Running your own business can be both rewarding and satisfying and if you have decided to start your own business-well done, go for it. for it. But what are your choices? There are a number:
- Run a franchise.
- Buy an existing business.
- Purchase a license to sell an existing product.
- Find a partner with an existing business.
- Offer freelance services either full or part-time.
However you decide to start up your business, research is needed to see if your idea is viable. Market research is needed to see if there will be customers for your business idea. You will need to research the competition. Decide on your unique selling point and what you have to offer to bring in the paying customers. How much people will pay for what you have to offer. If these preliminary enquirers show that there could be a market for what you are intending to offer, it will be time to sit down and put your ideas on paper.
- Get cash flowing as soon as possible.
- Keep outgoings to a minimum at least at the start.
- Always overestimate expenses and underestimate income.
- Don’t discount, instead add value.
Preparing a business plan
In your business plan you must deal with:
- Where your business will be based? To start with at home is best where possible.
- How will you finance your business?
- What money do you have available yourself? But be careful, as you do not want to end up homeless, if things do not work out. Do you have friends and relatives who would invest in you?
- What government grants are available?
Speak to an accountant who may be able to suggest sources of finance. Show your business plan to the business manager of your bank and consider applying for a business loan.
You will need a good accountant and lawyer. And maybe a website designer.
Have you got all the skills you will need? Might you need to take on a business partner?
Are you going to be able to find the right staff and employees needed when the time comes? Brainstorm all possible names and write down a shortlist. Google possibilities to see if they are available.
If you are thinking of running as a limited company or LLP, check availability at Companies House.
A sole trader, partnership, LLP, or limited company? They all have their advantages and disadvantages.
Register with Companies House if you are starting a company or working as a Limited Liability Partnership. You should also think about:
- patents and IP;
- health and safety regulations;
- planning and authorities from your local council;
- tax and VAT.