The following article is a guest post.
If you’re looking to make a little extra money, there’s a huge benefit to running your own business, whether you want to go full-time self-employed or just have a small business on the side to complement your day job. There are all sorts of things you can do: make and sell your own crafts and produce; provide an expert service like tutoring or writing; you can even buy and sell products using your expert marketing abilities to turn a profit.
However you’re planning your new venture, it’s important to have a solid business plan. To get you started, we’ve put together this quick guide – start thinking about each section before you set your new venture up!
To determine whether or not your business is likely to be successful, you’ll need to do some preliminary research. These are the questions you’ll need to think about:
Are you providing something useful? There’s no point setting up a business unless you know that what you’re offering will be beneficial, so make sure there is a real need or requirement for the service you’re providing.
Do you have the relevant skills? Qualifications aren’t everything, but they can come in useful when you’re promoting your business. Make sure you have something to use to promote your authority in the market – whether it’s a certificate for a Personal Trainer service or cupcake tasters for a baking company!
Do you have customers? If you don’t have a base of people who know and care about your business, you don’t really have a business at all. Think about where you are going to promote your services or product, and to whom.
Join a growing network of freelancers and self-employed people to gain access to support and advice when you need it. There are many websites which offer communities of like-minded business people who will always be there for you to bounce ideas off and navigate the sometimes scary world of self-employment! Online networking is also a place to get your brand name out there and meet other new businesses.
You’ll need to register your business to ensure you’re paying the right amount of tax. There are several ways you can do this, depending on how you’re running your business.
Sole trader: If you’re the only person working on and running your business, you’re a sole trader. This is simple to setup; all you need to do is register online with HMRC.
Partnership: If you’re setting up your company with somebody else, or several other people, and you all have equal financial responsibility, you’ll need to set up a partnership. You’ll need to head to a law stationer’s and pick up a Memorandum and Articles of Association, and request the relevant documents from Companies House.
Limited Company: These are a little more complicated – if several people own a share in your company, and the size of their share determines their financial responsibility, you should speak to a solicitor or seek out a dedicated service for help registering as a limited company.
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