Ask the expert
Stephen Smith is the YorkMix finance and tax expert. He runs TaxAssist York, and is here to help you with all your money concerns
Owing to the pandemic we have seen many people who have either been furloughed and then starting a business as a sideline or who have been made redundant then starting their own business.
We have given lots of guidance to those individuals. Here are our seven top tips for start-ups.
1. Plan ahead
Any good business idea requires a sound plan. Your business plan should clearly detail your operating and start-up costs and how you intend to cover them.
It should also explain your target market and the gap you intend to fill. It should list your unique selling points that set your business apart, as well as the short, medium and long term objectives of the business including a sales forecast.
It’s a road map to follow and monitor your progress along the way and you need to do everything to keep your initial start-up costs to a minimum.
2. Sort your finance
Although some start ups can thrive self-funded, others require a leg up financially. Additional funding can be sought in the following ways:
- Angel investors
- Small business loans
- Government grants or loans
- Business overdrafts
- Corporate 0% credit cards
- Borrowing from family and friends
3. Choose a bank
It’s always best to set up a business bank account to separate work from your disposable income.
Take your time to choose the right business bank account provider. Each bank will have their own pros and cons.
Consider things like monthly fees for your account, free banking periods, service levels and make sure the one you choose suits your needs perfectly.
4. Find the best location
One of the easiest ways to minimise overheads for your start up from day one is to work from home. However, if you do require a dedicated workspace make sure you research the market and consider the following:
- How much space your business needs
- How much rent you can afford
- The best location for your business assessing customer footfall
- How you plan to occupy your premises e.g. lease tenancy, licence, or acquisition
5. Attract customers
It’s a good idea to sow the seeds of marketing your new business from day one. Make sure you build your own brochure website and look to have a budget for marketing.
Your business logo and name should be appropriate and memorable. If your budget allows, sourcing a digital marketing expert and looking to advertise online using pay per click, paid advertising and even digital radio will provide additional exposure for your business and additional leads.
Also look to join appropriate networking groups such as Chamber of Commerce or BNI.
6. Hire staff
Recruitment is a key consideration of a start-up business. It can be useful to have extra pairs of hands to take some of the strain and allow you to focus on the key areas that can grow your business.
These are the five key concerns of hiring employees as a new business.
- Make sure you register as an employer with HMRC
- Auto-enrolment workplace pension schemes
- Employers liability insurance
- Payroll requirements
- Health and safety requirements
7. Sort suppliers and manufacturers
If your business model revolves around selling products, set aside time to research potential suppliers and manufacturers of the goods you wish to specialise in.
Make sure you assess product samples and materials to ensure the quality benefits your target demographic. Ensure the suppliers you work with offer acceptable minimum order quantities that are not out of your budget and do not take up too much storage space within your premises.
You should also discuss production timescales to ensure your suppliers will be able to keep up with forecasted demand.
If you need assistance and advice with your new start-up business, please give us a call on 01904 414411 where we can give you all of your accountancy and tax support that you need.