Kenny Sillars, head of business advisory at Jersey Business, explains what would-be business owners should consider before launching a new enterprise.
JERSEY’S business landscape is diverse. Home to a wide variety of industries, 8,190 companies were recorded as active in June 2022.
In just a few short years, though, the storm of Covid, Brexit and the weak economy has made it much harder for some businesses to stay afloat. As a result, the Island has seen a small number of businesses fail to survive during these testing market conditions.
However, despite this adversity, entrepreneurial spirit remains high. At the beginning of 2023 the light at the end of the tunnel burns brighter and the appetite for entrepreneurship is likely to be reignited for many in Jersey.
If you are thinking about starting a business this year, what do you need to do to support long-term success?
Understand that there may be a long lead time
While there is certainly room for spontaneity in a business, before you start is the time for careful planning and research to make sure your idea is viable. If you require start-up funding, this can take a considerable amount of time to access. According to gov.je, opening a business account can take between one and six months depending on the bank. Then, of course, you’ve got lots of other things to think about and implement such as tax, business insurance, registering for Goods and Tax Services Tax, building a staff base and any other licences you may need.
Create a solid business plan
It may sound obvious but the absence of a well-structured, in-depth business plan can cause more hurdles to getting started than necessary.
First and foremost, most banks will not lend to a new business that does not have a good understanding of its opportunities, challenges and projections. Secondly, without thorough planning, more issues are likely to arise and stall progression.
A good business plan should include:
- Executive summary.
- Company description.
- Market analysis.
- Marketing and sales plan.
- Management and staffing expectations and plans.
- Operational requirements.
- Financial projections and funding requirements.
- Risk analysis.
- Explore investor opportunities.
Jersey is a lucrative island for knowledgeable and supportive investors. The business community has several people who either own or have owned successful businesses and are keen to give back, support others and contribute to the Jersey economy where they can. By integrating yourself regularly into the business community, you never know what conversations might strike up.
Be aware of the continuous market challenges
Jersey has opportunities on every corner, but times are still turbulent. There are challenges which new and established businesses will face in the coming year and beyond. Interest rates continue to be high, as does the cost of living and the cost of purchasing materials. Finding business premises within your budget may also be a challenge.
Of course, whether you are in Jersey or anywhere else in the world, understanding what the challenges are and exploring alternative options that perhaps work outside the box will be a recipe for moving in the right direction. Could you start out online instead of waiting for premises, for example? Can you wait another six months before starting to trade to build up more cash reserves? There are plenty of options that will ensure you begin your new business journey on the right foot.
There are so many places to get business help in Jersey and it is crucial to use them to provide you with advice and support as you launch your new venture. From Jersey Business to the Government of Jersey and other experienced business owners, advice and guidance is never too far away.