Starting your own business can be both an exciting and rewarding time. But it can also be daunting, particularly when you’ve never been self-employed before. There are lots of things you NEED to have in place when you’re starting out and pitfalls that could cause you big issues if you’re not prepared. So, I’ve put together my top tips for starting your own business.
Be financially prepared
Starting your own business and being self-employed means that you are solely responsible for your income. Assuming that you’re not employed alongside starting your new business, you need to be sure that you have the funds to make this venture work. You might want to consider a merchant cash advance to ensure that your business hits the ground running. This offers a more flexible way to fund your business than the traditional business bank loan.
As well as funding your business, you need to make sure that you have enough of an emergency fund so that you can survive for a good few months if your new business doesn’t take off as well as you’d expected.
Make sure there is a market for you
Do your research. If possible, test out your product or your business idea on your potential customers BEFORE you start. Make sure you ask for honest feedback. This will give you a good idea as to whether your business can succeed.
Branding your new business is important, but you don’t want to get bogged down on it. You need to come up with a name that’s instantly recognisable and that stands out from the crowd.
You’ll also need to think about a logo. Your logo is what people will remember and it creates consistency across all of your paperwork, your website, social media accounts, vehicle decals etc. I run a number of websites and I’ve always used somebody I’ve found on Fiverr to create my logos.
Don’t put all your eggs into one basket
I’m a huge believer in diversifying your income. When you start your own business, it can be incredibly tempting to ditch everything else and just focus on your new business. After all, you’re bound to be passionate about it and it’s natural to want to spend your time focusing on building it up.
If you can though, try to build up your new business alongside your existing source of income. This might mean working on your new business in the evenings and at weekends. But, it also means that you still have the stability of your job whilst building up your own business. You get the best of both worlds.
Then, once you’ve built your new business up to a level where you feel comfortable, you can hand in your notice and focus solely on your new business.
Doing things this way means you’re not risking it all.
Register with HMRC
If you’re self-employed in the United Kingdom, you’ll need to register for self-assessment with HMRC for tax purposes. You can register online with HMRC by setting up a Government Gateway account and you can then register for self-assessment. Ideally, you should register as soon as possible, but you have until the 5th October in your second year of trading to do this.
*This is a collaborative post.