Starting out on your own in business can be equal parts exciting and challenging, throwing curveball after curveball in your direction. Every humble start-up business needs to be prepared for a major undertaking of stress, but a well-thought out strategy and positive attitude can place you well to deal with any setbacks that you may meet along the way. Preparation is key for success and our team of accountants have helped and supported many new business owners through the initial start-up phase, assisting them as they grow into an established business. Through out experience, we have developed a number of handy tips, read on to find out more!
Tip #1: Create a business plan
Formalize your vision and goals of what you want to do, and how you plan on getting there. There is loads of advice out there on how to write a plan, but the biggest tip I can give is to keep things simple. If you can’t clearly explain your product/service in a sentence or two, it’s time to simplify! You may need some financial projections if you need to apply for support or investment, so it’s best to speak to an accountant for help with this!
Tip #2: Make your business your passion
You are FAR more likely to succeed if your business is centred around something you’re passionate about – rather than something that might make you a few extra quid. If you love what you do, working harder to achieve success doesn’t feel like such a chore.
Tip #3: Perform market research
The easiest way to grow your customer base is by having an effective marketing plan. The first step is getting to know your potential customers – once you know more about them, you can make an informed plan to making them a repeat customer.
Tip #4: Decide on your business structure
Most commonly you’ll want to go with either a sole trader business or set up a limited company. Among several differences concerning tax rates, reporting deadlines and legal obligations, a major consideration when you set up is where the liability falls if the worst-case scenario becomes a reality. As a sole trader, there is no distinction between you and the business, whereas a limited company has the advantage of legally separating your personal liability from the actions of the company.
Tip #5: Register for taxes
There are various different taxes that you will need to either register for, or be aware of when starting a business. Depending on your business structure, they will vary, but keep in mind the key ones: Self Assessment (Personal Tax), Corporation Tax (Ltd Companies only), VAT & PAYE (Payroll).
Tip #6: Get in the cloud!
Regular readers of our blog are aware of how much we love cloud software. Getting this in place from day 1 and your very first transaction on the bank account will allow you to monitor progress and track your performance from the get go. Cloud software’s do wonders for reducing administrative work, and the powerful reports than set your mind at ease on your incomings and outgoings, helping you stay on top of profit projections and your cash flow.
Tip #7: Keep on top of the key numbers
Depending on your business model, your ‘key numbers’ could look entirely different to the business next door. A couple of good examples to base your numbers on can be indicators such as number of orders, number of customers and peak times to name a few. Keeping on top of these numbers can indicate if you are veering off course from your business plan, and give you time to implement change before anything nasty creeps up on you!
Tip #8: Ask for feedback!
Successful business owners are never afraid to ask for feedback. There isn’t a person who has an email account who has never received a customer service survey at one time or another, and for good reason. Ultimately, your customers are best positioned to tell you where you can improve. There will never be any shortage of advice from ‘experts’ in the field so you know pointers are always available there. Don’t be afraid to ask, but make sure you also aren’t afraid to listen!
We have extensive experience dealing with new business start-ups, and can assist you in your newly found venture. Give us a call on 01257 255521 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a discovery meeting and find out how we can support you.
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