You know what they say about making assumptions?
That’s right, when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me…
…which is why we don’t like to assume too much knowledge on the part of our readers, listeners and followers, when we put out fresh content in the form of our blogs and podcasts.
But, what if you’re a complete newbie?
As in, no experience or understanding whatsoever, when it comes to setting up and running a business…
Is Trinity U still right for you and your needs?
Without going into too much detail, we’re going to give you our ten steps to setting up a business.
There are variations to this list, and they don’t all necessarily have to come in this order, but we feel it’s a pretty good ‘beginner’s guide’, or a ‘how to’ for ‘dummies’, if you like.
(Not that you could possibly be a dummy of course, you’re here, aren’t you?)
Firstly, in at number one, you’re going to want to conduct some market research. If you do this properly, you’ll be able to see how likely it is that you’ll be able to turn your idea into a successful business. Carry out market research to learn about the customers and businesses already operating in your area, or within your industry.
Secondly, our favourite at Trinity U, you have to write your business plan! This is everything, but it’s more to do with the actual planning than the plan itself. This is your roadmap, your vision, your dream, all laid out on paper. Take your time. This is the foundation of everything, so treat it like a baby.
Number three involves money, sorry about that, and you’ve probably already realised that you’re going to need to find some funding pretty sharpish, especially if that lovely business plan is going to become more than just some words on a page. Figure out how much money you’ll need, and then figure out where you’re going to get it from.
Four is all about location, location, location. Think about where you’re going to set your business up. Is it going to be a bricks and mortar type situation, or are you relying on the internet? Either way, there are lots of things to consider here, such as taxes and proximity to your customers, not to mention whether it’s a nice place to spend your working days.
Number five – Structure. The legal structure you choose for your business will impact your business registration requirements, affecting how much you pay in taxes, as well as your personal liability. Remember, you don’t know what you don’t know, and that’s what we’re here for.
Your business has come a long way in just those five short steps, hasn’t it? But what’s it called!? Don’t worry, a lot of businesses toy around with their name in their infancies. It’s all about being easily recognisable and having the opportunity to build the brand. Test out several, see how they roll off the tongue, but it’s about time to set your heart on one. Go with it.
Number seven is registering your business. Speak to a solicitor about this, it will help you in the long run. No one is expecting you to get everything right the first time you do it, but this is one of those things that you could really save yourself a lot of time and hassle with, simply by getting it right the first time…
You’re not going to like number eight, but it’s a necessity. There are only two certainties in life, death and taxes. Yep, taxes. Speak to an accountant for registration, and to see about whether you should set up as a sole trader or a limited company. They will save you time and money in the long run.
If you require any licences or permits to operate, at number nine in our list, you should be thinking of getting this sorted. Make sure you stay legally compliant for everything you intend to do. This also applies to things like insurance, and once again, if you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t be afraid to ask.
Finally, in at number ten, you need to open a business bank account. Why have we left this one so late in our list? Well, because if you don’t take care of all the other bits and pieces, you won’t be earning any money to deposit into the business bank account in the first place.
Let’s have a little bullet point recap for all you skim readers and half listeners…
Trinity U’s list of ten things to consider, when you have no idea what you’re doing, goes a bit like this…
- Conduct market research.
- Write your business plan.
- Fund your business.
- Pick your business location.
- Choose a business structure.
- Choose your business name.
- Register your business.
- Register with HMRC
- Apply for licences and permits
- Open a business bank account
So, there you have it.
Oh, and if you still feel as though you have no idea what you’re doing, don’t worry, you’re still in the right place.