality.
Work hard but not excessively
When we start a new business, we pour our heart and soul into guaranteeing its success. Although working hard and to a high standard is absolutely the right thing to do, while your business is new and gaining traction, you need to avoid the dreaded ‘burnout.’
Your time is money, and if you’ve pushed yourself too hard, your exhaustion will lead to mistakes, injuries and poor workmanship. This has a knock-on effect that no start-up should endure. When quality suffers, so do your sales.
Always remember that you need to fill the kettle to make the tea. So, plan your hours thoughtfully to ensure maximum productivity and well-deserved down-time in equal measure.
Consider your location
Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to uproot your life and live in a part of the UK you’d rather not.
It just means you need to keep in mind where the work is and what the competition looks like.
For example, certain parts of the country are crying out for tradespeople, while other areas have more than enough to choose from.
Top tip: Relocating your start up whilst you’re first establishing yourself can help build a robust portfolio of work. You also have the opportunity to move elsewhere once your business is established.
Protect yourself with insurance
Insuring your company is an attractive commodity for both potential clients and your own peace of mind. Public Liability Insurance is a good idea for every tradesman starting their own business.
Not only does it protect you from financial loss, damages or injuries, but it also covers any legal expenses should the unfortunate happen and you end up in court or find yourself out of work due to some lucrative competition. Clients also prefer professionals with insurance. It shows them that the tradesperson they’re working with takes their role and business seriously.
Checkatrade vetting requires you have Public Liability Insurance, so it is an important investment if you want to join Checkatrade. Our vetting requirements are shown here.
An apprentice helps you grow
One way to keep up with all the new requests is to hire an apprentice.
They can help you tackle tasks at a faster rate or complete jobs previously outside your remit, and they also benefit from your guidance and support.
Passing on your expertise grows both your business and the prospects of those you take under your wing.
Establish a marketing strategy
The world of digital marketing is where businesses thrive these days, especially startups. Although word of mouth is one way to get your name out there, when the competition is high, investing in a robust marketing strategy will set you apart from the crowd.
LinkedIn is great for business to business marketing, while Instagram or Facebook is perfect for showcasing your company and what you stand for. Adding photos and videos of your work helps validate the quality of your workmanship, as well as giving potential customers valuable insight into your skills and trade.
If you haven’t already, join the world’s biggest online trusted tradesperson review site. Social media is one way to get your name out there, but joining a membership site like Checkatrade gives you access to millions of potential customers looking for reliable tradespeople. It helps you foster relationships, build your portfolio, and grow your startup business into a well adjusted and thriving enterprise.
Like what you’ve read? We’ve got more where this came from. Read our trade blog for more tips and guidance on building a thriving trade startup.