It's thought that this year will be a record breaking year for British entrepreneurs, with around 600,000 new start-up businesses being launched in 2017.

If you find yourself among those looking for a change this new year and wanting to run your own business, you'll already be discovering there's lots to think about before taking the plunge.

Here are TEN quick tips to consider when launching your own start-up business.

1. Think about your business branding.

All businesses need a brand to help them stand out from the crowd, including a logo. Whilst you should use this as a chance to be creative, remember to keep it simple! Your brand is likely to change as your business grows and you want people to understand exactly what kind of business you are from the get-go. 

Remember that brand success doesn't happen overnight and it will take time for people to recognise who you are and what you do, but there's no better time to start making your mark than the present!

2. Get yourself a professional email address.

Often a popular mistake made by start-up businesses is using an old or personal email address to contact clients and suppliers. 

Make yourself look instantly more professional by setting up a fresh email address that links back to your brand. This will help send a positive message to your business contacts whilst keeping your personal emails separate from your work ones.

3. Keep your receipts.

Whether you're excitedly buying yourself some inspirational new stationery or promptly looking for stock & suppliers, don't forget to keep records of all your spending.

Even if you aren't thinking about your accounts yet, keep all your receipts and any invoices for the year so you can revisit them when it's time to.

4. Start a business plan.

Having a business plan is an important tool for starting a businesses. This will help you understand how you will build your business but is also crucial for applying for any future funding that you might need.

There are lots of free tools online that can help you build a strong business plan and although it may seem like a daunting task it's well worth doing to help you think about everything from marketing to finances. 

5. Understand your target market.

Don't assume that everyone will be interested in the services or products you are selling. Write down who your target market is by thinking carefully about the type of person that is going to buy from you. This will help you with your business plan and narrow down the types of marketing you'll benefit from the most.

6. Don't spend lots of money on fancy advertising.

Although it may seem tempting to blow your budget on a fancy website or lots of pretty business cards, save your money! 

Your brand will almost certainly change in time and until you've found your feet it may be best to hold off from investing in lots of marketing media that could go out of date very quickly. 

Start off with some economical business cards and even testing out a free website platform to get you going.  

7. Make the most of online directories.

Help get your business found online by making the most of free online businesses directories. There are lots to be found around the web and will help boost your website & social media profiles to get you found by more potential customers.

8. Get yourself set up on social media.

Social media is a must for all businesses, not just start-ups. 

Decide which platforms are going to work best for you but don't take on too many at once, especially if you're new to a particular tool. Sign up to one or two to begin with and commit to them; having fewer active social media pages is better than having lots that don't have any traffic or followers.

9. Network with other businesses.

Take advantage of free networking opportunities in your area and link up with like minded local businesses people. There's no need to spend lots of money on these events and they are a great opportunity to meet people, even if they're not potential clients. 

Remember that you can never do too much networking and they are great places to get advice from other businesses owners with different levels of experience.

10. Know your stuff.

Don't forget to do a bit of research on what regulations your business may come up against. For example, if you're hoping to work with food or drink there may be health and safety certificates that you need from your local authority. Or, if you're planning on taking part in marketing exhibitions some events may require you to have public liability insurance.

Want to read more? Take a look at our 7 reasons why social media is good for business!

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