Six vital steps to start-up success

Over the past few weeks in our column we have been discussing how to purchase a business and which matters will need due consideration. But what if you prefer to start your own business, set it up how you want and work on your own terms? With the help of the internet and advances in technology it is now easier than ever to set up your own business, it can be literally set up in minutes. However it is essential it is set up properly which will lead to higher chances of success and ensure you go through the early stages with the least amount of problems. Setting up a business is quick and easy but planning it all out can take time. We have put together 6 steps which will guide you through the various matters to consider:

  1. Write up a business plan. Writing a business plan should always be your first step. You might have the next big idea to change the world but unless it is structured properly chances are it will remain just an idea and not materialise in to an actual venture capable of serving its purpose. There are various templates for business plans online so do your research and put together one which is most suitable for your business.
  2. Get some professional advice. It is always prudent to take advice from the professionals and people who have a proven track record in business, even if it’s for reassurance you are going about it the right way. This can be invaluable and help avoid mistakes which can prove to be costly. Seek advice from a business mentor about your actual idea. You may want to speak to an accountant to ensure the book keeping and tax matters are dealt with properly or a solicitor to ensure the business is set up using the correct legal structure. Speak to your bank about setting up a business account which will work best for you.
  3. Fund your business. Now you have a plan and have taken some advice now it is time to assess how you will be funding your business. Our article last week considered the various ways to purchase a business but all the sources of finance still apply to setting up your own business. Furthermore you may be eligible for various grants. Speak to your local Chamber of Commerce for assistance with this as they can provide impartial advice on what funding may be out there for your business.
  4. Set up your business. Now that you have planned and have your finances in order it is time to practically set up your business. Can it operate from home or online or will you need to find business premises? Most businesses will need some sort of base to operate from and most will look to initially lease business premises. Speak to your local commercial property agents to help find somewhere suitable. Once you have found the perfect place ensure you instruct a solicitor to carry out the legal due diligence and to ensure you are occupying on terms which are acceptable to you. Failing to do so properly can lead to sometimes large financial obligations which can impact how your business will perform in the future.
  5. Find the right staff. Will you operate solely or will you need to employ staff or hire an apprentice? You may want to speak to a recruitment consultant to help find the right people for the job. In the early days of any business having the right people by your side can be the difference of your business succeeding or not. If you are becoming an employer you are taking on various legal obligations from health and safety to contractual obligations and responsibilities under employment law. You will need to speak to a solicitor or a human resources specialist to ensure you have the right employment contracts in place and you are meeting all your legal responsibilities.
  6. Market your business. Once you have everything in place it is critical the business is marketed properly to attract a customer base. You may have the next big thing since Facebook or Apple but unless people know about it, it probably isn’t going to do very well. You can look at traditional style paper marketing in newspapers, leaflets or magazines which still do work and have their place in the digital age but online and social media marketing is now where most businesses are focusing dependant on your target market. You have a dizzying array of options here and if you are unsure it probably is best to get advice from a marketing consultant as you will want to ensure your budget is used wisely so you are seeing the best return on your expenditure on this front.

 

So there you have it, 6 steps to ensure your start up gets started! Willsons Solicitors have been assisting entrepreneurs and the self-employed in Nuneaton and the wider Midlands and are always on hand to discuss your needs. Please feel free to call us and speak to our commercial department for an initial chat to see how we can help you on 02476 387 821 or email us at akang@willsonslegal.co.uk .