Starting your own business is right up there with securing yourself a huge promotion, getting married and seeing your first born come into the world when it comes to excitement (and stress). A step that more and more people in the UK are taking, starting a business needn’t be complicated nor scary if you have the right support, but best advice is that you plan the whole process with care.
In this article, we’ll share some of the big questions that you’re likely to face and how to deal with them.
When I start my own business, how should I choose what to do?
Most people who start their own business do so because they’re passionate about something. Some people do it because they’re seeking more freedom or autonomy. Either way, it’s essential that when you start your own business, you do something that you’re good at and that there’s a market for.
One of the big questions that entrepreneurs sadly forget to ask when putting together their business idea is: how many people can I reach who will pay money for what I want to offer? When you start your own business, you do so to make money. The best way to do that is to satisfy an existing demand in the marketplace – creating a demand, while sometimes possible, is a whole lot more difficult.
What are the first steps I should take when starting a business?
When starting a business, you need to make sure that you have a good idea that you can get to market. That’s a given. But beyond that, you need to decide how your business should be structured. Perhaps being a sole trader would work out best. Or maybe you would be better with creating a limited company? If you’re not sure, it pays to get advice.
Once you have the structure of your business established, you should set up a bank account. That way you are not mixing your personal and your business finances. At the start, it may be that you plan to do your own bookkeeping. If that’s the case, then it’s well worth investing in some good bookkeeping software. You should also get a good accountant on board.
I’m not sure if I should get another job or start my own business. Isn’t starting your own business complicated?
Starting a business needn’t be complicated. However, you do need to be focused and clear on what you want to do and achieve. When you are employed, it’s generally clear what’s expected of you. When you are self-employed, it’s you who calls the shots. While this is a good thing, if you’re not someone who is naturally motivated it can cause problems.
The other thing you’ll need to work out when you start your own business is how you’re going to find your clients or customers. While you don’t necessarily need a Masters in marketing to do this well, this part of the journey can be the real stumbling block for many people. So being sure that you know how you’re going to reach out to your customers will get you off to a great start.
What about risk when you start your own business?
Starting a business can be risky, but you can reduce the risk with forward planning and good decision-making. Things like setting up a limited company rather than trading as a sole trader will reduce the financial risk of running a business. Also, having good advisors on board will mean that you can get second opinions when you need them, helping reduce risk too.
In addition, insurances and professional support, such as having a good accountant on side will further ring-fence the risk of any business.
When you start your own business do you need an accountant?
To be honest, even if you don’t need an accountant, in many cases, having a good accountant makes great sense. When you run a busy business, the last thing you want to end up doing is burning the midnight oil doing bookkeeping and accounts. Not only will a good accountant help you save money, they’ll help you save time too. And the good news is that the days when a friendly and efficient accountant cost an arm and a leg are over, so even if you don’t officially ‘need’ an accountant, you’ll probably find it pays to have one.
If you’re thinking of starting your own business, why not get in touch? At The Smart Contractor we have years of experience supporting small and medium sized business and would be more than happy to help you make the right decisions for your unique situation.