Five key considerations for start-ups

It is expected that more than 600,000 start-ups will have launched by the time this year is out, and whilst we can’t profess to help that many here at Adams Moore, we do see our fair share.

Some entrepreneurs have a great new business idea, some just want to branch out in a familiar industry on their own, using their experience gained in job roles, and some are forced into self-employment by circumstance. In every instance, the start-up rules are the same.

Build the foundations – any business that plans to thrive and grow needs a solid foundation, which means a robust plan. Not only will this help in giving focus and direction, with a clear and realistic timeline and details of target market and potential, it is essential for seeking finance. No lender would consider funding without it.

Get structured – the structure of a business can be changed at a later date, but giving some thought up front about whether the business will trade with Sole Trader status (often the easiest set-up to start with), a Limited Company or a Partnership is worth doing. All have various benefits and it’s worth having a chat with an accountant about what one might be best for the business based on the type of business and tax liabilities.

The dreaded F word – finance is the key to many a start-up, in order to get the business up and off the ground. Gone are the days when the bank was the only port of call for funding: whilst still the main source of lending, alternative sources including private investment, peer to peer lending, crowd-funding or even borrowing from family and friends, are on the rise. Grants and loans might be available through local business support bodies, so it’s worth looking those up too.

Consider protection – when starting up in business, in the quest to get up and running it’s easy to overlook vital checks on suppliers and customers that can help avoid potential problems later on. Dealing with companies with either a bad financial record or a dubious financial position can spell the end of a business overnight. Carrying out the right checks can help avert a potential disaster – and with a variety of solutions available to carry out these checks to help you protect your business, there’s really no reason not to.

Establish key processes – you’re never too small in business to have good processes, and working for yourself shouldn’t be an excuse not to establish them. From getting the bookkeeping organised to ensure both compliance with HMRC’s requirements and making the tax returns process easier, to putting in place a credit control system to ensure payments and invoices are kept on top of, getting organised is a must.

For further information on a range of business topics, head over to our resources section.