Starting a business is a daunting process, with so much to think about and action to get it off the ground. The to-do list can be so vast – simply deciding where to start can be a challenge.
Simon Diggle, Director at Pierce has devised their top 10 tips as a handy guide for budding start-up entrepreneurs aspiring for business success.
- Fresh ideas – The first thing to question when you come up with a business idea is – does it solve a problem, fulfil a need or offer something that the market wants? If yes, you’re off to a good start.
- Research the market – Is there a gap in the market and a demand for your proposed business? Always make sure your business has a USP so it stands out from the crowd and attracts customers.
- Planning is key – To give your business the greatest chances of success, planning is essential. Map out what you want to achieve as well as the steps that you will take to make it a reality. Of course, the plan will develop over time as the business expands, but by drafting an initial outline, you can break your vision down into manageable chunks. Plans are essential if you’re seeking financial investment, as experts will want to see them to provide constructive feedback.
- Compliance check – Being compliant with HM Revenue & Customs and other regulatory requirements is essential and not being compliant could lead to hefty fines. We offer a free check to help businesses ensure they align with all relevant regulations, giving business owners peace of mind they won’t receive any unwelcome penalties.
- Select a structure – There are many business structure options ranging right the way through from sole trader to PLC. Selecting the correct one for your business is vital from the outset in order to ensure tax liabilities are mitigated. The correct structure can offer protection for your personal assets against the risks of business. If you’re unsure about which one is best for your business, then seek professional advice.
- Name it – Probably one of the hardest parts of setting up a business is picking a name. When you have decided, register it, get a domain name and develop a logo – do some research into colours and pick one that represents your brand.
- Financial order – Get your finances in order by opening a business bank account. Do your research and find a bank that suits your business needs while also offering support and advice geared towards start-ups.
- Get your accounts in order – Choosing an accounting system is a really important step as it is used to create and manage budgets, set costs, allows you to conduct business with others and files your tax returns. With the introduction of Making Tax Digital, there is a variety of software available to suit the diversity of businesses.
- Location, location, location – Choose where you would want to set up your business. With reasonable business rates, an investment into new housing, good transport links and picturesque surroundings – Lancashire is an ideal base. Businesses in Blackburn can receive support from the Hive, which brings together knowledge, networks, passion and determination of organisations and individuals.
- Spread the word – Once everything in your back office is in place, promote your business. Joining Lancashire Chamber of Commerce is a good place to start, they provide a range of practical services, networking and event opportunities, employee development programmes and national business support initiative to help businesses start, grow and succeed. Developing a website and using social media platforms is another essential way to reach your customers.