The shift to flexible working, paired with changing buying habits, has inspired many people to start their own small businesses. We have put together a guide to help you set up a small business. When Stencil Giant created their business they went to the state website and registered there. Each state has their own and its very easy.
Why start a business?
Setting up a business can give you creative freedom, help you earn more money and enable you to grow professionally. But starting a venture is not like having a salaried job. It can be an exciting ride but also a daunting and challenging one. visit here
Pros of starting a business
- Greater freedom – to pursue your dreams and work your own hours.
- You can enjoy personal and professional benefits.
- You could earn a lot of money if you make a success of your business.
Cons of starting a business
- You’ll probably need money behind you to get you started.
- It may take a lot of time and effort before you see some success.
- It will be challenging.
Starting a business: First thing to think about
What’s your brand name?
Decide on the name of your business as early as you can. This helps give your venture an identity and a base from which to start.
Tip: When thinking of your company, what is the end goal, what solution will it provide to your users? This will help you think of a creative yet memorable brand name that your customers will use.
Do some research
So you know what product you want to develop and sell. But make sure you do some research so you can identify:
- If your idea has already been done.
- How you can do it better.
- Who your competitors are.
- Who your customers are.
Tip: whilst carrying out your research, it would be essential to conduct a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis focuses on analysing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats relevant to your business. This will not only assist you in identifying and understanding your USP, but it will also be helpful in your business plan and for your ongoing marketing campaigns.
Make financial projections
It isn’t easy to make financial projections if you have little idea in the early stages of how much you might sell your product for and what your costs might be. But it’s a good idea to do some initial costing, so you know your expenses, especially when starting. This will also help you raise funds.
Write a business plan
This document describes your business and what you want to achieve. See the next section for more on business plans.
Start thinking about marketing
Marketing is an essential part of any successful business, so you should start thinking about it straight away. How will you promote your idea? What marketing channels will you use? Start thinking about:
- Your website.
- Setting up a blog.
- Using social media.
- Practising SEO.
Tip: Your customers will need your business when they are looking for a solution to their issue. This could be a gift for a special occasion, a service they need, or a leisure activity. Establishing the solution that your business provides will help you understand how to market your business, as you will be able to get out in front of your audience when they need you the most.
Writing a business plan
One of the most critical steps in starting a business is writing a business plan. This crucial document will help you:
- Set out your idea.
- Set goals and targets.
- Identify challenges and problems.
A business plan is vital because it will help you secure investment or a business loan to help get your business off the ground. It will show lenders you’re serious about your venture, have a clear path to success and identify roadblocks. It could also help impress suppliers.
Financing your business
You will likely require some level of funding for your business, no matter how much money you have in the bank. Some people may turn to business loans to help boost their business as a start-up.
Finance could come from:
- Your own savings.
- Money from friends and family.
- Cash from investors or a venture capital house.
- A bank loan.
It would help if you also started thinking about:
- Managing cash flow.
- Opening a business bank account.
- Setting up an accounting system.
Tip: To keep your company and personal finances separate, you may find it easier to have a business bank account. While it’s not a legal requirement if you are a sole trader, you should check the small print of your bank account documents, you might find a stipulation that the account should be for personal use only. If you’re registered as a company in the UK, for example a limited company, then you are legally required to have a business account.
Registering and structuring your business
There are three main types of business:
- Sole trader.
- Business partnership.
- Limited company.
Generally speaking, becoming a sole trader is the easiest way to start a business. It means you own the company and are free to employ other people. To become a sole trader, you would need to register with HMRC.
Limited companies should be registered with Companies House and have at least one director and one shareholder.
Where to go for funding
Alongside bank loans and investment, you may be able to get funding for your business from a government support scheme.
Where to go for help and advice
Starting and growing a business can be challenging. There will be times you’ll need a helping hand. The following could be good places to go for support:
- You can contact the Business Support Helpline on 0300 456 3565.
- Business Is Great Britain contains lots of help and advice.
- The Federation of Small Businesses represents the UK’s small business sector.
Tip: You’ll have to check whether you will need to pay business rates if your business is run from your own home. It is also important to note that you may also need permission from your mortgage provider or landlord if you have customers coming to your house or stock deliveries.
If you have a non-domestic property like a shop, office or holiday rental home, you’ll be sent a business rates bill by your local council. Check with your council for when you should expect your bill.