10 things to consider when starting a business
Starting a business can be stressful. It can feel like you have a never-ending to-do list and there are still things that you may not have even thought about. As exciting as it can be, if you're planning on taking the plunge, you need to take the following into consideration.
1. Nature of your business
What will you offer? What will you sell? How will you sell it? Will you provide a product, service or combination of both?
2. Have you done your research?
Research is a vital step towards starting your business. In order to make money, your product or service will need to sell and without any knowledge of your industry, market and competitors, you may struggle.
3. Ensure the legal side is covered
One of the first steps you need to take is choosing a legal structure for your business. This will indicate many legal aspects including taxes, paperwork and employees. You need to ensure you are choosing the right structure for you and your business.
You will need to inform the Inland Revenue about your new business and register it accordingly.
Depending on the kind of business you're in, there are various laws you will need to follow including health and safety, the environment, data protection, licences and insurance.
If you're setting up a company for the first time, we would advise you to speak to a professional. If you require our assistance, please get in touch.
4. Choose the right name for your business
It's important to choose a memorable, effective business name that is not already associated with another business. Choosing the same / similar name to a company in the same industry could lead to confusion and even legal action taken against you. If you're planning on forming a limited company, you will need to check this is available on Companies House and ensure a suitable domain name is free.
5. Where will you operate from?
Depending on your industry there are many spaces to think about. Will you need an office? A shop? A workshop? Warehouse? Or will you even operate from home? You will need to think about your location, your target market, finances and business rates. Ensure you do your research into your chosen location and take everything into consideration.
6. Plan your finances
None of this would be possible without the sufficient funds in place. Most entrepreneurs when starting a business will have very little funds available, but there are many options available to get started. Seek capital with friends and family, investors and apply for business loans through banks. Look at the different choices available and ensure they are covering the costs needed.
7. Business banking
It's highly recommended to keep your business banking separate, especially when it comes to your taxes. There are a large range of banks available, do some research on which one will work best for you, taking into account what they will be charging you for banking with them. Most offer free business banking to start you off.
8. Marketing and materials
There's no point starting a business if no one knows it exists! How will you market your business to potential customers? Think about a marketing plan and marketing materials as well as a social media presence.
9. Design and branding
Every business needs a logo, so have you thought about yours? You want to make sure that it's unique and professional so hiring an expert to help with this is recommended. It's also a good idea to think about a website, even if you are not planning on doing business online.
10. Hire help
It's nearly impossible for an individual to handle every aspect of running a company. Look into hiring an accountant and a business coach / mentor. This will allow you to gain professional advice, plan ahead for the future and stay on top of your finances.