Understanding what startup business tools are available
You’ve created an amazing business idea. You’re passionate about the project and feel this could be a viable business. The only trouble is you’re not quite sure of what business support is out there.
The pandemic has been the catalyst for new businesses, with a new record of 772,000 businesses forming in 2020.
Birmingham has spent many years as the UK’s regional startup capital, but the truth is not enough startups succeed – according to Embroker, 90 percent of startups fail.
This is because not enough new businesses seek the right support. This may be because it’s too expensive, that they’re unsure of which path to take or whether it doesn’t work for them logistically.
It’s important to become familiar with the startup business process and plan effectively.
One of the most important things you should consider is whether there is demand for your idea. You may already be thinking about this but are unsure how to actually prove that people want it.
One idea could be to conduct some surveys. SurveyMonkey is a great online tool that could help you gauge some interest and ask some specific questions.
Furthermore, HubSpot’s customer persona creator can help you build a profile of your potential client.
It’s also important to choose your business name carefully. Ensure it is not too restrictive and appeals to a broad range of people.
Business incubation support
A business incubator should be one of the first ports of call in the startup business process.
They are designed to support startups during those early, fragile stages of growth, providing access to funding, excellent facilities and expert advice.
According to research by the National Business Incubation Association, companies nurtured in a business incubator have a survival rate of 87 percent, compared with just 44 percent for those who don’t.
In a recent report from the UK Government, it revealed that “most startups consider the contribution of the incubator to have been significant or even vital to their success.”
Hence, a business incubation service is one of the most invaluable startup business tools available. So why don’t more budding businesspeople use them?
Sometimes, it can be the location of the incubator in relation to the business. Incubation programmes can also be expensive, requiring entrepreneurs to give up valuable equity.
Furthermore, many incubators have a low acceptance rate, only selecting the most promising startup ideas.
However, things are much different at STEAMhouse Incubator. Ideally located in Birmingham City Centre, it provides free support for entrepreneurs from a range of backgrounds, with a range of ideas.
Not only that, but each startup is given a specific set of milestones to reach, tailored to suit the scale, ambition and growth of their company.
This bespoke support and guidance ensures startups feel valued and appreciated, while the Incubator’s amazing facilities – including dedicated workstations, workshop areas and collaborative workspaces – enable a startup to thrive.
“When I was first given a tour of the Incubator, I was blown away,” says Simon Caulton, the owner of a budding trainer business and the first client of STEAMhouse Incubator.
“The Incubator have been an amazing source of information and advice. Because of the Incubator, I gained the information and tools needed to make more confident business decisions.”
Student or graduate startup support
According to recent research from Santander UK, over a quarter of university students currently run or plan to run a business while at university.
Almost one in ten entrepreneurs are already running a business alongside their studies, a number that continues to grow with each passing year.
Furthermore, 48 percent of students said they plan to continue their business as a second job once they have graduated.
It is no surprise that there is an increased desire among students and graduates to start their own businesses.
In recent times, there have been globally successful examples, most notably Gymshark and Lounge Underwear, who have built a long-lasting partnership with Birmingham City University.
However, there are a number of common pitfalls that student startups can fall foul to, including:
- Running out of cash;
- Not fully understanding the market and neglecting to research customer needs;
- Too much competition, not enough competitor analysis;
- A flawed business model and lack of experience in their chosen business area.
If you have graduated within the last five years or are currently a BCU student, our BSEEN business startup service can help overcome these hurdles.
Armed with a variety of business planning techniques, BSEEN is a twelve-month, free service that provides one-to-one mentoring, access to grant and funding opportunities, as well as access to business facilities across the BCU campus.
Looking for startup business tools that could help build your business?