Make Business Your Business Guide to Starting - GOV.UK

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Make Business Your Business Guide to Starting - GOV.UK

Transcript Of Make Business Your Business Guide to Starting - GOV.UK

MAKE BUSINESS YOUR BUSINESS
A GUIDE TO
STARTING
AND DEVELOPING
A NEW BUSINESS

A GREAT TIME TO START!
There has never been a better time to start a business. 2011/12 marked a record high for doing just that; over 450,000 people set up a company and became their own boss. This is your opportunity to join the 4.14 million self-employed people and the 4.5 million small businesses in the UK.
THESE ARE ENTERPRISING TIMES
Students are turning their talent into a way of making a living whilst experienced professionals are opting for the freedom and flexibility that comes with selfemployment. Mums are spotting gaps in the market and the over 50’s are surging ahead when it comes to launching new ventures. No matter your age or standing, there is potential to turn a passion or skill from your professional or social life into a bright business idea. And by doing so embracing free and low-cost technology that enables you to sell to local markets and reach customers on a global scale.
No matter your age or standing, there is potential
“to turn a passion or skill
from your professional or social life into a bright
” business idea.
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Easily said and easily done: 3 good reasons to start a business today:

1

Low start-up costs – most businesses can now start on a bootstrap of a budget and for less than £100. With a smartphone and business card in hand, you can make sales and set up operations with ease, and from home.

2 Enabling technology – social media platforms and trading sites offer start-ups a powerful route to market. Selling and promoting yourself online is affordable and achievable and successful businesses are being built on Facebook and promoted via Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, selling everything from morph suits to graphic design, financial services and artisan goods.

3 High level of support – when starting a business, you won’t be alone! There is an abundance of support to help you start and grow, including:
public and private sector support – assisting with essentials like workspace, guidance and finance

corporate brands – who are opening up accelerators and their own retail outlets to help small businesses grow at speed

peers – other small business owners are on hand to deliver advice and expert mentoring
With all this on offer, can you resist the urge to become your own boss?! This guide will point you to the help and resources to make this happen and it comes complete with clips of companies who tell their story of success.

SUCCESS STORIES

Head to http://tinyurl.com/businessinyoustories to see why and how they started and you could soon be following in their footsteps

STEPS TO STARTING OUT
When starting out in business, there are important things to consider.
Ask yourself – is your idea a sound business proposition? Is there a market and demand for you to make sales and make a profit? Think about the cost and time elements of the business. Are you aiming for something innovative and niche and / or can your product or service match or beat your competition? You don’t need to know the answers immediately; you can make a plan and work on this whilst ‘Working 5 to 9’ - keeping hold of the day job, being a parent or studying by day and building the business at night and weekends. And you’re not alone – there is plenty of guidance and support available to help you bring a business idea to life.
My New Business (www.businesslink.gov.uk/mynewbusiness) is a comprehensive online resource which sets out, stage by stage, practical help for those interested in starting a business. The Start-up Learning Directory is a collection of resources featuring real-life examples, online tutorials, links to relevant websites and e-learning tools to help guide start-ups in key areas like: Developing a business idea; Creating a business plan; Customers, sales and marketing; Choosing the right business model and legal structure; Getting to grips with VAT, tax, IT and PAYE.
A GUIDE TO STARTING AND DEVELOPING A NEW BUSINESS | 3

4 Top Tips

1

Make a plan – write a business plan that map. The best business plans are simple key areas like:

acts as your route and clear, addressing

Background on you, your team and its capabilities

Your business idea and a description of your product and/or service

Market assessment and opportunities for your business

Costs, pricing and forecasts for sales and profit

Investment strategy, i.e. what you need investment for and how these funds will be used

Head to tinyurl.com/businesslinkplan for a template.

2 Make noise – get to know the media that cover your industry and/or local area and send them good stories with top quality images. Make the most of social media to become known as an expert in your field and as free marketing. Peoplefund.it is an example of firms using a ‘crowdsourcing’ platform for individuals to pledge funds and offer feedback and support to get a business project off the ground through sales and marketing.

3 Make sales – target friends and family as customers and branch out from there. Price your product at a rate that’s competitive and covers the cost of your time. Make sales at events, through local shops or online via your own website or other powerful sales platforms.

4 Keep the business in balance – try to spend a third of your time across three main activities; business development, customer care and admin. That way, both you and the business will stay in productive and profitable balance!

4 | A GUIDE TO STARTING AND DEVELOPING A NEW BUSINESS

You don’t have to register a company straightaway to be up and running and trading. If and when you do, Government is making it quicker, simpler and cheaper for small businesses to set up and operate. Here are three examples which may benefit you:
• Registering a company is a quick and inexpensive process – for £18 and in less than 24 hours using Companies House web incorporation service.
• Incorporation is only one part of setting up a company and Companies House has added an option to the incorporation service to allow customers to complete registration for Corporation Tax at the same time. Head to www.companieshouse.gov.uk and click ‘Start a company’.
• When the time comes to employ and grow the team, Taking on an employee (www.businesslink.gov.uk/employ) provides employers with a single point of contact for a seamless and online employment process.

SUPPORT ON OFFER

Whether there’s

you are looking a wide range of

for funds or recruiting support on offer.

an

experienced

helping

hand,

Space
The longer term ambition may be to secure a workshop or commercial premises but for now this might not be affordable or desirable as a start-up or a firm in its early stages.

Home-Based Business
Your home may offer you your biggest business resource – join 55% of businesses that start from home and take advantage of reduced costs, no commute and the flexibility that comes with building a business around the family. Find out how to make homeworking work for you by downloading The Home Business Guide (www.bis.gov.uk/home-business-guide ), which offers guidance on everything from home office layout to trading responsibly when it comes to insurance, business rates and health and safety.

Incubators
If your business outgrows your home or working from home isn’t practical, consider incubator space, co-working/enterprise hubs, and accelerators. These offer office and workshop facilities alongside support, advice and peer-to-peer learning to help businesses establish themselves.
A GUIDE TO STARTING AND DEVELOPING A NEW BUSINESS | 5

Visit www.startupbritain.org/spaces to view the range of spaces and places that accommodate start-ups in your area to spur small business growth. Here are some examples:
Wayra | www.wayra.org/en/wayra-uk-2012 Springboard | www.springboard.com Accelerator Academy | www.acceleratoracademy.com
CASE STUDY: RE-JIG
Carol Powell decided to start her business from home so she could be on hand for the family whilst earning a living. Re-jigged is now selling stylish clothing made from unwanted garments all over the UK and is creating employment for local mums too.
http://youtu.be/9qdWG_h8fRQ
6 | A GUIDE TO STARTING AND DEVELOPING A NEW BUSINESS

FINDING FINANCE
There are several funding options available to help you start or run your business, and several ways to find it.
Try using Finance Finder and Business Finance Explained to understand and locate funding options and wider business support on offer. www.improve.businesslink.gov.uk/resources And from June 2012 you can download Finance Finder as a free mobile app by searching for ‘BL Support’ in the App Store or Google Play.
Business Finance for You (www.businessfinanceforyou.co.uk) enables businesses to identify sources of finance by region, sector or purpose. This is supported by Better Business Finance (www.betterbusinessfinance.co.uk) which offers practical help, advice and tips to businesses seeking finance.
Other modest sources of funding are available from sources such as Shell LiveWIRE which give up to 4 x £1000 cash awards via the monthly Grand Ideas Awards www.shell-livewire.org/awards The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and its members provide a Business Advice Service, which offers free advice to businesses in over 2,400 locations across the country. ICAEW accountants can offer guidance on topics from finding finance, dealing with regulation and export planning. www.businessadviceservice.com If it’s small amounts of credit you’re after, microfinance providers like Community Development Finance Institutions can offer loans from a few hundred pounds up to £25,000 (www.findingfinance.org.uk).
The StartUp Loan Fund
There is also finance and support available to back young people with bright business ideas. Very often, young people have the drive and ambition to create a business but not the resources to make it happen because of a lack of credit history and track record. The StartUp Loan Fund is for those aged 18 to 24, offering loans of
around £2,500 plus online training, business support and mentoring as an ideal route to get started in business. www.startuploans.co.uk.
The section of Useful Links also provides contacts and organisations which can help young entrepreneurs to realise their enterprise ambition.
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You may have heard of ‘crowdfunding’ or ‘peer-to-peer lending’ – fastgrowing web platforms connecting lenders and investors with businesses that are looking for new and innovative ways to fund their business using quick and easy methods of transaction. There are several emerging players in this market specialising in areas like loans, equity and invoice financing. The Next Generation Finance Consortium (www.ngfc.org.uk) is one place where you can search and access these providers.
Finding Funds
Here are some examples of online crowdfunding platforms offering finance to business:
www.crowdcube.com www.fundingcircle.com www.growvc.com www.Marketinvoice.com www.platformblack.com www.iwoca.co.uk www.seedrs.com www.thincats.com
Kamm & Sons, the brand behind a unique ginseng-based alcoholic
spirit, has successfully raised capital to ensure the next stage of its expansion. Developed over the last five years by ex-bartender, author and drinks expert Alex Kammerling, the firm has secured funding from 85 ‘armchair’ investors through the equity crowdfunding website, Crowdcube. In return for 23% of the business, Kamm & Sons raised £180,000 to fund its expansion plans. “We initially approached the high street lenders with our business plan in the hope of raising enough capital to move our project forward and grow the business,” says Alex. “With banks demanding interest rates of more than 15%, we decided to look elsewhere. Crowdcube offered us a totally unique way to secure the funding we needed. It allowed us to engage with ordinary people who we believe recognise exciting new investment opportunities.”
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