Make sure you hit the ground running, with a foundation you can build on with our start-up tips.
Do what you love
Do the research
You’ll do a lot of research writing a business plan, but that’s just a start. When you’re starting a business, you need to become an expert on your industry, products and services if you’re not already. You might want to think about joining a related industry or professional association before you start your business.
I need advice on what business to form
There are three main types of business:
- Sole Trader – this is the simplest form of trading. One person is the owner-manager but the business can employ more staff.
- Partnership – where two or more people are in business together. This type of business arrangement is generally neither incorporated nor registered so it has no separate legal identity.
- Limited Company – this is a legal body in its own right which usually has a private status. Trading under this status requires certain documents to be submitted by law to Companies House.
Other forms of business exist – the Business Factory can help you determine the appropriate type with you
Write a business plan
The main reason for doing a business plan first when you’re thinking of starting a business is that it can help you avoid sinking your time and money into starting a business that will not succeed.
Remember, you don’t have to work through a full scale business plan for each new business idea you come up with; our Business plan guide, will let you test the potential of your business idea much more quickly.
Get the money lined up
Save up if you have to. Approach potential investors and lenders. Figure our your financial fall-back plan. Don’t expect to start a business and then walk into a bank and get money. Traditional lenders don’t like new ideas and don’t like businesses without proven track records
What are the tax implications of being self-employed?
By law everyone has to pay income tax and National Insurance contributions whether employed or self-employed. Self-employed individuals must arrange these payments for themselves.
You need to register as self – employed as soon as possible after starting up in business to avoid fines.
For more information, or to register as self-employed, phone the H M Revenue & Customs New Self-Employed helpline on 0300 200 3504 or visit the web site at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs
Get the legal and tax issues right the first time
It’s much more difficult and expensive to sort out a mess afterwards.
- Does your business need to be registered? Will you have to charge VAT?
- Will you have to have professional indemnity insurance and or deal with payroll and tax?
- How will the form of business you choose affect your income tax situation i.e. sole trader , limited company or partnership?
Learn what your legal and tax responsibilities are before you start your business and operate accordingly.
How can I stop other people copying my idea?
You can’t stop the determined copier (unless you are prepared to go to court), however, it is possible to deter such people by demonstrating that you have IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) and even possibly Litigation Insurance.
IPR comes in many forms: Patent; Copyright; Trade Mark; Registered Design; Design Rights; Web Address (URL); etc.
Be professional from the word go
Everything about you and the way you do business needs to let people know that you are a professional running a serious business.
That means getting all the accoutrements such as professional business cards, a business phone and a business email address, and treating people in a professional, courteous manner.
Contact the North Tyneside Business Factory now!
We offer a range of free support to help people get started or grow their newly trading business. Call 0191 349 9799 or email email@example.com
How can I do my market research?
There are two types of market research, primary and secondary.
The most popular form of primary research is conducting a questionnaire. Questionnaires can be completed face to face over the telephone by direct mail and even email. You should aim to gain a minimum 100 replies to get a good indication of the market.
Secondary research can prove cheaper and takes less time, however it will not be specific to your situation and there is often too much information available. You should try to use market reports and statistical information to find out past trends in the market.
Get professional help
Firstly your Business Factory business adviser is here to guide you through everything that you need to do to get started. Just because you’re starting a business, doesn’t mean you have to be an expert on everything.
If you’re not an accountant or bookkeeper, hire one (or both). If you need a lawyer remember you’re not a lawyer, hire one. You will waste more time and possibly money in the long run trying to do things yourself that you are not qualified to do.
Don't do it alone.
You need a support system while you’re starting a business (and afterwards). A family member or friend that you can bounce ideas off and who will listen sympathetically to the latest business start up crisis is invaluable.
Even better, find a mentor or get help from a business start up programme such as The Business Factory. When you’re starting a business experienced guidance is the best support system of all.
How am I going to finance my business?
Each business has different start-up costs. In a small number of circumstances, grants may available to those who meet certain criteria.
However no business can be started completely with grants as most of them require money from other sources such as loans from your bank and other sources to satisfy this, in addition to any of your own money that you invest.
The Business Factory can advise you before you start. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0191 605 3110.
What are the regulatory requirements when starting up a business?
All businesses are subject to some form of regulatory requirements depending on the type of business they are.
These will include planning permission, financial issues, health and safety, fire safety, intellectual property, licenses, insurance and employing people if applicable.
Our Business Advisers can advise you on which requirements you will need to meet. For more information email email@example.com or telephone 0191 605 3110.
What type of Insurance do I need when I start up in business?
It is crucial that you insure your business adequately and comprehensively according to its needs from the outset.It is your responsibility to ensure this.
You must remember that the premiums paid for your business’s cover are treated as an overhead business expense.
As a minimum you will need Public Liability Insurance which covers the business’s legal liability to pay compensation for bodily injury, disease and illness to third parties due to activities of the business. It also covers any cost of loss or damage to third party’s property due to the business’s activities.
Depending on the nature of your business you may need one or more of the following:
- Product Liability Insurance
- Employers Liability Insurance
- Professional Indemnity Insurance
- Motor Insurance
- Building and Contents Insurance
- Credit Insurance
Get clients or customers first.
Don’t wait until you’ve officially started your business to line these up, because your business can’t survive without them.
Do the networking. Make the contacts. Sell or even give away your products or services. You can’t start marketing too soon
Start your own business while you’re still employed
How long can most people live without money? Not long. And it may be a long time before your new business actually makes any profits.
Being employed while you’re starting a business means money in your pocket while you’re going through the starting a business process.
How can HMRC help me?
HMRC offer a range of services on-line to help people who are starting up. They also have advisers at the end of a phone who you can speak to for advice about all aspects of registering for self assessment, taxation, national insurance and other tax matters.
They offer a range of on-line webinars which can help you to learn about specific knowledge gaps you may have.
For more information, search on-line for HMRC