Starting a small business is no small task- there are so many different elements you need to get right if to give yourself the best chance of success. Here are five things to get sorted before you launch your venture.
It’s not essential but getting educated is worth doing before starting your business. You could take an online course in business, management, marketing or other related topic to give you as much background knowledge as possible.
Register your business
First things first, if you’re starting a business- even if it’s part time or as an additional income to a full time job- you have to register it. This usually just involves filling in some forms online, and then sending some documents through the post once they’re requested.
Even if your home business is mainly a hobby, if you’re going to be earning any money at all then you need to let the relevant authorities know. You’ll need to register as self employed, if you’re working for yourself you’ll be classed as a sole trader.
If you’re going to hire employees then it will most likely be a limited company. This is important as it allows you to pay the correct taxes and prevents you from breaking the law. Doing your own taxes can be a little complex, but you can always look into accounting packages and hire a tax accountant to do it for you if you want to.
See which insurances and certification you need
Regardless of what you do or sell, you need to make sure you cover your back. If someone gets hurt as a result of your products, services or anything to do with your company you can end up in expensive legal battles. If you’re hiring staff, you’ll need employers liability insurance in case anything happens to your workers. Depending on what you sell, you might also need some qualifications or certification. For example, if you’re selling any kind of food or consumables then you’ll need a food safety and hygiene certificate.
Work out your upfront costs
Starting a business can be expensive. You’ll need to purchase a number of items upfront to get things off the ground. It could be anything from computers to stock to tools or all of the above. It’s crucial to know exactly how much this will all cost, and how you’ll fund it. If you’re going to be using a business loan, know how much interest you’ll be paying and whether you can realistically afford the payments if your business doesn’t take off as quickly as you’d hope.
Set up a place to work from
If you’re going to be hiring premises to work from, you’ll need to find a suitable place. Find something that’s within your budget and easy for you to get to, the last thing you want is to be sitting in traffic or driving for miles every day to get to your work. If you’re going to be working from home, turn a spare room, conservatory or other unused space into a home office. You need somewhere quiet and separate where you can be productive and keep all of your work stuff separate.