Free begin guidelines

Originally written by Timothy Adler about small business

Given the expected layoffs when companies eventually emerge from lockdown and those on vacation lose their jobs, many of us are considering starting our own business.

A record number of companies were launched in the past year. In 2020, a further 84,758 companies were founded compared to 2019.

Indeed, the number of companies launched in the UK between four weeks and mid-December was more than a third higher than in the same period last year.

The growth rate for new registrations compared to the previous year has been in double digits since June 2019.

If you've worked for an employer all your life, the idea of ​​starting your own business can seem daunting. Here is a free startup checklist to walk you through every step of starting your own business.

# 1 – what is your business idea?

First of all, you need to have a good business idea.

British entrepreneurs have always been good at capitalizing on emerging business trends that could boom in the near future and beyond.

  • What is the problem you are addressing?
  • How can you help solve it?
  • What is the need in your area?
  • Who is the competition?
  • How big is the potential market?

Groundbreaking digital business ideas began in modest garages, dormitories and home offices. Don't be afraid to think big. Mattel, Harley Davidson, and Disney all started out as hobby businesses. How can you turn your passion project into a business?

If you're not looking for inspiration, here are five low-cost ideas for starting your own business after Covid-19.

And if none of these suggestions start your fire, you can always investigate buying an existing business instead of starting your own.

# 2 – How to get your business idea to market

Now you have your new business idea, but is it a good one? Every budding entrepreneur leads his business idea through his loved ones and measures their reaction.

Yet fewer than one in ten small businesses opened a business because they actually saw a niche in the market. This is because they don't actually do market research, but trust their gut feeling.

However, market research isn't just for large companies and doesn't have to be expensive. With relatively tight budgets and limited resources, smaller businesses may benefit more from early and effective insight into their customers, and yes, a tight budget can be achieved.

Research can determine the demand for your goods or services before starting your startup, help you understand your customers – what motivates them and drives their loyalty – and save money in the long run.

# 3 – What's your unique selling proposition?

Whatever your business is, the truth is, someone else does too – and the success of your start-up depends on how well you stand out in your particular crowd.

This means that you have to precisely define your USP and develop it further. Your unique selling proposition makes you the preferred supplier in your region. If you don't commit yourself as a point of contact, your USP will need a little work.

The first lesson in business is a USP. Without this, success is difficult. Unfortunately, the importance of a unique selling proposition is often overlooked. When you step into a crowded market it can be terribly difficult to find an aspect of your brand that hasn't been replicated elsewhere.

For many executives, just identifying their USP can be difficult enough. It doesn't matter to find out if it needs tweaking and how it can be improved.

Here we list six ways a small business can define their own USP. You can focus on one difference, or it can be a combination of types.

# 4 – Decide on a company name

Choosing a name for your business can be difficult. We all intuitively know that coming up with the right name is important, but it's difficult to come up with something we're happy with. You will have a hard time finding a general English word that is not yet registered as a trademark. At the same time, your name needs to be memorable and accessible. How do you find that perfect name?

Here is a guide on how to choose and register a name for your company.

Once you've chosen that unique and memorable company name, you'll need a website address or domain name. Here's a guide to making sure your domain name matches your corporate brand.

# 5 – Create a business plan

A business plan is an action plan, an essential tool for both defining the future and reviewing the course along the way. The business plan is a document that sets out the business goals and how to achieve them. Every company should have a business plan. It can be a short one-pager or a full report with marketing and financial plans.

An eight step guide to creating your business plan can be found here. If you're in a hurry, here's a guide to creating your business plan in just a month.

Still don't know what a business plan looks like? You can find examples of business plans here.

# 6 – Are you an individual entrepreneur or a limited company?

If you are self-employed in business and you are not setting up a limited company at Companies House to run your business, you are by definition a sole proprietorship.

There are pros and cons of being a sole proprietorship rather than running a limited company. On the one hand, being a sole proprietorship means less administration and costs. Here is everything you need to know to become a sole proprietor.

On the other hand, you and your company are one and the same. If your start fails, your personal fortunes – such as B. Your home – at stake.

Here are interviews with other start-up business owners explaining how they think about starting a business and how they went about it.

# 7 – How to Register Your Business

Okay, you've decided to start a limited liability company. Complete instructions on how to register your start-up with Companies House can be found here.

One thing to think about is where to register your company name. Even if you work from home, you may want to register your business address separately – at least this will prevent the tsunami of junk mail from flooding your mailbox!

# 8 – Expenses You Can Claim For Starting Your Business

As you build your start-up, you can claim back all of the money you spent registering your business, buying computer equipment, setting up your website, and the money you spent on professional consultants.

And whether you work from home as a sole proprietorship or have a limited liability company, here's what to get for in business expenses. The actual process of recovering eligible business expenses can be found here.

# 9 – how to choose a commercial bank account

Unless you are a sole trader, you must have a separate commercial bank account. Even if you are a sole proprietorship, it makes sense to separate your personal money from your business. As your business grows and expands, it is extremely important to separate your corporate finances from your personal everyday life.

Here are eight questions to ask when deciding which business account is right for you.

Once you've decided on the right commercial bank account, here's a comprehensive guide to who's offering what.

# 10 – Choose a payment processing system

You may want to be able to take payments either in person or over the phone. This means that you need to use a payment processing system with a card reader. Complete instructions on payment processing systems can be found here.

If you have customers in the United States, you need a payment processing system that can process transactions in US dollars. You can find more information about accepting payments overseas here.

# 11 – create an order

After you've started your business, whether it's selling physical goods or a digital service like your precious time, you need to create and issue an order (PO). Complete instructions on how to set up and place orders can be found here.

# 12 – How do you find a commercial building?

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, the increase in cooperation rooms seemed inevitable. After the pandemic, many established businesses may want to get out of fixed leases and look for flexible workspaces. Employee or traditional office? Which one is right for your start-up? According to real estate agent Savills, a good rule of thumb is to opt for a flexible office solution as you grow, but move to a permanent office location once your workforce has stabilized. Here is a piece that analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of coworking spaces. And once you've decided where you want to be, here's a five-point guide to moving your office.

# 13 – How to Negotiate with a Landlord

Let's say you've decided on permanent office space. Negotiating with a landlord can often be difficult. How much deposit do you have to leave? Is there an interruption clause in the middle of the lease? Who pays for the repair and maintenance of the infrastructure? Here is an eight-point guide for negotiating a commercial lease.

# 14 – How to Find the Best Deal on Phone and Broadband

Any business, even if operated from home, requires broadband and a phone line. However, the type of package you need varies from business type to business type. Here is a guide on the right type of telephony package for different types of startups.

# 15 – How to Find an Accountant

Every start-up needs an accountant and an accountant. The accountant manages your start-up's daily accounts, while an accountant advises on tax efficiency, VAT and corporate income tax. First you need to find an accountant. Here is an article covering questions to ask yourself when looking for an accountant.

However, an accountant can do a lot more than just prepare year-end tax returns. You can often be a trusted advisor and sounding board. Read here how to get the most out of your work with your accountant.

One thing that you don't have to hire an accountant for is keeping your own payroll. Information on directly processing your own payroll at HMRC can be found here.

# 16 – how to choose an accounting software

Last year, HMRC launched its Making Tax Digital initiative, which forces 1.2 million VAT registered businesses with sales in excess of £ 85,000 to submit returns online. These companies now have to file their quarterly VAT returns under the new system. Despite the pandemic, HMRC continues to plan to expand Making Tax Digital to all corporate taxes.

This means that you need to use an officially approved digital accounting package to run your business.

Here is a comprehensive guide to which accounting software package is right for your start-up, whether you're a freelancer, a small business with low inventory, or something larger.

And here's a glossary of all the types of taxes you might have to pay, including corporate tax, sales tax, and social security.

# 17 – How to Create a Website

Another must-have for any start-up is a website. This can be as simple as the online equivalent of a business card with your contact information. Or an e-commerce website that calculates inventory and has a sophisticated integrated marketing system.

Last year, nearly 2 million small and medium-sized businesses didn't even have a website. However, it has been estimated that the cost of non-website businesses averages £ 173,769 per year in lost revenue, even though the average monthly running cost of a website is less than £ 18.

Here is a comprehensive guide to six of the most popular website building platforms to get you started in cyberspace.

# 18 – How to Digitally Market Your Startup

Great, you have your website but now the problem is how you get noticed. Given that there are already nearly 2 billion websites on the internet, it's like everyone got their own little megaphone. Here is an essential guide to small business marketing. However, here and here are tips on how to make your website stand out and make sure you get to that important first page from Google.

One skill that you absolutely need to understand is search engine optimization (SEO), which allows Google and other search engines to perceive your website and improve its ranking. Here are six easy wins to improve your website ranking.

# 19- Hire your first employee

Congratulations, your start-up is doing so well that you can do too much work on your own. So you need to think about hiring your first employee. Here and here are tips and guidance on hiring a full-time employee.

# 20 – For the first export

After the UK leaves the European Union, the government is encouraging small businesses to consider exporting around the world. 95% of companies do not export to the EU. Here is a complete guide to exporting goods abroad for the first time.

Free start checklist

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