If you have a great idea and are in the process of starting a business, there are many things to do to get your business off the ground. To help your business get off to a great start we have compiled this useful startup checklist.
1. Define your unique selling point and customer profile
You need to understand exactly what your unique selling point (USP) is and who will be your target customers. Try to sum up your business and its market in just two short sentences, this will help clarify your business idea.
2. Write a business plan
Once you understand your USP and customer base, the next stage is to expand on these details with a detailed business plan. Make sure to include startup costs, financial projections and overall business goals.
3. Choose a business name and a domain name
Before you start trading you will need to think of a name for your new business. You should check with Companies House whether the business name you are thinking of is available and also whether there is a domain available using the name. Once you have finalised the name for your business startup, you should register your chosen website address.
4. Decide your business structure
You will need to decide which small business structure is the best fit for you. This is the legal structure which you will use to run your business, popular options include registering as a sole trader, a private company limited by shares, a private company limited by guarantee and a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). In general, a sole trader is personally liable for business debts, whereas a limited company is considered to be a separate legal entity, so there is no personal liability for any debts accrued.
5. Open a business bank account
Although it may be tempting to use your own personal bank account, it is advisable to get a separate business bank account. This will help keep your finances separate and may make it much easier to manage your accounts.
6. Arrange insurance
Even the smallest startups should add business insurance to their to do list. There are various forms of insurance which you should consider, including professional liability insurance, employers liability insurance and business interruption insurance.
7. Register for taxes
You will need to register with HMRC for either Self Assessment or Corporation Tax. In addition, if you employ and staff you should register for PAYE and VAT. The exact taxes you will need to pay will depend on the legal structure you choose.
8. Design a logo
Your company logo will help form your brand identity, so it is important to create a memorable logo which stands out from the competition.
9. Build a website and create social media accounts
The majority of businesses benefit from having an online presence, so a website is a great way to get started. It is also advisable to create social media accounts, which will help you connect with customers.
10. Order business stationery
It is likely that you will need a variety of stationery types, such as letterheads, business cards, invoices, receipts and labels. Business stationery is a great way to promote your brand, so make sure to include your logo and key contact details.
11. Invest in technology
Businesses of every size are likely to require various forms of technology. Think about whether you need physical items such as laptops and phones, while also considering software such as Microsoft Office.
Here at BusinessComparison we specialise in helping businesses compare a variety financial products, such as bank accounts, insurance, loans and utilities. As a startup there are many factors to consider, however our quick comparison services are designed to ease the pressure and help you find the best deals. To find out more, please contact our team today.