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Tips On Starting A Business Within The UK

A Brief Guide To Starting A Business In The UK

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Many people decide that working for themselves is the future, but how do you actually go about doing it? Here’s a short guide on some of the steps you need to take.

Decide What Your Business Is Going To Do

The first crucial step to starting your own business is deciding what exactly that business is going to do. Do you have specialist skills or knowledge that you can sell? Are you an expert in a particular field? Remember, not every business needs to be a niche or original idea, but it does need to work. You could think about the community you live in; there could be a service that isn’t provided there; or maybe there’s an industry that you’ve previously worked in and identified an area of opportunity, not currently catered for elsewhere.

Research Your Market

So you’ve come up with an idea that you think is viable...Great. Now you need to do some research to find out if your business could be successful. For any type of business you need to research things like where you will operate from, potential suppliers, potential demand, competitor prices, plus many other things. If you’re creating a product, you should first create a prototype. Then you will need to get your target market to test it and provide feedback to allow you to redevelop, retest and get ready to launch. If you will be offering a service you need to research what your competitors are doing, and what your customers’ needs are. For example if you plan to become a motor trader, perhaps a mechanic, then you’ll need to research whether the area you intend to set up in actually needs that service, whether there’s already existing competition, and how much the local target market could be willing to pay for your services.

Develop And Create A Business Plan

One of the first things you need to do is to create a viable business plan, including forecasted costs and projected income. This is especially important if you won’t be completely funding your own business. Having a plan gives your business a direction to work towards, and while it may well need to be flexible and adaptable once you’ve started to put it into practice, it will help keep you on track and focussed on the key elements. Part of that plan should include developing your product or service to make sure it is at an acceptable standard to release to the public.

Get Funding For Your Business

There are many ways you can fund your business; from investors, to bank loans, crowd funding, and even government grants. However you need to be careful and research any method of funding thoroughly, so that you know the pros and cons of each method. Don’t give away more business equity than you are comfortable with, but don’t miss out on a potential investor or opportunity because you’re not flexible enough.

Suppliers, Partners And Premises

Some people choose to go into business on their own, and others find people with similar or completely different skillsets to partner with. Whatever you decide to do there are two certainties; firstly you will need suppliers and a place to operate from. If you decide to start a business as a motor trader and want to sell used cars, then you don’t necessarily have to open up a showroom – you don’t have to run before you can walk. If it is necessary to rent out space then do so, but operating from home can be a great way to save money – though make sure to check that it is legal to do so. You will also need to find a set of reliable suppliers, remembering that cheapest doesn’t always mean the best. Find out how long potential suppliers take to deliver the goods you need, and make sure that they can uphold the quality level you require. Do some background checks and research before making any final decisions – and always bear in mind that getting into agreements with people is often a lot easier than getting out, so choose wisely!

Setting Up Your Business

When setting up your business be careful to ensure you do everything by the book, as making a mistake could have dire consequences. It might be worth speaking to a solicitor to make sure you’re doing everything right. You’ll need to consider whether you need employees, making sure that you’re familiar with all of the potential additional responsibilities that this brings, and you may want to look into hiring the services of an accountant to ensure that all of the financial elements are in-line and above board.

Promoting Your Business

It’s no good setting up a business if no one knows you exist. Promote yourself online, via social media and spread the word as loudly and as widely as possible. Tailor your marketing method as well as your message to your audience. Some products and markets will be more receptive to traditional methods such as press adverts or leaflets, while others will be better suited to online marketing and social media. Know your audience and what works best for them. Make sure to set yourself up with a website, and social media accounts too, ensuring that they are regularly updated and relevant.

Advice From Someone Who Has Set A Business Up In The UK

There are lots of people in the UK running their own businesses. Pretty much everyone will know somebody who is their own boss, or has previously had experience of setting up and operating their own company, so don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Pick their brains and find out what potential pitfalls or problems these people incurred when setting up, to help you learn from their experience and avoid making the same mistakes. Think Insurance is a company that has grown rapidly, from 2 to 65 employees, in just over 6 years and has become one of the market leading specialist brokers in the insurance industry. During that growth, the business has learnt a lot, and when asked for some advice for other potential new business owners, Garrath Hussey (Director of Think Insurance) said: “Surround yourself with positive people. Nothing can bring you down faster than a naysayer.”

Insurance

One of the other important aspects of setting up a business is making sure you have the correct insurance. There are a number of different insurance products you may need, some of which will be legally required such as Employers’ Liability if you have employees, while other types of cover will be optional but will provide additional levels of protection for you and your business. For example you will need to consider what might happen to your business if there was an incident and you weren’t covered. Could you continue to operate and generate income or would things grind to a halt? For example if you’re a builder and had your tools stolen, could you still work? What things, if they happened, could cost you in both short term income as well as longer term damage to reputation and future earning capacity? While nobody likes paying for insurance, the consequences of not having it could prove terminal for your business, so always make sure you’re covered. If you want to speak to a business insurance expert, call Think Insurance on 0800 221 8077 or click on the Get A Quote button below.