You’ve got a business idea! You have passion, drive and excitement to make it a success, so what’s next? Here’s a few pieces of advice for you, to create your successful business.
Firstly, you need to write a business plan. You need to have real expectations about what you’re going to achieve within a specific time frame. This provides achievements to aim for and creates a healthy growth timeline for your business. Consider all the aspects you’ll need to cover; customers, legality, delivery. For this try downloading our free business model canvas.
Although this will not cover all the areas your business will have in depth, it will give you an idea of where to start.
Next you need to register your business, these are the three most common businesses to register under.
1. Sole traders
Pros – A simple way to set up a business where you steer the ship, you are the boss. This means you keep all the profits without having to share it across the business. Often being a sole trader is a good place to be until you have the confidence to grow your business and become a Limited company. Being a sole trader means, if you change your mind or the business isn’t working the way you planned its easier to cease trading.
Cons – As a sole trader it is often harder to access finance and you are completely liable for any debts of the business. This could mean if the business doesn’t succeed you may end up paying business debts with your personal assets.
2. Limited companies
Pros – This is the most popular way to register your business as it provides benefits that other business structures do not. When you register as a Limited company you’re considered a separate legal identity. This means you minimise the personal liability, so if things don’t work out as you planned, your business can dissolve and you don’t have to worry about any outstanding business debts impacting your personal life. Limited companies benefit from tax efficiency, credibility and trust.
Cons – Limited companies must be officially incorporated at Companies House. This isn’t too complicated but it can be time consuming to fill in the necessary information correctly. Limited companies can also find they have more accounting requirements, as stricter record keeping is a necessity. Annual accounts must be submitted to Companies House yearly and Companies House records must be maintained and kept up to date. You must notify them of any changes to your company details immediately, meaning more paper work.
Pros – The biggest advantage to a business partnership is that responsibilities are shared. That mean start up costs, workload, risks and expenses are divided by an agreed percentage. Another advantage is that in a partnership you complement each other’s skills and combined, you may have additional contacts that can lead to the achievement of greater financial results. Another benefit is that you have someone working alongside you with the same motivation as well as the ability for mutual support.
Cons – The biggest downside to a partnership is that you don’t have all the control over the business. Some business partners stipulate different percentages of control over the business but this does not mean that if they skip town and you have 45% control of the business, you only owe 45% of the debts. If this happens you are jointly fully responsible for the debts of the business. Another important factor to remember is that friendships do not mean you will be successful business partners! “A friendship founded on business is a good deal better than a business founded on friendship.” (John D. Rockefeller)
Once you’re registered, make sure you’re up to date on all the rules and regulations you need to cover for your business to be within the law. Check if you need licenses, permits or insurance. There are also rules around selling goods online on your ecommerce website, buying and selling to and from abroad and storing personal information. Make sure you are GDPR compliant – we offer a GDPR website compliance package, so its one less thing to worry about.
Lastly work out where your business is running from. Do you need to find an office space or shop? Are you working online only, in which case ensure you have sufficient internet speed? Whilst you do this consider who you need involved in your business, do you need someone to ensure your accounts are up to date and keep your payroll in check? Ensure you are speaking to someone about what you need to provide if you have employees; holidays, breaks, pensions etc.
Now your ready to get up and running. You have your idea, your premises, your staff, now you need to start promoting. Almost every successful business is online in some form, with most businesses having websites and existing on a social media platform you need to get in touch with someone who knows what they are doing to bring your online presence up to scratch. Ensure you’re choosing someone who has experience, in order for your website to reach its best potential. Once you start getting busy, remember that there are people available who can manage your website and set up and manage your social media for you, taking the stress away!
Now you’re all ready, good luck with your business adventure!