For most UK start-ups, starting a business is fast, cheap and easy. In fact, it is practically possible to organize a business in a day! If you know what line of business you want to start, you’ve been thinking about it for ages, you’ve read books, you’ve taken courses… then maybe now is the time to “do” it?
This article is about how to start a business. Follow these 7 easy steps and you’ll be up and running in no time:
Step 1: Tell HMRC you are becoming self-employed
Get the right starter pack for you. you can do it all online, or by phone to help you get started as a sole trader (see part two below for other legal structures). We also recommend filling out Free Online HMRC Training which will give you direct practical advice on keeping records, filling out and filing a tax return, and what to do if you hire someone.
Step 2: Understand your insurance coverage
Insurance can protect you and your business from risks, including accidents, illness, theft, and legal costs. The coverage required will depend on the nature of the business and how you run it. Axa Business Insurance Quote Wizard good start. He will tell you what insurance you need and what you should consider. Specialist brokers can be useful for niche businesses, and trade associations often give big discounts to their members. If you have dependents, make sure you also have life insurance.
Step 3. Choose a company name
Google search and House of companies to see if the name you want is available. If you can’t decide, use your own name for now – eg. Jane Smith cakes – but don’t invest in printing and branded materials until you’re sure. Buy website domain name as soon as you fix it.
Step 4. Open a corporate bank account
You need a business bank account if you are setting up a company, as it is a separate legal entity for you. This is not strictly required if you are a sole proprietor (although it is usually recommended), but you must keep very clear records.
Step 5: Qualify
Make sure you meet all regulatory requirements, e.g. health and safety, licensing, data protection.gov.uk there are some great tools to help you get through this. It only takes a few minutes and is easy for most startups.
Step 6: Start Keeping a Record of Everything
Appoint an accountant or create your own simple accounting system. At a minimum, keep a record of all sales and expenses. An online accounting package can save you a lot of time and effort by keeping your records up to date and in perfect order.
Step 7: Tidy up your workspace
Your local authority/council should be able to provide information on commercial premises and rates in your area. If you are working from home, make sure you understand:
- what home business expenses you can claim, including a percentage of household bills
- planning permission – if you expect regular business visitors or hire someone to work from your home, contact your local authority’s planning department for advice.
- if you are renting, check your lease to make sure work from home is allowed.
If you are online or using a laptop
in most cases, you might want to check out co-op opportunities in your area, where you can rent a desk for a few hours or full time. Working together can be a great way to break through isolation and instill routine and discipline when you’re first starting out.
Maybe a little push, but you could certainly do most, maybe even all, of it in one day.
Part Two – Starting a business on a solid foundation
So the official registration is not so difficult and does not take much time. But, of course, you are much more likely to successfully start a business if you start with a solid foundation:
Step 8 Get your business image in order
Develop corporate identity that reflects your values and how you want your target customers to perceive you. Get a logo design and use the same color scheme and fonts for all your content. With professionally created templates to get you started, get motivated and save time. Sports logo maker from Adobe Express are available to help you design a unique logo for your company.
Step 9: Determine the best legal structure for your business
For most, it’s a choice between sole proprietorship and a limited liability company. However, if you are building a social enterprise, there are many things you need to think about.
Step 10 Write a business plan
A business plan is vital if you need to raise funding. It is important in any case and should be a living document, regularly reviewed and updated. Your plan should include a marketing and sales strategy as well as financials. Here is a good business plan template to download and a great guide to writing your business plan.
But if the thought of writing a business plan gives you goosebumps, then check it out. Right Brain Business Plan: A Creative Visual Success Map
Step 11 Manage Your Cash Flow
Start making a cash flow forecast and update it very regularly with actual performance. A simple spreadsheet is usually sufficient. Here is a great free cash flow guide that you can download. Even if you need an accountant or accountant to do this, make sure you personally understand it, and review it very regularly.
Step 12 Keep costs as low as possible
Until your business model is established and you start making good sales, try to save on costs as much as possible. You can do a lot with very little money. If you need a loan to get started, check out Government Supported Starting Credits Company. These loans are unsecured, with very reasonable interest rates, and you will be supported by an advisor and mentor.
Step 13 Tidy up your business kit
Step 14 Organize communications
Make sure customers can find you by phone, email, and relevant social media. Start with the social media where your customers hang out. If you don’t know, then ask them!
Your form style should be the same in all social networks, with the same icon and slogan – you want to be instantly recognized. If you need to do a lot of social media marketing, use a tool like Crowdfire to plan and manage your social media accounts.
Step 15 Get your support in order
Assess your own skills and determine how you will fill in the gaps. Don’t hire others unless you really need to. Many small businesses start by subcontracting or collaborating with other freelancers or small businesses. It’s easier than ever using freelance platforms like Fiverrwhere you get help with marketing, design, administration and more.
Most importantly, make sure you have someone you can talk to regularly about your business. There will be good days, as well as days when things go wrong and your motivation plummets. So find a good mentor, business consultant, or other people in the same position as you, with whom you can talk about the challenges and share the successes that lie ahead of you.