Launching Your Start-up: The Planning Stages
One of the most frequently asked questions we get here at NM Group comes from budding entrepreneurs looking to get their start-ups off the ground and launched. They ask (rightly so!): ‘what do I need to know about the financial side of things?’ Luckily, our team is highly experienced when it comes to all matters related to launching a start-up in Malta, so we can give them all the answers they need.
The first thing we’d say is that planning is crucial. Before doing anything, get in touch with a financial advisor to help you prepare cash flow projections. These projections will help you to decide whether or not your project makes financial sense, but will also serve as a your guide and target of sorts. Once that’s done, here are a few things to consider:
1. Set some goals – big and small
Okay, while becoming the next start-up success story and making loads of money is (understandably) one of your goals, you’ll need to sit down and set a few financial goals before you let all the excitement carry you away. First things first: set daily, weekly, or monthly revenue objectives to help keep your start-up growing consistently on its journey to success. Once you’ve sorted out the more bite-sized goals, set yourself some bigger benchmarks to hit along the way. Hitting those smaller goals will keep you motivated as your start-up grows, and the bigger ones will give you an extra boost of satisfaction while showing you how far you’ve come.
2. Control that cash flow
Start-ups can fail for any number of reasons, from questionable business ideas to a lack of planning and beyond. One common start-up faux pas that has ruined many a budding business is simply burning through all your money. It sounds obvious, right? Don’t spend it all at once! Well, unfortunately things aren’t as simple as that. From day one, you’ll need to know exactly where every single euro (or Bitcoin!) is coming from, where it’s going, and where it should go. If you lose control of your cash flow, all the hard work and dedication you’ve put into your start-up could go to waste! Get that budget sorted, stick to it, and you’ll be a-okay.
3. Keep an eye on what you spend
Any entrepreneur will tell you that when you’re launching a start-up, you’ll have expenses coming at you from all over the place. To help you get (and stay) organised, you should definitely consider using reliable cloud accounting software to keep your books and payroll in order. To take things to the next level and get exactly the guidance your start-up needs, we can help with this thanks to our experience in offering financial advice for all businesses, big and small.
4. Pinch those pennies (well, cents)
You don’t need to go full Scrooge here, but being frugal is key if you want your start-up to blossom into a big, beautiful company. Try to keep expenses to a minimum and prioritise those parts of your start-up that really need the capital; the priority should be building your client base and creating the right conditions for steady, sustained growth. Forget about snazzy offices and nights out on the company card for now – those rewards come a little later! It’ll be more than worth it and you’ll be able to bask in your success in peace.
5. Stay optimistic (but be realistic)
Having a positive mindset is so important when you’re getting a business off the ground! Being able to envision the success of your start-up is essential, but the smart entrepreneur is always prepared for the worst case scenario. Business, like life, is unpredictable, so don’t do anything too drastic like quitting your 9-to-5 right off the bat. Make sure you’ve got enough money in reserve to cover you professionally and personally, and keep it locked away in a savings account.
6. Time is money
This well-known business tip might be a bit of a cliche, but it’s oh-so-true. To make sure your start-up is sustainable in the long-run and makes business sense, you need to account for every second of your time and make sure you’re putting in the hours your start-up needs. And while we’re on the topic of your time– don’t forget to pay yourself a wage! We’re not saying you need to take home a massive salary early on in the game, but domake sure you pay yourself enough to make it all worthwhile and allow focus on your budding business. Financial problems are a major stressor, and we all know that stress makes it difficult to stay focused. Give yourself enough room to breathe and enjoy the fruits of your labour!
Everybody loves an extra cash injection, right? There are loads of grants available for start-ups like yours to get a running start, so you should definitely get solid advice on what EU or national funding schemes your budding business can tap into! If you’re not sure which opportunities you’re eligible for, talk to one of our expert advisors to help you find out.
Are you launching a start-up in Malta? Get in touch with our advisory team and we’ll help you every step of the way!