Although business is the main focus of the economy across the UAE, it is not always an easy place to set-up if you do not know the ins and outs of the city, and as well as the different alternatives you might have depending on the kind of business you want to start.
Setting up and managing your own business gives you the freedom to be your own boss and work from wherever you like. It also allows you to choose your work hours and practices. These are the perks! But starting a small business and making it a success requires hard work, focus and commitment. It is best to start out small to test the water. This will help give you a taste for being your own boss and assess whether your business idea looks like it will be a success.
Settling on the right key idea is essential. The proverbial light bulb must spark over your head before you can start anything! Your idea can be anything with the potential to make money. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a brand new invention or product. In fact, many successful small businesses have found a way to deliver an existing service or product more efficiently and economically or have customized an existing product or service to fit an opportunity.
Getting to know your market
When starting a business there are many things to think about, such the type of business, the competition and business viability. You will need to do some market research to find out if there is demand for the products or services you intend to supply.
As a starting point, market research involves finding answers to questions like: Is there a market for my product? Am I going to be able to get into this market or are there already too many other players? Who are my competitors? What do they do and what can I do better or differently? What does my target market think of my product or services? How much will they pay for it? What is the best way to promote my product or service?
Asking yourself these questions, and acting as an objective critic, are the best ways to kick-start the start-up process.
Laying the foundations
Once you have decided your business is a viable option, you need to develop a business plan. Your business plan will highlight everything you need to do to get started and will keep you focused and on track. Depending on what type of business you intend to start, your plan could include elements such as market analysis, a management plan and a financial plan.
The first question to ask then considering any new business venture is that of funding. Namely, this refers to how to pay the costs to start and run your business. Bank loans, credit cards, self financing are all viable options. And while you’re operational, you also need to consider how much salary you need to support yourself while starting your business.
This whole task can seem daunting to a lot of people starting out, especially those lacking a business background. The thing to keep in mind is that a great business plan doesn’t require hundreds of pages with thousands of charts.
It is important to consider key elements, such as your capital investment, partnership agreements and operating costs when putting this together. A financial forecast that includes targets and revenue and profit KPIs is also very helpful in approaching your business from a holistic and big-picture mindset.
Other iimportant aspects include are how much you can charge for your product or service, how much it will cost to produce or deliver, and the size of your potential market. The plan should also evaluate your competitors in addition to possible barriers to entry such as high fixed costs and government regulations that might need to be taken into account,.
Piles of Paperwork
There are many things you need to do before you can begin selling your product or service and raking in the dirhams. You will need to register your business name, website domain and complete your trade license paperwork. You also need to do the simple things like opening a bank account and setting up a phone line, so potential clients can contact you.
This is where we come in. We provide you with a range of strategic and cost-effective services designed to help your business get incorporated in the UAE. We organise fully-equipped office space, arrange a local partner, work permits and UAE visas, as well as provide you with any bespoke needs you might require.
Another main concern is office space. Some businesses require more than others, and much like moving into a new home, it is not always easy to get set up. Office fit-out, rent agreements, utilities and telecommunication connectivity, not to mention inconvenient locations all create unnecessary headache for many new business owners. Our service eliminates the logistical hassle and helps businesses focus on the things that really matter.
In addition, our centrally located Serviced Offices provide a cost-effective alternative to the normal annual corporate leases, as our short term office rental also reduces cash flow by offering a manageable, monthly office contract, as opposed to upfront annual rent which needs to be forked over in most office buildings..
A great piece of advice I like to share with new business start-ups is to build infrastructure early. This doesn’t mean build a big factory or a fancy office. It simply means keep accurate customer records, a clean set of updated books and a technology foundation, if necessary. One of the downfalls of many small businesses is that they don’t know if they’re making or losing money. Another downfall is when small business owners try to sell their company years later but lack accurate customer history and customer information. Many times, the customers of a small business are its best asset, and, without the records, the small business can be sold only for salvage.
Hit the ground running
Running your own business is a rewarding but engaging career and life choice, and despite the global economic downturn, the UAE is seeing an influx of new businesses and daily. This path demands your time and focus. Cover all your bases, tick all the checkboxes, dot the “i”s and cross your “t”s; nothing beats having a really great foundation for your business so that when you are ready to launch, you can hit the ground running!