Often when starting a small business you have a great idea, but your skills may need to be developed. So many small businesses fail due to planning not being done. It could be that you know where your work will come from for the first three months, but have you planned for the future.
There is lots of advice available, both online and local. If you know someone who has already started a company, talk to them. Find out how they started, how they organised their company, how they complete their accounts. It is also worth getting advice from an accountant, bank manager and business advisor.
There are many questions you will need to answer before starting up your company.
Have a look at each of our guides for further tips on starting a small business.
One of the first things you will need to do is come up with a name or brand that reflects your business. We have produced a free Business Name Generator, which you can download.
One of the first things to consider when starting is how you are going to organise your business; several options are available including being self-employed and starting a company registered at companies house. You may even buy into a franchise, which is already set up. Have a look at our company formations guide.
If you are employed, then you will probably not receive the same income each month. There are some useful Self-employed tax calculators available for the UK. They will calculate the tax for both employed and self-employed.
Many small companies may not need to register for VAT, but for some, it will be an advantage to register. Learn how to register for VAT and what the UK VAT threshold is. There are several different VAT schemes available for paying, you will need to find the best one to suit your business.
There are many starting grants available for starting a small business; we have provided contacts for getting a business grant.
There are so many bank accounts available. How do you choose which one? If you are looking for money for starting a business the bank may be the right place to apply. Look at the Company banking guide.
Will you benefit from having a website? A good quality website can be an excellent way to get customers to come to you, offering you a way of presenting your business to prospective customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You will need insurance, but which types of insurance are right for your small business?
Every small business needs a plan, especially when starting, without a plan there is more chance that the business will fail. These can be from the simplest of plans to a full cash profit and cash forecast required to raise finance. We have written two guides What is a business plan? and How to write a business plan this includes what needs to go in a business plan.
There are many professionals who can advise you on business; this is a short guide on how to find accountants and solicitors.
Many successful businesses sell on eBay; here is a short guide on starting to sell on eBay.
If you are starting a new venture, you should also take a look at our small business guide.