With the global pandemic keeping us in national and local lockdowns in the past year, some people found this the perfect opportunity to finally start their own business. Whether it be a hobby that’s grown organically, into a business that you can now earn money from, or a business idea you’ve had, but not had the time to get the idea off the ground. The last year has been a positive one for new start-up businesses. So, if you have started a new business in the last year, here are some of our top tips for start-up businesses.
Top tips for start-up businesses
Creating a Business Plan
Creating a business plan is advisable when starting a new business. The plan helps you define your business and analyse your industry and will help you figure out who your target audience is and where to find them. Your business plan can help you design a marketing strategy for your business and follow through to meet targets. It can also give you strategic focus and keep an eye on your key priorities.
Part of your business plan should be to set yourself some business goals. These could be reaching a certain amount in turnover, or to sell a certain amount of products by the end of year one. Whichever goals you choose make sure you set what you think are achievable goals.
Our advice would be to use a business plan template. Get in touch with us and we can send you our FREE business plan template. Remember, a business plan is not set in stone, but it does help to keep you focused on how you want your business to grow. It is also helpful to have a business plan and cash flow forecasts if you need to raise money from outside sources, such as a loan.
Getting your marketing right will be essential in getting your business in front of your target audience. It is essential that you research your competitors, work out what your USP is (unique selling point) and your customer demographic.
Social media plays a big part in small business marketing and the best thing is it’s free! You can always pay for ads on the different channels you choose but connecting with your potential customers for free is worth its weight in gold!
Bookkeeping & Business Admin
Have a good idea about how you are going to keep your business records. One of the best ways to keep your records is digitally and there are plenty of different accounting software programs available. Some offer features like receipt capture, where you can scan your receipts straight into your accounting software. Most accounting software programs will be able to connect your bank accounts too.
Quickbooks is the most popular accounting software but you also have Sage and Xero and others available. Check out their websites to see what they offer. Most have apps that you can download to your
smartphone, which means you can quote and even invoice your customers at a touch of a button.
Choosing the right business bank account is important and there are many different options available to you. You can go down the more traditional route of a high street bank, or you can go with an online bank and have an app on your smartphone.
Hiring a professional accountant is one of the best things you can do for your new business. Starting on the right foot, as they say, is essential to any new business. Hiring a professional accountant can help you structure your business correctly and advise you of your legal obligations with HMRC.
A professional accountant will be able to help you with finding the right accounting software and provide valuable support in your first year. They also can help with hiring new employees and the processes, such as payroll, that comes with having employees. Having the right professional accountant on board will also be beneficial to growing your business.