Steps To Start a Small Business From Scratch
You might think that starting a business is a daunting task where everything has to be done at the same time for it to be successful. But what if it didn’t have to be like that? What if you could break it down into manageable steps?
There will still be work involved in the process, but if you think of it as a series of small steps it suddenly seems manageable rather than a never-ending path you have to go along. So what are these small steps to take?
1. Get a business plan in place
Think of your business plan as the living structure of your company. It’s the pathway to success that you layout. It includes the strategies for revenue, marketing, hiring, profit margins, competition, and competitive advantages.
Your plan can also be shared with potential investors, bank-loan officers, and new company managers.
As your business and its needs change, your business plan can adapt in line with it.
2. Incorporate your company
You can either do this yourself with Companies House, or you can use a formation agent such as Company Wizard. If you use a formation agent the process can be simplified and in some cases even cheaper than going direct. If you plan to work as a sole trader, you don’t need to incorporate with Companies House, but there are differences in the reporting requirements and how the business is seen in the eyes of the law.
To find out more about the different legal structures your business can have, please check out the following link: What are the Different Legal Structures in Business?
3. Get a Tax Identification Number
The term Tax Identification Number (TIN) isn’t used much in the UK, however, it can refer to your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and your Company Registration Number (CRN). For more information about TIN numbers within the UK, please check out the following link: Does My Company Have a TIN Number?
4. Create a brand
Branding is not just about how your business looks, but also the tone that your business sets. Are you portraying the business in a consistent way across all the different touchpoints it has? Are your customers going to resonate with you through the colours and styles that you use?
Once you’ve decided on your branding, stick with it, consistency is key when it comes to brand recognition.
5. Build a website
Your website is an extension of your business. It’s a way that customers can find out more information about your business and reach out to contact you. Without a website, you’ll be missing out on being noticed by potential customers when they’re carrying out research into your industry.
6. Get a business bank account
If you’re registered as a sole trader, there is no need to have a business bank account, however, it is best to keep your personal money and the money belonging to the business separate.
If you have registered as a limited company, you need to keep your money separate from the money belonging to the business. This is because the business is a separate legal entity from yourself.
7. Plan and execute a digital marketing strategy
Digital marketing now plays a central role in any marketing strategy, without having digital marketing you’re potentially only reaching a fraction of your potential audience.
If you're not sure about what digital marketing is, or what you need to include in your strategy, Roseblade Media has created a guide: What Should I Do To Market My Small Business?
These steps are not all there is to starting a business, but they’ll put you on the right path.
If you’re still not sure whether starting a company is the right thing for you, or if you have any questions about the incorporation process, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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