If you’re new to the business world and are thinking of starting your own company, then look no further. Setting up a business is a relatively simple matter, but getting it to survive is the hard part. The following is some important tips that all business owners should follow to ensure they’re keeping up with the competition.
1. Getting started is easier than you think
It’s relatively cheap to set up your own business, with prices starting at less than £20 at The Formations Company to register your company name. You can also buy bigger packages with training, board minutes and much more to help you in your first start up.
Make sure you get in touch with HM Revenue and Customs too, where you can declare yourself as a business owner and make sure you’re paying the right taxes to the right people.
2. Don’t use recruitment agencies at first
They can be costly to use, especially if you’re hiring your first member of staff. Have a look around your local area to see if there are any networking groups or jobs boards that specialise in your industry. Don’t be afraid to ask around on Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and face-to-face too. Hiring freelancers or contractors can also be a good money-saver if you don’t have a regular stream of work or the need for a permanent member of staff.
3. Set up some social media accounts
Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest to set up social media accounts on behalf of your business. People are increasingly reverting to social media to contact companies about doing business or to ask a question about a service you may offer. Getting these accounts set up straight away shows how available you are.
4. Market yourself accordingly
As well as using social channels to market yourself, remember to get a good website in place, invest in advertisements online and offline and shout about your new venture. While you may have a business plan in place, a bit of good old fashioned marketing will only help to boost your customer base and get people talking about you.
5. Get an accountant
Unless you’re an accountant yourself, an accountant will not only sort out all of your finances, they will advise you on the best places where you should save money and when you should spend your money too. Make sure you work with an accountant who is a specialist in your area of business, and preferably one who is local too. It makes it so much easier when April rolls round and you have to have all your finances in place for the new tax year.
You should also shop around for the best business bank account, as some banks will offer you special deals such as insurance and other benefits if you’re a new enterprise. Business bank accounts usually come with their own financial advisor too, ensuring that someone is always keeping an eye on your business accounts.
6. Be insured and be licensed
If you’re running a business that requires a licence, particularly in the food and drink sector, make sure that you have these licences in place before going into business. In addition to this, depending on the type of business you’re running you may need to get a specific type of insurance, especially if you expect to welcome members of the public into your business establishment.
The key thing here is to know the areas of the law to do with business you are running and make sure you are adhering to it before opening your doors. The government’s website has a coherent list of all licences available, but it’s highly recommended that you go and visit a solicitor with your business plan before you start taking any action to ensure you’ve not overlooked anything.
7. Don’t quit the day job
Unless you’ve got a huge cache of money stored up, don’t quit your current job as it’s a steady source of income – one that your new business venture isn’t guaranteed to bring. It can take a while to get a new business off the ground, so don’t jump in at the deep end. Most importantly, when you cut the ties with your previous job, make sure you give yourself a salary in your new business.