For the majority of tradesman start ups in the UK it is quick, cheap and easy to set up a business. If you’ve prepared and worked out what your business needs to do then perhaps now is the time to get going. This guide is about the 8 simple steps you can take to get your business going.
Step 1 – Tell HMRC you’re going self employed
First off go online to the HMRC website and pick out the right starter pack for you or give them a call. This will get you started if you are a sole-trader. You can also review the free online training from HMRC to give you an understanding of record keeping to filling in and filing your tax return. Also if your business is successful you may find you grow your team. You’ll need to know what to do there too.
Step 2 – Take out insurance cover
You will probably want to take out Public Liability cover regardless of whether you employ someone and if you have one or more employees you will need Employers Liability cover too. Then dependent on your trade you may want tools cover and legal expenses.
Once you know what you’re looking for make sure you shop around to get the best deal for your business.
Step 3 – Choose your business name
Don’t get hung up on choosing the perfect name, it’s better to get trading than waiting for that moment of inspiration. Once you have found that name though you should check google and also Companies House to ensure no one else is trading under the same name. Once you’ve settled on your name, buy that domain on the web.
Step 4 – Set up a bank account
When you set up a company you should also set up business account. If you’re a sole trader though you may be able to avoid setting up the business account for a little while but remember if you employ 1 or more people you’ll need the business account.
Step 5 – Regulations in your line of business
Have you checked what laws and rules you need to be aware of and comply with? Failing to meet these laws can result in significant fines and damage to your businesses reputation.
Step 6 – Keeping track of your business performance
As a minimum you should track sales and costs however getting an accountant or purchasing an online book keeping system is a good idea.
Step 7 – Find your work space
If you’re working from home make sure you check there are no legal implications for charging for bills on your business or issues around renting a building i.e. making sure your lease allows you to work from the building.
Step 8 – Build a business plan
Your business plan should be built by asking the right questions like:
- who are my customers?
- what is the best way to reach them?
- what would make them choose me over a competitor?
A business plan doesn’t need to be a large unwieldy document but a simple guide that you review every now and then to check your heading where you want to is a good idea.