What you need to know about “how to start a business”

You may be employed currently and thinking about how to start a business of your own. You may not be working but need a challenge or a project to keep you busy. Whatever your motivations for starting your own business there are some things you need to know before you begin.Review Android Smartphone

Decide on a structure and register your business

dreamstime_l_36001111Once you have decided on the format of your business, and by that we mean whether it will be a franchise, part-time business or perhaps buying an existing business, then the next step is to decide whether you will be a sole trader or partnership or even a PLC. Once you have decided on your business structure then you need to register with HMRC for self assessment and, if necessary, register with Companies House.  You will also need a business bank account as well and as this can sometimes take a few weeks it is best to get on to this sooner.

Conduct market research

Have you conducted your market research? It is all very well having a great idea that you think will make a great business but have you researched the market? It is important to get feedback from a cross section of people – male, female, different age groups and from different backgrounds. You need to establish who your customers will be and if they would be interested in your product or service.

Write a business plan

If you fail to plan then you are planning to fail. A business plan is a vital step in starting a business. You can download templates on line which will give you the structure to follow. Sometimes knowing what to include can be a barrier but help is out there.

Work out your costs

On the surface of it you may think you know what you need to start your business. In reality once you start digging beneath the surface all sorts of costs that you hadn’t considered may surface. It is important to sit down and write a list of everything you are likely to need. It would also be useful to factor in the cost of household bills whilst you build the business.

The legalities of how to start a business

  • Business insurance – it is important that you have insurance. Investigate the various forms and look at exactly what cover you need.
  • Intellectual Property rights – makes sure you familiarise yourself with this and that you have adequate protection for your logo, ideas and products.
  • Understand tax laws – You may be a sole trader with no employees or you may have a small team. Whatever your circumstances it is important that you are familiar with UK tax laws.
  • Regulations and employment law – It is vital that you understand and follow UK employment regulations and best practice when it comes to things like health and safety

Sales and Marketing

As part of your business plan you should have a section on marketing and a clear idea of how you will get your products and services in front of the right audience. Consider how your customers will find you and how you will find your customers – website, social media, leaflets, email marketing and local print advertising are all effective ways of getting your brand and business out there but it comes at a cost. You need to ensure that you have factored this into your budgets.

Finding staff

This can be hard – no-one knows your business like you do and it is hard as a sole trader to relinquish your duties to the trust and care of others so make sure you have a good vetting procedure. You need to make sure that you offer the right training to allow them to perform to the best standard.

Want to learn even more about starting your own business – take a look at Rebecca’s start up book here or on amazon