Starting out in business - Practical things to consider when starting your business
15th October 2015
Jamie Young, Director, looks at the practical things you should consider when starting your business.
Starting any business will be a mixture of excitement and nervousness as you decide to “go it alone”.
This brief guide gives some tips on what needs to be considered and some savings that can be made.
Some banks offer a period of free banking for first 12 months or more. Choose one that offers competitive charging structure and a reasonable interest rate on overdraft if needed. Additionally consider the one that has the best online banking facility for your needs and whether it easily integrates with accounting software such as Xero.
There are a number of grants available for businesses such as the broadband voucher scheme http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/business-and-trade/support-businesses/broadband-voucher-scheme and also governmental grants from Coast to Capital http://www.coast2capital.org.uk/
Make sure you are fully covered for your business and also public/employer liability. I would also recommend that you consider legal expenses cover in case of a commercial dispute with a customer as such disputes can be costly and a distraction from running your business. I would recommend the use of a broker to assist in ascertaining what cover and the level of cover you need.
As your business grows you will inevitably look to take on staff. Having proper employment policies and employment contracts will protect you from the outset. Make sure you contact a solicitor/HR advisor for assistance on contracts and consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Small Business who can assist.
Meet a number of accountants for initial advice and quotations. Accountants will be able to advice on the most efficient tax structure from the outset and will be able give you regular ongoing assistance with regards to your obligations with VAT, PAYE and other taxation. They can also assist in raising finance and writing a realistic business plan.
Sales and Marketing
Consider how you are going to attract customers and sales and best way to maximise sales return for the initial outlay. Relatively cheap ways of having an initial campaign is through social media in conjunction with a professional looking website. Make sure you choose methods that work and support your brand and business.
How are you going to support the business in its early stages and also support your own cost of living? How much initial outlay is required to launch and do you have enough set aside to cover your costs if sales do not start off as quickly as expected.
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