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5 Simple Steps to Launching your New Business

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5 Simple Start Up Tips

As we speak, budding entrepreneurs up and down the country are busy planning their new business adventures. This exciting journey is one that requires plenty of hard work and commitment, as many that have failed or succeeded know only too well. It’s estimated that around 8 in every 10 new business ventures end within the first 18 months, but if your company survives the rewards of pushing forward with your own business are definitely well worth any obstacles you have had on your road to success.

The first positive thing to remember is that if you are a UK-based start-up, you can set up your business in no time at all – it’s fast, low cost and relatively easy – some have even been set up in a day. If you’re clear on what it is you want your business to achieve and you’re confident in your skills and level of dedication, then maybe now is the time to take the plunge and get on with it.

If this is something you are giving some serious thought to, here are a few of our top tips to help you kick-start your business.


1. Have Confidence in Your Idea

 

Every new business begins with an idea. It could just be something that you know you are highly skilled in, maybe a tradesman that has identified a gap in your local market for a new business like yours. Alternatively, it could be something that you have extensive knowledge or passion for and you just believe that people our there will buy into your goods or services.

To provide that extra bit of confidence and to back up your idea, do a search for existing companies in your industry and learn a bit more about what the current success stories have done – all whilst thinking how you can do it even better! If you truly believe you can deliver something that other companies haven’t, or something similar (but you can do it better), you should now believe in your idea and get started on that business plan.


2. Building your Business Plan

 

With your idea firmly in place, it’s time to start building a solid proposition and this should answer some of these key questions. Who are you planning on selling your goods and services to? What are your key goals and desired results? Do you have the finance in place yet? What funding might you need as part of your startup costs? Lay out all of these questions and answers into a well written, clear business plan, remembering one key factor – always keep things realistic. If you start off too ambitious, with unrealistic timescales or targets you might end up disappointed.

Your business plan puts together the direction that your company is going firmly in place; whilst also highlighting all of the strategies needed to focus on to achieve your goals. There are many guides around on writing a business plan, so search out some good examples before you start.



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3. Working through the Finances

 

Kick-starting your new business venture will have a price, so it’s vital to work out how you are going to cover those costs. Firstly – you will need to identify if you have the funds to set up your startup, or whether you will be requesting to borrow money to make this happen. If your new business will soon become a full time venture, it’s always pays to make sure you have some money put away to cover not only the start up costs but also enough to let you live off before you start making a profit.

It is not uncommon for new businesses to put their own money into their new company – if this is the case you are lucky that you have this available and will certainly let you get things moving quicker. Many however, need financial support through a loan, and so your bank is always a good starting point. Remember, the bank will want to know that you are a strong candidate to lend money to, so have your business plan in a well-presented format and be prepared to talk through your financial history to date. Other opportunities for funding are available through small business loans.


4. Remember your legal requirements

 

If you work for yourself, you’re classified as a sole trader, or self employed. As a sole trader, you will keep all of your business profits once you have paid the tax on them. To formally register, you do so with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and this will provide you all the guidelines to make sure you pay the correct income tax and national insurance. As a sole trader, your check list is:

•Register with HM Revenue & Customs
•Send a self Assesment tax return every year
•Pay income tax on the profits your business makes
•Pay National insurance

In addition, if you expect your takings to be more than £83,000 a year, you must also register for VAT.



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5. Start Marketing Your Business

 

Whether it’s on a large or small-scale, effective marketing can be the difference between success and failure for a small business.

There are lots of things you can do, but here are just a few tips to get you started:

Your business plan puts together the direction that your company is going firmly in place; whilst also highlighting all of the strategies needed to focus on to achieve your goals. There are many guides around on writing a business plan, so search out some good examples before you start.


Determine your niche – be very clear on who it is you want to sell to. You must know who it is you are offering your products and services to, this will help you refine your marketing activities to the right demographic.

Set up a website – for a business to be successful today this is essential. The first thing a potential customer might do is google your business, and so this is often the first insight into your business. There are plenty of people offering the service to create a website, so a quick search online is all it should take to find someone to help create your perfect online presence.

Get social – setting up a Facebook page for business lets you reach out to thousands of people, easily and for free. This tool also lets you pay for advertising, with small fees to a targeted group, so it’s a great way to promote your business and any offers you think could entice people in.

Get happy customers to tell you – encourage customers to write a short email or letter about the positive experience they had when using your business. Put these testimonials on your website and maybe showcase these on your social media platforms. People will be more willing to use you if they see that other customers have had a positive experience.

Get on YouTube – having a YouTube page where you can put videos of your business can be a good way to show off your skills. If you're a kitchen fitter e.g., film yourself delivering your latest project. If done well, it can show customers that you really care about what you're creating.

 

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