A business start-up is like a new-born baby – it is fragile, but it has enormous potential. New parents are always on the lookout for parenting tips and entrepreneurs should do the same. There are so many things to think about and so many areas in which problems can arise. Consider all of these points when starting your business.
Preparation is not just about making sure you have the money to set up your business – there are so many different areas you need to consider. What is your USP? What problem does your product/service solve? What is the competition like? Do you need an accountant? Are you willing to pour a large amount of time, resources and stress into this venture to make sure it works? There is also some legal red tape that you have get through – make sure that you register your business with the UK government to ensure you don’t accidentally break tax laws.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
You are reading this article, so you must acknowledge that you need some advice, at least. No one starts off knowing exactly what to do, so don’t be afraid to take advantage of every expert/friend/parent/person at the pub you can. If you would like more professional advice, then try going to networking events or visiting start-up incubators – these are great places to find fellow entrepreneurs and mentors.
As well as asking for advice, don’t make the mistake of trying to do every single thing yourself. If you are struggling to meet deadlines and deliver for clients, then hire employees to help. Your business will only grow when you can produce enough to meet demand.
Contractors vs. employees
A new business is going to need certain things from the get-go which are not suited to hiring a full-time employee. For example, creating a website and help with IT to make sure that your communications are in order is not something that will require a full-time employee – getting in a contractor will allow you to set up your IT systems without paying a full-time employee. Both options have their merits – it really just depends on your business and what you need doing. A contractor brings the advantages of being instantly available with no lengthy recruitment process or training period, while employees are better suited for long-term work.
When dealing with contractors, it’s important to do it by the book. Contractors are subject to different tax laws than full-time employees, so make sure you get help with IR35 and other regulations concerning taxes before you draw up a contract between parties. If you need to check their employment tax status, then try using this HMRC tool.
Expect to make changes
For every successful business start-up, there are hundreds of other unlucky, poorly thought out or underfunded ventures that fail after a few months. It is a very difficult thing to get right, so do not be disheartened if your attempt isn’t going as planned. If something is not working, then change it. This could be anything from firing a weak employee to switching to a more reliable supplier. Business is as much about adaptability as it is about preparation.