You’ve landed on this page, because you’re looking for information about starting your own business in the UK, right? So where the heck do you even start?
In fact, have you fully decided to start a business or are you speculatively considering it and just putting your feelers out for information about how you might go about it?
I have been there. I know how you feel. And I have a fairly good idea of what you’re thinking. Let me guess…
- Do I need to register with the authorities and tell them I am starting a business? If so, who? how?
- Will I need an accountant and if so, what will it cost?
- How do I know if anyone will buy it?
- How much money do I need to put in?
- How will I find customers?
So let’s chat through some of these questions you might have.
Do I need to register my business with the authorities?
First you need to decide what format you wish to trade under. A sole trader is the most simple way of going into business, a limited company is more complicated and carries more responsibility.
If you choose to be a sole trader, you will need to register once you’ve generated more than £1000 of revenue (note this is income, and not profit) and you can do this easily online HERE
The Financial Year runs 6th April 2021 to the 5th April 2022. So for any income generated between these two dates, will be declared on a Self-Assessment Tax Return which must be completed and submitted by the 31st January 2023. Note – this is a deadline and NOT a target, you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle by getting it done as close to the 5th April 2022 as possible!
Will I need an accountant and if so, what does it cost?
If you are operating as a sole trader, you do not need an accountant although it would be advisable to have one. A good accountant will save you a lot more than they cost you, especially if you’re a Start-up Newbie!
The going rate for submitting a Self Assessment is anywhere between £100 at the bottom end to £300 at the top, with the majority falling at around £150-180. However you can do it yourself for free, if you feel comfortable doing so. Software like Intuit Quickbooks makes it easy to prepare your tax return and submit it yourself
How do I know if anyone will buy my product/service?
The short answer is, you don’t. Not for certain anyway – but you can get a pretty good idea by asking yourself – is someone else already doing it? If so, do people buy their product? Have many people tried and failed to do this before? If so, this might indicate a critical problem in the business concept that renders it unviable.
You can do market research – avoiding asking friends and family who will give a biased response to be supportive!
Ask people in Facebook business groups (you can join our Small and Startup Business Group on Facebook!) for their honest opinion.
You are more likely to be successful, with the experience of someone who has been and done it. While it may take you several hours hunting a piece of information or a guide on how to do something, a mentor is likely to know this already and can simply tell you! Our Mentoring is just £45 per hour! It might seem a lot, but we’ve helped a lot of new and start-up businesses to avoid a great deal of wasted budget in one hour of mentoring!
How much money do I need for my new business?
This entirely depends on the type of business you’re starting – a service based business, in theory, can get up and running with nothing but an email address and phone number!
Start with writing down how much income you need each money to survive (pay your bills, feed yourself) – this is the bare minimum to meet your living costs, without any extra for enjoyment and plan your business around this as the absolute minimum viable revenue.
Then work out what you need to do in order to achieve that, and what it will cost.
Our Start Up Business Course provides you with all the tools to work this out for yourself!
How will I find customers?
There are various ways of finding customers – it really depends on whether you’re time rich/cash poor, time poor/cash rich or cash rich/time rich (you’re thinking, I wish!)
When you are cash poor, then you have to slog it out with labour intensive free methods such as cold calling, cold emailing, attending free networking events, organic social media.
If you have the luxury of a budget, you can consider paid advertising which will help you reach your goals much faster.