Waking up with the next big business idea that is going to make you millions and allow you to retire early, is something we all wish for. But before you start putting the wheels in motion and start ordering those all important business cards, you need to make sure you do it in the right way for a number of reasons:
● to protect your idea and intellectual property;
● to protect yourself;
● to make sure you are working on the right side of the HMRC.
1. Company Name
With that in mind, the first thing you need to consider is registering a company name using a specialist company formation service to make sure you are not infringing someone else’s copyright. Having a service to do it also means the business gets set up in the right way, with the additional necessary documents such as memorandums and articles of association, etc.
Using a service allows you peace of mind while you get on and get other things sorted.
One of the other major things you need to be very aware of, is finance. You need to really make sure you understand the cost of what it is you are trying to do. And then how you are going to fund it.
You may have savings to use, or a windfall, or you may need to self-fund the development then need to look for finance. There are a number of different options for funding a new start-up venture and these include
● Online Business Loans, (Everline for example)
● Bank Loans
● Government Grants
Not all will be available to you but there are various options, so do take the time to explore options, grants for example might provide funding that doesn’t need repaying.
As you can see, before you throw yourself headlong into your new business venture, you do need to make sure you have thought about a few things first. Taking the time out ahead of time to carry out this research and ask these questions can be the difference between running a very successful company or crashing after a few months.
3. Company Structure
At this point you will also need to think about the type of company structure you require as each will have different advantages and disadvantages and not every company type will suit your own circumstances. Company types include:
● Sole Trader;
● Limited Company;
● Business Partnerships;
● Limited Liability Partnerships.
It might be worth asking the company that you use about the best type given your circumstances. Or you can read more about different types of company structures here.
4. Research, Research, Research
Before you get too far down track with developing and investing time effort and money into your idea, you need to research the competition. You need to find out if your idea already exists in the marketplace, whether it is trademarked and how if possible you can create and market something different.
You also need to look at researching your potential customer, what they want, where they hang out online and offline so if you decide to push ahead, you will know where you need to market your product. The more you know about your potential customer, the easier and lower cost it should be to find and sell to them.
Having a product that is suitable to everyone is great but will be hard to market. Maybe research a smaller niche first.
5. Get a good team around you
Even if you decide to go it alone and be a sole trader it is always worthwhile making sure you have a good support team around. Support from friends and family is a great thing but you may also find you need to look at an accountant that will become much more than a simple bean counter. An accountant worth their salt will be help you to identify opportunities and could help you grow your business. Likewise, networking with other business owners might attract referrals and provide you access to your target market.
They can also be useful to bounce ideas off or get discounted services as and when you need them.
You can build yourself a little group of mentors that can advise and help you get started. Setting out on your own can be daunting for some who have come out a corporate office environment to suddenly working out of their spare bedroom.
Does your business require insuring? Now some start-ups do consider this an unnecessary luxury as the business hasn’t started and is not generating an income yet. But in certain cases you might have a legal obligation to have insurance – if you employ staff for example or you have rented expensive machinery.
It is always worth finding out your insurance obligations. This could be the difference between success and failure
Bio: Tanya Peters is an expat that is currently on a sabbatical two year break from her role in a major finance company and currently lives in Perth, Australia. She freelances to keep her hand in so she doesn’t return to corporate life a complete savage.