Starting a business isn’t easy. There are numerous hurdles you must overcome; however, the result can be extremely rewarding. If you would like to start your own business there are series of steps you need to follow, follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to owning a successful business.
Ask yourself why you want to start a business
This should always be your first step. Ask yourself the most simple and basic question: Why do you want to start a business? Your answers to this question will form the basis of your company.
Once you have a clear idea of why you want to start your own business, you can begin to think about how you can make it a success.
Create a business plan
Creating a solid business plan is essential. It’s not enough just to think of a business plan, you need to write it down. It doesn’t have to be long, a single page can often suffice, but it needs to hold up to scrutiny. Writing a business plan forces you to answer critical questions that you cannot ignore if you want your business to be a success, so this is a step you don’t want to miss!
A good business plan will answer the following questions:
- What is the purpose of the business?
- Who are my customers?
- What problem does my product/service solve?
- Who is my competition and why is my product/service’s advantage?
- How will I price, position, market and support my product?
- What are my financial projections for the business for the next 3-5 years?
For further guidance on how to write a killer business plan, read our blog on the subject.
Choose a business name
Our best advice is to use the Companies House website to see if the name you would like is available. If you can’t decide, go with your own name e.g. John Smith Bakery, as you can always trade under a different name later.
Do not invest in brand materials unless you’re sure! Once you are certain, buy the website domain right away.
Set-up a business bank account
As your company will be a separate legal entity to you, your business will need its own bank account. While it isn’t essential for sole traders, it is still recommended.
Finance your business
To get your business off the ground, you will likely need some funds. The good news is there are loads of different ways in which you can get the resources you need.
These are the top ways in which we recommend funding your business:
- Fund it yourself – Use your own savings to help launch your business
- Request a business grant – There are a number of government-supported schemes out there for this very purpose. We offer a Business Grants & Funding service to help assist with this process.
- Use current assets – As your business is new and therefore has no trading history, you will be hard-pressed to get a loan from the bank. Instead, you could consider re-mortgaging your home to release funds.
Appoint an accountant
Yes, we’re biased in this regard, but we cannot overstate the importance of appointing a good accountant. Appointing an accountant can free up a lot of your own time that is better spent doing what you do best, running your business.
A good accountant can not only save you time but money. It is not uncommon for an account to provide you with more in tax saving than the cost of appointing them.
Decide on your business structure
Are you best off setting up as a sole trader, a limited company or a parentship? This is something your newly appointed accountant can assist with.
Find a workspace
Firstly, you need to decide if you need business premises or if you’re working from home. If you are working from home, before you go out and buy a load of office equipment, make sure you understand:
- How to include a percentage of household bills as business costs (often referred to a ‘use of home’ expense).
- You could be eligible to claim capital allowances on any equipment, vehicles etc. that you purchase for business use.
- if you rent, check your lease to see that home-working is allowed.
This is the fun part. You can now start operating as a business!
Fortunately, we offer a business start-up service. This service will take you from having a business idea to a fully functioning business. If you are considering starting a business and need some advice, simply get in touch.