Starting a Business
If you have recently started your own business or are unemployed or furloughed and thinking of starting your own business, this blog should help. Hopefully it will give you the confidence and the boost needed to get started.
Why Start a new Business?
In the current climate, many businesses have and will continue to fail, mainly due to a lack of cashflow. With these businesses closed, a gap is created and opportunities arise for new and different entities to open and thrive. Together with high unemployment, starting a new business in the worst recession we have ever known is not such a bad idea. Due to our changing lifestyles we have different needs, which can be fulfilled with new business ideas.
Here are a few that are in demand:
Online teaching and training
Vegan food and supplies
Hairdressing & beauty
Where to start
Once the idea has formed, a strategy is needed. So work through the following list as a starting point and seek advice, which can be found online. i.e.
Take a step back
Are you fully prepared to start your own business? What problem do you solve and do you have the skillsets required and what do you bring the table?
Do your research
Find out on Facebook, Amazon, Reddit, TripAdvisor
Establish a target audience
What are your customers wants and needs and how will your business fulfil that?
Take a close look at your competitors and be able to offer something more
Find suppliers and their charges and compare price, quality, delivery times and payment terms.
From your costs, set your charges and compare with competitors and work out the gross profit margin per item or service to see if this is going to be viable?
Prepare a budget which will give you a good idea of your expected income and expenditure.
Write a business plan, as you will need this to keep you focused and on track and it will be needed by banks and for business funding.
Work out how much it will cost to fund your business and how you will fund it. Self funding or a business loan or grant. Your business plan will help with this, to see how much you need for the initial outlay, including assets together with the general running costs and payroll. i.e. For capital equipment try leasing or hiring rather than purchasing.
For a business bank account, many are run online and are free. Connect this up to some cloud accounting software and together they will help you manage your finances.
Marketing your business
First start with building your brand, by defining what your business is and does and how to get that message to your target audience.
Create a website
Keep the cost low for this as there are many websites you can build yourself to get you started. i.e., Squarespace
By creating a budget, you will have put aside some funds for this purpose. Work out what you need to reach your audience.
Social Media Strategy
Social media is a must to reach your audience, boost your brand and bring in work. i.e., Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google My Business
Prepare to launch
Decide on the legal structure of your business. Sole trader, partnership, limited company. Understand the legal obligations and costs before going ahead. Plan and make a date to start.
Find an accountant, who will help with the numbers and give advice
Register your business, with HMRC https://www.gov.uk/set-up-business and Companies House if applicable. https://www.gov.uk/topic/company-registration-filing/starting-company
Work out key dates and timescales i.e. key trading dates, lead times on deliveries.
Finally, work out how you will do the administrative tasks required, i.e., invoicing customers, chasing payment. Paying suppliers on time and keeping up with your finances and cash flow.
This all sounds like a lot of work and it is demanding and could be for several years!
A lot of your extra time and often personal finances will be needed as well as problem solving and patience and this is just the start.
If the business runs according to plan, the rewards of running your own business, making your own decisions and being in charge of your own future are only limited by you.
2021 is a year to give it a try.
If you require further advice or assistance, please contact us, firstname.lastname@example.org or 01223 294732.