So you've read our previous article on business validation (here) and you're reading to take the first steps? Proffer's tips below are based on having a minimal budget but a great idea. Start-ups don't have to be costly if you do it right.
1. The Name
Choosing a name in 2019 that hasn't already been taken isn't an easy task. But it always helps to be relevant to your offering/product. Once you've thought of a few names, have a look online and see if they've already been taken. If they haven't, look at domain purchasing websites such as 123-Reg or GoDaddy. Most are relatively cheap to purchase and there is now a plethora of options as to whether you stick with .co.uk, .com, .io or .uk.
Once you've done this you should consider whether you want to be a sole trader or a limited company. This will depend on whether you want to be self-employed or employed by your new business. Gov.uk's advice can be found below:
2. The Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Wikipedia defines a minimum viable product (MVP) as "a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and provide feedback for future product development". This can be in the form of either a physical product if you are a retailer or a website/platform if you are offering your services via online booking.
When looking to design a website, there are many tools available now to be able to build your own website with little or no coding experience. If you're looking to open an online shop to display your products, have a look at Wix or Shopify. Both can offer simple ways to build your site with low cost options. Equally if you're not selling products and are offering professional services, Wix or Squarespace are popular options to easily build a simple but visually appealing site.
3. Social Media/Branding
Once you have a name and a website (though a website isn't always necessary and look out for our next guide on operating your business offline), you should look to registering the name as profiles on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Linkedin. Once you've set these up you can link back to your new website and start to tell people about your new business and what it has to offer.
If you're new to social media or aren't sure how to market your new business on there have a look at our social media guide for small businesses.
Branding can be difficult for a new business, particularly if you have built an MVP and are yet to fully decide what your mission is and who you are targeting but have a look at our branding guide to see how it can help you build your new brand identity.
4. Become a Proffer Pro
What is Proffer you ask? It is a place for businesses where consumers are matched to Proffer Pros based on their service level requirements and budget. This means that you never receive a Proffer request that is outside of your service offering.
Proffer can also assist you in testing a new area of the market that you're thinking of moving into, without incurring heavy advertising or research costs.
Proffer was designed to be a transparent tool, providing you with the customer's budget before you respond which leaves you to decide which leads you want to respond to.
Proffer offers a low cost monthly subscription option and doesn't charge you to pay per lead meaning that you can plan your marketing costs in advance!
To find out more about becoming a Proffer Pro, please visit https://www.youproffer.com/proffer-pro.