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5 Tips for Start-up Businesses

November 2016

The inception of start-up businesses is often the culmination a great deal of time spent thinking, imagining, planning and prepping for launch.

Starting a business is an exciting time, but it can also be rather stressful. If you’re new to business, it can be hard to keep on top of things at first. What follows is a list of five tips to help start-up businesses understand what you need to do to ensure the smooth running of your business from day one.

1. Get into good habits early – As early as possible, it’s a great idea to get into a routine with your bookkeeping. Not only will this stop you having to make last minute sprints to the accountants, but it will also ensure that you’re fully aware of the financial state of your business at all times. It is worth keeping in mind that if later down the line you wish to apply for finance, it is essential that you have up-to-date and accurate business records.

2. Be prompt with your taxes – You should always aim to complete and send HMRC documents promptly in order to avoid potential penalties. Don’t be afraid to get professional assistance with this when you first start up, tax can be a complicated business. We also recommend you consider setting up a spreadsheet in which you list the tasks you need completing and when. This will create an audit trail for you or your accountant to follow, thus making everyone’s life a whole lot easier.

3. Seek advice – Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. By speaking to experienced professionals, you will gain valuable insight from individuals who have a wealth of experience behind them. The likelihood is they will have encountered the challenges you will someday face many times before. It’s an inevitability that when you start a business, you’ll make some mistakes, everyone does. By surrounding yourself with qualified and experienced individuals, you can reduce the number you make.

4. Pay your bills – Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business. It’s vital that you maintain control over it. This is best done by ensuring you pay your bills on time, but equally important is that your clients pay them on time too. Make sure you make your payment prices and terms clear to your clients by setting deadlines for payment and charging interest on late payments.

5. Outsourcing is your friend – Make use of outsourcing. In order to decide which tasks to outsource, think about how time-consuming they are and whether you have sufficient knowledge and experience to complete the task in good time. Essential day-to-day tasks such as bookkeeping, payroll and IT maintenance require technical knowledge and can consume much of your time. You need to weigh-up the pros and cons of outsourcing certain tasks, it can often be in your best interest to outsource.

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