Starting your own business in the UK has never been easier. Thanks to the digital world that we live in, you don’t even need to have a warehouse in which to store your products if you’re ready to start making sales. There are countless options to help you get your venture off the ground, including affiliates, drop shipping and more.
However, just because starting a business is easier than it once was, doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges to consider. For instance, one of the biggest things that people struggle with when it comes to launching their own company is merely taking the plunge and getting started. If you’ve had an amazing idea in mind for months now, but you still haven’t taken that next step, here’s how you can start your business today.
Speak to HMRC and Get Compliant
HMRC needs to know that you’re going to be self-employed. With that in mind, it’s worth logging onto their website and finding out everything you can about becoming a sole trader or working as a limited company. It’s also a good idea to look at the free online training available for HMRC, which will give you the basics on what you need to know about tax returns, record-keeping and more.
While you’re at it, make sure that you’re compliant with everything that the government expects from you when you become a business. This means that you may need to check whether you need any specific trading licenses or insurance before you begin working with customers.
Think about Your Finances
Cash flow is one of the most important parts of running a business. However, managing your money starts long before you launch your company. First of all, you’ll need to open a business bank account. This is where all of the cash moving in and out of your organisation will go. It’s also where you’ll be collecting statements from for your accountant.
With your bank account sorted out, you’ll also be able to start seeking out a loan. For some people, the best option will be to go with a specialist business loan. However, it might be difficult to get this kind of loan if your company isn’t pre-established. You can speak to your bank about the opportunities available and go from there. Remember to compare your loan options to get the lowest price.
We mentioned insurance in the compliance section above because it’s an essential part of running a safe business. If you want to stop yourself from going bankrupt the moment a client decides that they have a problem with you, then you need insurance straight away. There are plenty of different options out there, so make sure that you read up on the basics of policies and find out what kind of coverage you need.
For instance, if you run a company out of your home, but you don’t see clients at your property, then you don’t need to insure yourself against customers hurting themselves when they meet with you. Speak with an insurance or business professional if you’re not sure what you need.
Refine Your Business Plan
With a little luck, if you’ve been daydreaming about your business up to now, then you’ve probably already got the basics of a business plan in place. All you need to do now is start refining it. That means figuring out exactly how much money you’re going to dedicate to everything from employees, to marketing and more.
You can also put goals in place that will help to guide and motivate you when the going gets tough. If you know how much you plan to charge for your products and services, you can predict where you might like to be 6, 12, and 24 months from now.
Get Your Support Ready
Finally, remember that only you can take the plunge and start your own business, but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. There’s plenty of support out there to help you too. You don’t have to run out and employ people straight away, but you can certainly work with freelancers if you need to access some special skills that you don’t have yourself. Or you can look into just working with people occasionally when you need them most. For instance, you might have to find an accountant once a year.
As well as professional support, don’t forget to consider emotional and personal support too. Running a business is a lot harder than it seems, and you’re going to need people around you to help you thrive.