01273 830330 info@thedockhub.co.uk

So, you have a fantastic idea for a new business venture, but not sure what to do next? There is so much to look into and for you (and your family) to consider before you make the BIG jump into going it alone. Here are a few tips to consider before you jump!

Planning to start a business?

Putting together a business plan cannot be spoken of highly enough as it is such a crucial aspect to see if your business is a winner, or a potential stinker! 

First things first is to consider keeping your current job whilst you go through his stage of the very long process of starting your business. man a business has gone under even before the first round bell has sounded, and this is all down to planning, which is a good thing as I will explain…

You have an idea and then look into the business starter nitty gritty. There are questions you need to be honest about when answering these nerving questions.

1) Have you enough funds to start? 

2) Have you the necessary equipment to start? If not, be honest as to what you need.

3) Have you seriously looked at the real competition you will face when you start?

4) Have you done the maths in what you need to survive with all the expenses you will require, including your mortgage or rent?

5) Have you spoken to family, friends and even colleagues (that you can trust) and asked for honest feedback on your business idea?

6) Are you fully qualified to start your business?

Setting up a business legally.

One of the most important things to do once you have decided that you are going to launch your business is to register with HMRC (Gov.UK) Most startup businesses register with HMRC as a sole trader, limited company or partnership. You can see this information on the website to see what suits your venture more as there are variables that you should consider, especially when it comes to tax and legal status. 

You will also need to plan for possible licensing that may be required to run your business. This can take some time to go through the application with the governing bodies or local planning departments, so be patient and don’t start trading until you have the required paperwork as this will make your business insurance invalid. If you are considering employing anyone, you must ensure that taken into consideration the appropriate Health & Safety requirements….so much to do, but it will all be well worth it in the end if you want to succeed!

(This blog is not legal advice for your startup. We recommend you do thorough research to make sure you do everything correctly.)

Pitching to investors or future business partners.

Need the funds to get your venture off the ground? An investor is certainly a possibility, but caution is most definitely needed at this stage. There are risks to this, but the right investor can give your business the boost it needs to get started. The first thing that an investor will ask for is the business plan. Without this, you will be put at the bottom of the pile and will never be given the investment needed. This is completely avoidable if you have created the business plan. There are many apps and websites you can use but check out write a business plan from Gov.uk as a good starting point as this can help with putting together a solid plan for you. If you are looking to have an investor, you will need to present how you will pay the investment back and also how much profit you are forecasting in the first 4 years…should you survive. *

See the fact here*More than 50% of small businesses fail in the first four years.

If you are looking into a possible business that you are looking for an investor, check out 

The Angel Investment Network this organisation brings together businesses looking for investment and investors with the capital, contacts and knowledge to help them succeed.

Online presence…what to do first?

With any new startup an online presence is imperative! A business which started 50 years ago doesn’t necessarily need to have one as they have an established route to sales, but you don’t! The business world is constantly changing since the internet, and the world is a much smaller place now, so the perfect place for your business services to be online. 

First things first is to invest a small capital and time into building a website. This is something that you can do yourself with simple online tools to help you put together an immediate online presence, or you can hire a developer to put together something more polished looking.

Social Media is the online marketing king and there is no excuse for not having your business on at least one platform. The list depends on what you want to advertise and to who!

Facebook – A good starting point for any business to go to and you’re very likely to already be on there with a person account! 

Twitter – In the U.K. this is one of the best places for your business to find new customers and to get your product or service noticed.  It’s without a doubt to be one of the quickest ways of getting your message out there and for you to keep up with sector news.

LinkedIn – This is for businesses who would like to connect with business around the globe, and there are many benefits to joining.

Instagram – Only a good fit for visual businesses, such as  fashion designers and florists,

If this is not what you want to do, a simple online business listing on pages such as online directories and newspapers can be of benefit to finding some potential customers. There are many out there that are free, so hunt around and get listed. 

A new way of businesses advertising online is Google My Business where you get more than a business listing. Your free Business Profile lets you easily connect with customers across Google Search and Maps who are searching for your services in your local area. This has been a very welcome development in the online marketing world and all businesses should be on there. 

UK Government Help.

Another place to go and get some really sound support, advice and inspiration for growing your business is from Business Is Great  This is a Government funded service, and there is everything you need from simple tax information, help with business growth, and information regarding Brexit that you will need to get your head around if you import or export anything for your business.

Networking.

If you are new to business, one of the very best ways of meeting local business owners is to join a Networking Group. Here you will meet people in the same boat as you where you will be given the opportunity to gain referrals and free advice from established business owners. Networking with different groups is a very good idea as this can expand your reach of potential connections, and as a new business these are invaluable. There are many organisations to look at and a good place to start is The British Chamber Of Commerce which sits at the heart of a unique network of businesses across the UK. 

Accounting & Tax.

If you are moving from a PAYE job to a self employed role, there is a great deal of new things that you must be aware of, including tax and National Insurance contributions. It is always advisable to find a local accountant who can advise you of everything to do with tax, and it is important to know your responsibilities. You can also look at the HMRC HMRC Tax Returns website page for self employed tax return help and advise.

Home office, or business premises.

Check out one of our other blogs A new office is a new start, where we talk about the benefits of both options!

There is so much to consider before you begin a new business, but it is always good to remember that you’re not alone, and there is more help out there at this time, than any other.

If you are looking to grow your business and are looking for an office space in Brighton, you can call our office at 01273 830330 or email us info@thedockhub.co.uk to book an appointment with our office management team.