Starting a new business is relatively simple, but growing it into a profitable venture takes a lot more effort. Despite this, there are lots of great reasons to start a new business and if you have a good idea and the motivation to make it a success, here is a quick rundown of what you need to do.
Write a Business Plan
Before you do anything, it is a good idea to crystallise your ideas. Writing a business plan is sensible for many reasons. Firstly, without a business plan you won’t be able to attract funding, and secondly, getting to grips with the details of your embryonic business will help you spot any potential problems. If you do need to secure funding, it is worth paying a professional bid writer to prepare your business plan.
Choose a Business Name
Your business needs a name. The name you choose should reflect what the business is about. Avoid anything too personal and stay away from long, difficult to remember names.
Register at Companies House
All UK businesses need to be registered at Companies House. This is a very straightforward and inexpensive process, but you can’t start trading until you have done so.
The next step is to register your new business with HMRC for tax purposes. The only reason not to do this is if you are not the ‘nominated partner’ in a self-employed partnership or you are setting up a limited liability partnership.
Banking and Insurance
It is not a good idea to mix personal and business expenditure when running a business, so you will need to open a separate bank account. Do a comparison of the products currently available and read the small print to see what the fees are. You will also need business insurance. Different businesses need specific insurance cover, so again, shop around for the best products.
Health & Safety and other compliance issues are all important, so make sure your new business meets any current regulatory requirements.
Develop a Brand Identity
Once you have covered the essentials, now is a good time to start developing your business’s brand identity. Branding is very important, so make sure your business stationery and website branding all match.
First things first, build a website so online customers can find you. A website is very important and without one you are virtually invisible to the wider world. Building a website isn’t expensive, but if you have no previous experience consider paying an expert to create one for your business.
Generate New Business
There are lots of ways to generate new business: local advertising, business flyers, online marketing, social media marketing, etc. Different businesses will benefit from different types of marketing, so create a marketing plan to suit your business.
Find a Good Mentor
A good mentor is there to offer help and advice, so make sure you have someone experienced to turn to when you are setting up your new business.
It goes without saying that starting a business is hard work, but the rewards are huge, so it is definitely worth the effort.