Want to start a business but not sure exactly where to start? This guide from payday loans provider Wizzcash will get you started.
Why start a business?
Setting up a business can give you creative freedom, help you earn more money and enable you to grow professionally. But starting a venture is not like having a salaried job. It can be an exciting and exhilarating ride but also a daunting and challenging one.
Pros of starting a business
- Greater freedom – to pursue your dreams and work your own hours.
- You can enjoy personal and professional benefits.
- You could earn a lot of money if you make a success of your business.
Cons of starting a business
- You’ll probably need a stack of cash to get you started.
- It will take a lot of time and effort.
- It will be challenging.
Starting a business: First things to think about
What’s your name?
Decide on the name of your business as early as you can. This helps give your venture an identity and a base from which to start from.
Do some research
So you know what product you want to develop and sell. But make sure you do some research so you can identify:
- If your idea has already been done.
- How you can do it better.
- Who your competitors are.
- Who your customers are.
Make financial projections
It’s notoriously difficult to make financial projections if you have little idea in the early stages how much you might sell your product for and what your costs might be. But it’s a good idea to do some initial costing so you have an idea of what your expenses might be, especially when starting out. This will also help you raise funds.
Write a business plan
This document describes your business and what you want to achieve. See the next section for more on business plans.
Start thinking about marketing
Marketing is such an important part of any successful business so you should start thinking about it straightaway. How will you promote your idea? What marketing channels will you use? Start thinking about:
- Your website.
- Setting up a blog.
- Using social media.
- Practicing SEO.
Our guide to making money online contains some useful information about marketing your brand online.
Writing a business plan
One of the most important steps in starting a business is writing a business plan. This crucial document will help you:
- Set out your idea.
- Set goals and targets.
- Identify challenges and problems.
A business plan is vital because it will help you secure investment or a loan to help get your business off the ground. It will show lenders you’re serious about your venture, have a clear path to success and have identified roadblocks. It could also help impress suppliers. There are some useful business plan templates here.
Financing your business
It’s likely you will require some level of funding for your business, no matter how much money you have in the bank. Some people may turn to short term loans in order to help boost their business as a start up.
Finance could come from:
- Your own savings.
- Money from friends and family.
- Cash from investors or a venture capital house.
- A bank loan.
You should also start thinking about:
- Managing cash flow.
- Opening a business bank account.
- Setting up an accounting system.
Registering and structuring your business
There are 3 main types of business:
- Sole trader.
- Business partnership.
- Limited company.
Generally speaking, becoming a sole trader is the easiest way to start a business. It means you own the business and are free to employ other people. To become a sole trader, you would need to register with HMRC.
Limited companies should be registered with Companies House and have at least one director and one shareholder.
Where to go for funding
Alongside bank loans and investment, you may be able to get funding for your business from a government support scheme. Use this tool to find out what’s available to you.
Where to go for help and advice
Starting and growing a business can be hard. There will be times you’ll need a helping hand. The following could be good places to go for support:
- The Business Support Helpline can be contacted on 0300 456 3565.
- Business Is Great Britain contains lots of help and advice.
- The Federation of Small Businesses represents the UK’s small business sector.
Generic advice is not a service regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.