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Simple steps to becoming an official business owner - without spending a fortune

There is a misconception that it is really expensive to become a business owner. Of course, depending on what you do it can be, if you are starting a manufacturing facility or indeed have a product that needs to be manufactured in some way, however if you are working in the service industry, rarely does it need to cost a fortune.


The key is to start thinking lean. The Lean Enterprise Institute describes lean enterprise as "Providing the most value from the customers' perspective, while consuming the fewest resources and utilising the talents of the people who do the work."


Of course, in the early stages of setting up a business you won't have any customers, but the essence of this message is still relevant: don't waste time, money, resource or your own effort on doing everything, perfectly, before you start trading. Do what you need to do, using the right help where appropriate, to make a start. And then, you can always add and refine while you are up and running.


This way you start trading earlier, you start making money quicker, and the refinements and improvements you make will be based on the knowledge and experience you pick up along the way.


Here are the steps that most businesses will need to take towards getting set up.


1. Choose a company name.
Think of something that makes sense, is memorable, and will resonate. Ask your potential clientele what works for them, and take your
time doing so. Inspiration will come. 


2. Register your business name with Companies House. 
There are packages ranging from £14.99+VAT to £159.99+VAT at Companies Made Simple to get you trading. Or, you can do it yourself using the help guides at: 


3. Have a logo created.


It doesn’t have to be fancy.
You could even sketch out the logo yourself, or if you know someone in this
field, they may give you a discount on this. There are lots of articles on branding on this site... here's a good one to start with: Is DIY Branding a False Economy?

 

4. Get some business cards.


Vista Print print offers prices from £4.99+VAT while Moo offers
business cards from £13.99. Whoever you decide to go with, think about
usability of website, quality and range of product available.

 

5. Develop a website. 


You may have a friend who can do
this, or indeed another small business offering great prices, however if you
are a little tech savvy, you can go to Wordpress or GoDaddy where they both have a range of packages to suit you. As above,
remember to take into account usability, range of product offering, and
quality, as well as price.

 

6. Experiment with the different networking groups on
offer. 


They may be some you feel more comfortable with than others, so don’t
feel obliged by any. If you are new at having your own business, you might
benefit from a group that offers a better support network than a heavy referral
network. This will help you build up your contacts so that you are ready for
the next stage. 

 

7. Find a good Accountant. 


Most accountants offer an
introductory session, therefore as above, shop around and find one you are
comfortable with. Review how they work, how their pricing is determined, yearly
fee or pay as you go. HMRC isn’t a process to take lightly and a good
accountant will work as insurance too.

 

8. Get relevant insurances in place.


If you are working with the government or
charities, you will need to be insured.  There
is a great article on insurance at www.gaininbusiness.com you can access.

 

9. Set up your social accounts.


Are you on social media? If you don’t yet have a
website, have you thought of setting up a Facebook page? Twitter is also a
great tool for building connections. You have to remember, if done properly
social media can be a great tool, however with everything, you need to analyse
your market to make sure they’re on there! There is no point targeting a group
of people who don’t use social media, the medical profession is a good example
of this, and if you are selling business services, Pinterest might not be the
place for you either.

 

10. Ask for help - and take advice.


Above all else, we are here for you at our Connect Forum. Any question you have, post it here and you will receive a response.
People have in the past received introductions to their dream client,
recommendations to Accountancy Software to how to sell online. The list really
is endless.

 

Starting a business doesn’t have to be expensive, and the direction of
your business may change once you have been operating for a while. By thinking
LEAN and doing a soft launch first (get out there, meet people and understand
what your customers really need from you), you give yourself the opportunity to
your business up , and running with more insight and less debt or frustration
that ever before.

 

Our advice is this. Make good contacts, be ambitious, be determined and
follow your dream. This will set you up for a wealth of opportunity.




Blog supplied by Tina Marshall - Founder of Creating Sense Ltd, a Marketing agency focused on Strategy, Innovation and Application. Access the same skills and experience of a large corporation, at a fraction of the cost. www.creatingsense.co.uk 

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