If you dream of launching your own venture but have been putting this off for months or even years, then now is the time to turn your daydreams into a reality. While many of us are all too quick to listen to our loved ones, sometimes you have to listen to your gut instincts and go ahead and follow your ideas and plans. However, launching your own venture is not going to be easy. You can expect to say goodbye to regular nine to five hours and be prepared to work weekends and evenings also. You may also have to take a salary cut during your first year of business too, as it can take a few months to raise your business profile and attract new clients or customers. Negatives aside, there is no reason why you should put off launching your startup any longer, all you need to do is take your time and plan your first few steps.

Before going ahead and starting your venture you are going to need to take time out and draw up a business plan. Doing so will enable you to keep tabs on all areas of your business, from working out how you are going to get your initial investment, to drawing up a timeline or even calculating and planning your first few marketing campaigns. A business plan is not a one-off either; it is a document that you need to update each year and review every few months so that you can track your progress and ensure that you remain on track and reach your quarterly goals. If you are not sure how to draw up a business plan, then you can use TedTalks or even talk to a colleague who can help you to set out on the right track. Once your idea is finally down on paper, you can start to register your business as a brand and begin to work out which financing options will help you to get your venture up and running.

Financing

Before your business becomes a reality, you are going to need to review which financing options will work best for you and your needs. If you are going to borrow from friends and family, then treat this as a business deal and ensure that you meet your payments on time to avoid damaging your relationships. Consider companies such as Bonsai Finance to help you increase your chances of getting approved for your next loan. You are going to need to have your financing in place and set up a payment plan before you can make any large decisions for your venture, so take your time and choose the right option for you. Try not to rush this crucial phase, and do not feel pressurized into taking out a loan if you are not sure how and when you will be able to repay it or the interest.

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Consider branding

If you want to raise your business profile and reputation, then you are going to need to check that your branding is on point and is consistent across all of your preferred business channels. Whether you want to work with a designer or create your own brand using online tools or in-house resources, take the time to educate your entire workforce regarding the importance of living and supporting your brand. You will also need to ensure that you review and rethink any copy or content that is on your business website so that it meets with your company tone of voice and requirements. Finally, check that you use the same logo and branding across all of your digital channels also. Your brand is vital so that your business venture begins to gain new followers and develops a solid online reputation.

Network

Now you have launched your brand and invested in the future of your venture; it is up to you and your colleagues to get out and about and begin networking. Any small business trade shows or the opportunity to attend events that are specifically designed for ventures in your local area, it is crucial that you attend these and start to work on your reputation. You can also use your social media and online presence to help you begin networking digitally also. Post regular and relevant blog posts and social media posts across all of the digital platforms that you are using. Next, ensure that you take the time to engage and interact with any comments or feedback that you receive, even if it is negative or detrimental. Networking is vital so that you can begin to make a name for yourself and obtain new leads for your venture.

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Work/life balance

Now you have gone ahead and launched your new venture; you will also need to take the time to ensure that you have a healthy work/life balance also so that you can avoid burn out and getting ill within the first few months. If you work from home and cannot yet afford an office space, then make sure that your kids understand that when you are working from home, you are not to be disturbed. You will also need to spend quality time with your family when you can – although you are going to need to learn to be more flexible and manage your time even better than before. Finally, make sure that you do have some time for you, as you will need to relax and unwind so that you have the energy to keep your startup going.

If you are considering launching your own venture, then stop hesitating and get ready to launch! Draw up your business plan and ensure that you know exactly how you are going to fund your plans. Furthermore, get your branding and logo on point and use this across all of your digital presence also. Get ready to network to make new contacts. Finally, do not forget to maintain a healthy work/life balance so that you can continue to follow up on your positive work and ensure the future of your business.

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