The startup industry in the UK is booming. In the last decade, the number of startups has skyrocketed, with over 1000 new startups every day. There are several reasons for this growth, including access to capital, a supportive ecosystem and a talent pool. As a result, the UK is now one of the most attractive countries for startups.
Despite 500,000 and 700,000 new startups being founded every year in the UK, there are still many opportunities for new entrepreneurs. So, if you’ve got a great startup idea and you’re looking to start a business in the UK, it’s a great time to do so.
But there are a few things you need to do first.
In this guide, we’ll outline eight essential tasks that founders should complete before starting to trade in the UK. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a successful presence in the market.
1. Do your research
Before starting a startup business, you’ll want to do some market research. This will help you understand your target market’s needs and wants and give you insights into your competition.
There are a few different ways to go about conducting market research.
One is to survey your target market directly. You can create online surveys or hand out paper questionnaires to people in your target demographic.
Another option is to perform secondary research, which involves reading existing studies and reports related to your industry. This can be a great way to get an overview of the market landscape.
Finally, you can also use social media and other online platforms to collect data about your target audience. In a lot of cases, it’s a good idea to use a combination of these three methods. This way, you can gather all the information you need to create a successful startup business.
2. Write a business plan
Any successful business needs a good plan. A business plan gives you a roadmap to follow and keeps you on track when things get tough. It’s also a valuable tool for attracting investors and partners.
But too often, entrepreneurs choose to skip this critical step. After all, it can be time-consuming and seem like a lot of work upfront. However, your business is far more likely to fail without a solid plan — around a fifth of small businesses fail in their first year.
In your business plan, you’ll need to include details on the following:
- Executive summary
- Company description
- Market analysis
- Competitor analysis
- Sales and marketing strategy
- Services or products offered.
Starting a business is hard enough — don’t make it harder by skipping the planning stage. So take the time to do it right, and you’ll be glad you did when your startup is thriving.
3. Choose the right business structure
When starting a business, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is what legal structure to choose for your company. The business entity you select will determine how you pay tax and the amount of business information available to the public. The most common types of business structures include:
- Sole proprietorships
- Limited companies.
The main factors you should consider when choosing a business structure are the amount of personal liability you’re willing to take on, the paperwork and compliance requirements, and how much control you want over decision-making.
4. Register your business
Before launching your startup, it’s essential to register your business with Companies House. This will help to protect your business name and give your business a separate legal identity.
In theory, it’s a relatively straightforward process, and you can do it online. All you need is your business name, your contact details and a few other pieces of information. But it’s not always as simple as it seems, especially if you’ve never used Companies House before. If you’re not confident about the registration, you can use a formations company to register your business.
Once you register your business, you’ll be able to open a business bank account, apply for licenses and permits, and start doing business.
5. Get insured
If you’re starting a business, one of the first things you should do is get insurance. Many people mistakenly believe their business is too small or new to need insurance, but the truth is that any business can be at risk for various potential liabilities.
From product liability to property damage to lawsuits, having adequate business insurance coverage can protect your business from financial ruin in the event of an accident or lawsuit.
Of course, the type and amount of insurance you need will vary depending on the nature of your business. However, some common types of business insurance include:
- Property insurance
- Liability insurance
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- Product liability insurance.
Don’t wait until it’s too late — ensure you’re adequately protected by getting business insurance before launching your startup.
6. Open a business bank account
Before launching your startup, opening a business bank account is important. This helps keep your personal and business finances separate, which is essential for maintaining accurate records and tracking your business expenses.
A business bank account will also give you access to beneficial features like online banking, saving you time and hassle. And if you ever need to apply for a business loan, having a business bank account will give you a leg up.
It’s essential to do your research before opening a business bank account. There are several options available that offer different perks. Take the time to find the one that will work best for you and your business.
7. Promote your business
By this stage, you’ll be ready to start trading. But before you start, it’s crucial to spend some time preparing to promote your business. That way, when you’re ready to open your doors, you’ll be able to find potential customers straight away.
So how do you promote your business? Start by creating a website and social media accounts. Then reach out to your network and let them know about your new venture. Advertising in local print and online publications is also a good idea if you’re a local business.
A lot of startups will launch as quickly as possible, but it’s a good idea to spend the time working out how to get your products or services in front of potential customers. By working everything out before launch, you won’t be chasing your tail.
8. Keep learning
As your business grows, it’s important to ensure that your knowledge and understanding of your industry grows too. Constantly strive to improve and expand your skillset to stay ahead of the competition.
Doing this will not only make you a better business owner, but it will also give you the confidence you need to take your business to the next level. There are plenty of resources to help you learn more about your industry, so take advantage of them. Stay sharp, and always be learning.