We know first-hand what it’s like to set up in business, Elsby & Co started from a back bedroom in 1993. And, though the way we do business nowadays is very different, certain principles still stand so here are some practical “Tips & Advice” if you are thinking about setting up your own business…
It may be obvious, but are you going to be something you are good at?
Have you thought about your own personal strengths and weaknesses? Will you be able to manage all aspects of your business or can you identify where you are lacking in certain skills and engage the right people to help you.
Do you have a market for your product / service?
Be prepared and research your market beyond family and friends. No time is ever wasted at this stage. Identify your customer, what do they look like? How are you going to reach them? Get your pricing right.
If buying into a franchise, check the T’s & C’s.
Do you have finance behind you?
It is very rare for a business to be able to start on a shoestring. Prepare a business plan and work out your realistic cash flow needs. Business plans do not need to be complicated – just be honest with yourself! You can use our interactive business tool - Start up calculator
Limited Company or Sole Trader?
It is important that you take advice on this before you start in business since it has all sorts of practical implications, not least, how to pay yourself!
Keeping business records
You have a legal responsibility to keep accurate records of your income and expenditure, its crucial that you keep your business and personal expenditure separate. There is a whole range of online accounting systems which can cost as little as £6 per month for a basic package. These will allow you to raise quotes and invoices, keep control of what you owe and what is owed to you. You can upload photos of receipts so no need for the traditional biscuit tin (apart from keeping biscuits!).
Being online will also allow you to integrate into your website if you have an e-commerce business, and let you make the most of a whole eco-system of apps which can help you run your business efficiently, saving time in the process.