Guide to starting up in business

Starting a new business

For many people, starting their own business is a real lifestyle choice. Though not for the faint hearted, running your own business means long hours and whilst you have the benefits of being the boss, you also get the downsides too!

If you're thinking of starting a new business then here's our handy guide to the basics of getting things up and running. We've put together the guide to cover everything from getting your accounts sorted, marketing, products/services and all other things we can think of.

Starting a new business checklist

There's so much to consider and organise when you initially start a new business so here's a quick checklist to get things started.
  • Business structure - Sole Trader, Part time or Francise business or Limited Company?
  • Create your business plan
  • Create your marketing plan in support of your business plan
  • Find an accountant and premises (if required)

What sort of business to start?

Many thousands of people are engaged in Sole Trader businesses. These businesses are typically where one person works alone as might be the case of window cleaners, mobile mechanics, plumbers and people working from home. If you expect your turnover to be significant and you intend to employ other people within your business then you are more likely to setup a limited company. Another approach is to look for a franchise opportunity.

Finding an accountant

One of the first things to consider when starting your new business is how you will handle the financial information that needs to be tracked and organised for submission to the tax man. Findind an accountant will save you a lot of time and effort and hopefully get through some of the confusion quickly. Your accountant will also be able to help with PAYE calculations and explain what costs may be offset. Also, don't forget to inform HMRC that you are now self-employed or a company director.

Creating your business plan

A business plan is where you write down what it is your business will do, how you will make money and other aspects of your business.

Marketing your business

How you market your business really depends on your customers and where you think you'll find them. For some businesses, trade fairs may be a good choice to quickly find new customers. Other businesses such as building trades generally advertise their services in local papers. Most businesses these days find that they simply have to include a website as part of their marketing activity but don't be put off by the price as basic websites can be built these days for under £100.