How to Start a Business

More people than ever are setting up small businesses, and it’s not hard to see why. In many sectors, the need for complex and expensive infrastructure has been replaced by a need for nothing more than a laptop, WiFi and a place to sit.

It isn’t quite as easy as it might look, though. The vast majority of new businesses fail within a year, often because they haven’t been planned and set up correctly. Here are a few things to bear in mind to ensure you’re one of the minority that thrive.

Early Decisions for Starting a Business

If you plan to start a business, it’s best not to dive in too quickly. Before you take any of the set-up steps, there are some decisions you need to make:

· What is my business for? It might seem obvious, but lack of focus can be fatal. You can expand later, but make sure you know exactly what you want to do.

· Where’s my market? Even if you’re setting up in the sector you’ve been employed in, it’s essential to research your market.

· What kind of business? Are you going to be a limited company, a partnership or a sole trader? There are pluses and minuses for each, but one will probably suit your needs best.

· How am I going to fund my business? Set-up costs for a micro-business may not be high, but you’ll need some money. Do you have capital, or will you be applying for a loan or a grant?

How to start up a business
Planning is the key for success.

Preparations for Starting a Business

A number of things need to be in place as early as possible for your business — within the first week or two, if not before launch.

· Give your business a name. Unless you have something really great, simple is good, but ensure the appropriate domains are available and register them.

· Register with HMRC as self-employed and for VAT, if appropriate. If you’re starting a limited company, you’ll also need to register with Companies House.

· Open a business bank account and find an accountant. These are essential for a limited company and advisable if you’re a sole trader.

· Find out what business insurance you need (including cyber insurance) and set it up.

· Decide where you’re going to be based. If you don’t intend to have employees, you may prefer to work from home, but there are advantages to renting office space.

Starting Your Business on a Sound Footing

The various practical steps outlined are important, but it’s also vital to be prepared for making your business a success. This includes drawing up a realistic business plan, cashflow forecast and marketing strategy, but also surrounding yourself with people who can help you. Being part of a community with top-notch facilities, as you’d find in a serviced office building like Mill Studio, can make all the difference.

Sometimes life doesn’t leave much room for planning though. You may get commissioned for a project at short notice and you need a space with services and support set up and ready to go right away. In these situations, serviced offices are invaluable as they offer so much flexibility. For example, subject to availability, you could be in Mill Studio’s in less than 24 hours. 2 months’ notice to vacate protects you from being liable to lengthy leases, too.

If you have just started or are in the process of starting a new business and not sure what the real benefits of a serviced office building are then please feel free to ring us on 01920 460000 to discuss how we can help make your new business a success.