Julie Tucker
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New business tips and advice

Are you thinking of starting a new business? If so, multiple factors must be taken into account before you take the plunge.

Launching your own business can be a big challenge, so be clear about everything you need to do beforehand to give yourself the best chance of success.

How do you know when the time is right? Here’s the thing – there will NEVER be a precise “right time” to start a business, as it isn’t something you can quantify.

It’s down to you to create the right time because you’re the only person who can make it happen. If you wait for the “perfect” moment, you may be waiting a long time. Create a set of conditions that give you a good chance to make your dreams a reality. Prepare carefully and take into account various considerations to make sure you’re ready.

What are the most common start-up businesses in the UK?

The most popular start-ups are those that don’t require fancy premises or pricey equipment. Bookkeeping services and tax preparation come with low overheads, while the standard fee for these services provides a decent income, so it’s no surprise it’s a common start-up. You need to be good with numbers and have a sound understanding of the tax system to be a success.

Website design is another sector where the initial costs aren’t massive. Having a good website is the key to every successful business – particularly since the Covid-19 lockdown has meant high street premises closing in favour of more online activities. This is a great time for someone with the creative skills and technical know-how to start their own web design firm.

In the same vein, many businesses wish to invest in hiring a knowledgeable business consultant, who can help them achieve their goals. This is a lucrative industry that commands a high salary. It also has low overheads, so is a particularly profitable sector.

Graphic design is another industry where the start-up costs are relatively low, but the returns are high. You could choose to specialise in one field, such as logo design, for example. It is a competitive industry, but if you have the creative and technical skills to make a go of it, the rewards can be well worth the effort.

Many of today’s top start-ups involve aspects of web design and technology, again tied in with the increase in running businesses online. If you have a sound knowledge of computers and technology, setting yourself up as an IT consultant can command large returns. You can work for companies or individuals, working as a remote helpdesk initially and then branching out into visiting companies’ premises when lockdown ends.

Marketing services are another sector in high demand. Businesses and organisations recognise the benefits of having a skilled marketing team behind them and it commands a high income. As a result of ever-improving remote technology, this is another industry where there aren’t massive start-up costs.

How much should you invest?

There’s no set amount that you should invest. It’s largely down to the individual, how much you can afford to invest and whether this fits in with the type of business you’re planning to start.

When determining business start-up costs, the general rule is to be realistic. Don’t get into so much debt that realistically there’s no chance of you paying it off for decades. You need to do plenty of research, once you’ve decided on the type of business you’re going to launch.

Price up the costs of things like office space, equipment, setting up your payment system, marketing costs, legal fees, bills and other organisational expenses. You might be surprised at how quickly it adds up.

For many entrepreneurs, hiring a traditional office is out of the question due to the expense. This is where a coworking space comes in, as it’s a great way of keeping costs down while having access to office space, furniture and equipment, as well as a fast internet connection.

While some start-ups begin at home to cut costs, it’s hardly the professional environment you need once lockdown ends and people start having business meetings in person again. It’s well worth checking out your local coworking spaces to see what they have to offer, as you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

It’s also proven to aid productivity when you work in a thriving coworking community, rather than in solitude at home.

Should you quit your current job?

As a new start-up, you may need to remain in your current job until you start making enough money to pay your living expenses and bills. There’s no point in walking out of a good well-paid job into one that isn’t going to be profitable for several months.

Take heart from the fact the majority of new start-ups in the UK survive the often challenging first year, according to research. Before the pandemic and lockdowns temporarily affected businesses in the UK, more than 600,000 start-ups were founded in the 2018/19 tax year. A massive 89% of them survived the first year.

While the coronavirus has impacted everyone over the past 12 months, the number of SMEs still surviving is a testament to the great British entrepreneurial spirit.

The fact they are still here, even though Brexit also caused uncertainty in the given time period, suggests that under normal circumstances, setting up your own business may be a good option.

The study of small business owners by Micro Biz Mag revealed 65% of UK employees had dreams of launching their own start-up, so it’s something well worth looking into to try and make your dreams a reality.


Image courtesy of © Sergey Peterman / Shutterstock.com

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