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Ask the experts: Answers to your business questions


Our experts are on hand to answer all your queries about setting up on your own. Christopher Allen, a Start-Up Adviser at FSB Legal, tackles the latest reader questions

How much should I charge for my products? 

Two businesses selling the same product may charge different prices due to factors such as production costs, competition and target audience. 

Conducting market research prior to launch can help identify factors that could affect your end price. These factors can range from time spent producing the product to VAT, equipment, loans, etc. Talking to customers and competitors can provide an overview of market trends, including how much customers are willing to pay. Here are a few different pricing methods to consider:

 Consumer-based pricing: set price to increase sales; use price to support product image; create a price to attract different customer groups
 Cost-based pricing: increase profit share with production cost; a mixture of total profit and production cost; set a value for your time and labour
 Competition-based pricing: price is similar to your competitors’; create a price to attract a larger customer base; attempt to seek a larger market share through price.

Before arriving on your end price, you will have to factor in your running costs and review your competitors’.

How can I stay motivated when working by myself?

This can be a challenge; at times it can feel like you’re working on a desert island. This can happen for several reasons, such as a lack of interaction or motivation, and it’s easy to get distracted. There are a number of things you can do to make it a bit easier:

 Avoid working from home if you find it difficult. Consider working from a hired desk, office, library or workspace. Business hubs can be a good setting for exchanging ideas and sharing best practices with likeminded people
 Create a daily work plan: for example, 9-10am marketing, 10-11am business development, 1-2pm lunch, etc
 Identify your optimum working times
 Create ‘important’ and ‘urgent’ lists; for example, urgent tasks must be completed today, and important tasks can be completed by the end of the week
 Listen to something positive, such a motivational speech, your favourite podcast or a music playlist
 Keep active. Try to participate in a physical activity, whether it’s going for a walk or run or attending the gym 
 Lastly, remind yourself of your end goal, as this should help you get through the hard times.

How can I make the most of networking events? 

Networking events can be the ideal platform for increasing exposure, building relationships and improving your understanding of a sector. 

Ensure you’re attending the correct type of event as there are different types, including breakfast networking, industry specific and virtual events. Paid-for events can provide additional value as they are typically larger in size and bigger companies generally attend. The key is to conduct research before you go.

What do you want to achieve – upskilling your knowledge, attending workshops or sourcing new suppliers? Create a pitch explaining your business, products, services and current plans. 

Speak to as many people as possible to increase your chances of gaining new contacts. Once you have made a contact and exchanged details, follow up with an email or a phone call within one to three days, to pick up where you left off.