Top 10 Things You Should Do When Starting a New Business

 

Starting a new business is an exciting time, but there are many things to consider if you want to get your new venture off to a flying start.

To help you out, we’ve put together a guide to the top 10 things you should do when starting a new business.

1. A Business Plan

It may seem tedious to some but a business plan is often crucial, especially if you’re seeking financial backing.

Plan the start-up period, then set targets and goals for the first year, and subsequent periods. Review regularly to ensure you remain on track.

2. Financial Considerations

Complementary to your business plan is a budget for the equipment you require, and any other overheads, such as a property, insurance, etc.

You need adequate capital in place, whether savings, a business loan, or a combination of the two.

3. A Name

Are you going to trade under your own name or a business name? Whatever you choose, it should be memorable and reflect your business.

Avoid choosing anything similar to your competitors, and check the name hasn’t already been registered, and that it’s available on social media and as a web address (if required).

4. Company Structure

There are a number of different legal business structures. You may be a sole trader, you could form a partnership, or incorporate a limited liability company or partnership at Companies House. Read up on the options and decide what’s best for your needs. (1)

5. Insurance

Whatever your business, having insurance may help should things go wrong.

One of the many benefits of working with a specialist business insurance broker is that they should be able to advise on the cover that’s essential for you, such as public liability, employers liability, tools and equipment, vehicle cover, business interruption, etc. Brokers may have access to products from a number of insurance companies, and help arrange the insurance that most appropriately fits you requirements. They may have also negotiated special features and prices for the benefit of their customers. And, to save you remembering when your renewal date is approaching, a good broker will typically remind you.

6. Customer Base

Do you have an existing customer base or are you starting from scratch? Who is your target market? Are they from a certain age group or other demographic? Make sure you know where to find them and, if possible, speak to them before starting out to check you’re offering what they really want.

Then consider what your unique selling point is, for example what sets you apart from any potential competition?

7. Marketing

When you have a clear idea of your target market, consider how to reach them. You may build a website, make business cards or leaflets, advertise in local newspapers, magazines or on local radio, or you could use social media.

Aim to use a few different types of marketing to reach the widest possible audience, and keep track of what works for future reference.

8. Pricing of Products and Services

Have a thorough understanding of your overheads so you can price your products and services accurately. Work out your bottom line – how much you need to charge to break even – and work from there to accurately price your business offerings.

9. Knowledge of Your Competitors

Keep an eye on your competitors. Look at how they market, who they’re working with, what they’re charging, whether they have any special offers or promotions.

10. Understanding of Taxes

Finally, register your new business with HMRC (2) and ensure you have a clear understanding of your tax situation – your allowances, tax returns and tax codes. (3)

With all the points raised in this article, if you are unsure of what you need to do, or may not have the time to dedicate to each of the activities, there will be companies out there offering professional advice and assistance for you to speak to.

 

Sources:

1. https://www.gov.uk/business-legal-structures

2. https://www.gov.uk/new-business-register-for-tax

3. https://www.gov.uk/tax-help

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