6 Step Process to Start a Small Business

Thanks to the online world, the way that businesses start is changing. The evolution of the internet is making it extremely easy for anyone to turn their hobbies or passion into a profitable business, but you may find it overwhelming when deciding where to start.

Here are the six simple steps that you should take in order to set up a small business and give your budding ideas a good platform to build on:

  1. Create a business plan

A business plan is a document that every start-up is recommended to create as it gives you, or anybody looking to invest in the company, a clear document about plans for the future.

In your business plan, you’ll want to clearly outline the vision of your business and where you’d like it to be positioned in a few months and years’ time. You should include your business’ objective and plan, along with evidence of research data that shows why your start-up will be a success.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that your business plan needs to be an extremely lengthy document. Just start by creating a plan of what you’d like to happen and the steps you will take to get there.

  1. Decide on a name

One of the most important things to consider when starting your business is the name which you’ll be trading as. This name will be used to brand your company and has a powerful effect on aspects such as marketing, so it’s essential to choose a name that reflects well on your company and the services or products that you provide.

Generally, the best business names are short, snappy and memorable. Think about how easy your brand is to spell in your native language and avoid sounding too similar to a brand already out there.

  1. Create a website

After deciding on what name your business will have, it’s time to set up a website! Ensure that your business name has a matching domain that you can register, and choose a hosting package that can withstand a relatively large volume of traffic and offers enough storage space.

Your website is your online home when it comes to retailing online, so you might want to invest in a custom design. However, many start-ups opt for a simple WordPress theme to get started and invest in the custom option once the business has begun to generate enough income to warrant it.

  1. Register with HMRC

The most crucial part of setting up a new business is making sure that you’re registered as self-employed with HMRC. This allows you to pay your tax and National Insurance bills at the end of each financial year.

Decide what type of business you’re wanting to position yourself as. This can be a sole trader, partnership or a limited company. Remember that if you don’t register your business within the first three months of trading, you could be fined.

  1. Organise your finances

Once you’ve registered your business, it is your sole responsibility to keep your finances organised. You will need to use your annual profits and expenses figures in order to submit a tax return to HMRC and if these figures are incorrect, you may be penalised and handed a penalty.

Many new business start by finding an accountant to take care of their finances. However, if you’re organised and keen on knowing how successful and profitable your new business is, you may want to find accounting software and do this yourself.

One of the main reasons why new businesses struggle to get started is due to a lack of cash. New businesses often have start-up costs such as computers or printing equipment to promote their products and sadly, you may not be able to afford it alone.

Luckily, the Government are investing in small businesses and are offering grants for start-up companies with a sensible business plan. You may be entitled to a loan such as the New Enterprise Allowance, which supports those who are currently on benefits and wanting to start their own business.

  1. Your workspace and staff

Once the fundamentals of your business are set-up and you’re beginning to take on clients or sell more products, you may find that the necessity to have a designated office space sooner than you think – and employ your first members of staff.

The Government website has a seven-step checklist that you should work through when employing your first member of staff and covers things such as the Minimum Wage and pensions schemes. It’s important to follow the regulations about employment to avoid fines and disqualifications.

As you can see, starting your own business doesn’t always have to be a frustrating process. Although the initial period may be stressful, a little bit of hard work at the beginning will set you up for a long, profitable and successful company.

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