5 Steps To Plan For A Business Launch
As’Salaam Alaikum Wa Rahmatulah,
It’s been a while since I wrote the article Thinking of starting a business? and I hope that you have now decided whether starting a business is good for you and your family. Did you manage to write it down and review it? I’m sure you’ve made the right decision for you, may Allaah bless it ameen.
What’s next? What I often find is that once someone has made a decision to start a business and has chosen the perfect business name, they are convinced this is a great idea. There’s no looking back! But it’s important not to be hasty, don’t rush the process, remember that planning is what makes something a success.
So If you have decided to finally become self-employed here are 5 things you should do before launching.
1. Business Plan
Yes the dreaded business plan that everyone avoids doing because it’s so time consuming. Do not skip this step, it is the most important document you will ever make for your business. By creating a business plan you are scrutinising every part of your business venture. Business plans include figures, goals, marketing, research and all the information that anyone would need to know about your business.
Your business plan will help you stay on course and keep you organized. Having a business plan does not mean you are rigid in deliverance or that it can’t be changed, it can be altered and reviewed when it is needed. This plan is a guideline to help you.
You can download many free templates online. Many banks now provide business plan templates on their websites. Prince’s Trust in the UK also have some really good templates to download, so do check their website.
If you still can not find any templates feel free to email Women2Women and we will send you a template to help get you started.
2. Excel Spreadsheet/Finances
Create an Excel spreadsheet to account for your investments, overhead, sales, and profit. It doesn’t have to be complicated but it does have to be maintained. If you are unsure of how to create one there are many templates for this online as well.
It’s important to manage your finances correctly, this will allow you to know if your business is successful or not. You will also need to do your self employment tax return every year, so having all your finances in order will make this much easier for you.
3. Registering as self-employed or as a business
In the UK you have 3 months from when you begin trading to register yourself as self-employed. It is so important to do things legally, there are no shortcuts. Being a business owner means being responsible, which means doing things legally.
Depending on what type of business you are opening I would also advise looking into getting Public Liability Insurance for your business. This is especially important if you will be trading in Bazaars, fairs and markets.
4. Logo and Website
This is the exciting part, but I warn you, it is exhausting. Depending on your budget there are many resources available. Start with getting a Logo done, have a look through the creative muslim women members profiles for a professional designer.
If you’re on a really small budget, there are other avenues to get a logo. You can design it yourself, there are many websites on-line that can give you graphics to edit. This is not easy to do and having some basic skills and knowledge of design is necessary. Another option is sourcing a company such as peopleperhour or fiverr to design a logo, but beware the quality may not be to high and there is a high risk of your design being stolen [Editors Note: Creative Muslim Women does not endorse these websites and discourages their use.].
Your website does not have to be flashy, you need a website that is functional. You can either pay someone to design a custom design which could be costly, or use a hosting company that provides easy build tools and ready-made templates that are easily editable such as wix or godaddy. It all depends on your budget, I do always advise to start off with the cheaper option for the first year or two and then if business is doing well, get a custom website made.
Having both your logo and website ready prior to launching is important as it gives a professional look to your business.
Create your social media pages, I would limit to 3 social sites such as instagram, facebook and twitter, find out which social media sites are best for your industry. Open a mailchimp account, this is for your mailing list. Integrate this into your website and encourage visitors to subscribe. Start gathering emails! This is so important, for every person that subscribes to your mailing list you have a potential future client.
This is only the beginning and what comes after the launch is hard work, stay determined and don’t give up!
Try to attend some webinars and courses on running a business, marketing and accounting as it will help you. Most of all don’t forget to make dua, ultimately success is from Allaah!
Remember take it slowly and do things properly. I Pray Allaah swt makes this new journey you are embarking on easy for you and may it be successful, but most of all may it be beneficial for your dunya and akhira ameen.
Layla is the Co-Founder of IFAM (Islam for All Mankind) a Non profit organisation working to help the community and a public speaker.She would like to bring more awareness, of the difficulties faced by those converting to Islam and those facing hardships.
Layla is also the Founder and Director of Women2Women Market. An organisation that supports creative women from all backgrounds, providing them with a space to trade, in a segregated environment.
Layla is a creative Individual, which is why she fully supports women through mentoring, who turn their skill into a business. She enjoys painting,writing and listening to poetry and loves crafts.
Layla has just finalised her book and is currently trying to publish it. The book is aimed at young girls.