Start Your Own Business in 2014- Top Tips
With the jobs market as saturated as ever, 2014 may be the year to cut loose and set up your own business. Figures from ‘Start Up Britain’ report that over 500,000 new businesses were incorporated in the UK in 2013, employing approximately 7 million people.
Here are some tips to give your new business the highest chances of success:
1. Business Plan- One of the keys to starting up a strong new business venture is to ensure you have a well-structured, yet flexible business plan. By planning thoroughly your business model and strategy, you improve your chances of eliminating costly mistakes. Take time to assess the market and your competitors and ensure you have a USP (unique selling point) to differentiate your product/services. Have a strong grasp of sales forecasts, costing and investments so you can track the progress of your business and also attract funding from lenders.
2. Break-even Analysis- This is very useful tool to ensure you don’t jump into a new business venture without properly assessing the risks. By working backwards and summing all your fixed costs, you can work out approximately how many units you will need to sell at a given price in order to break even. This allows a straightforward check to ensure the business is viable.
A simple formula for this can be calculated as follows:
Break-even point = fixed costs/ (unit price – variable costs)
3. Know your product (and its competitors) - Do your homework. Make sure you have fully researched the competition. What are their strengths/weaknesses? Know your customer and who you are targeting in order to tailor your product/service to the clients’ needs. Also ensure you have a competitive pricing strategy.
4. Marketing- Although some forms of marketing can be expensive, it is highly important to increase brand awareness and start attracting a wider customer base. Use free marketing tools such as social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to spread the word. Even basic techniques such as asking customers to tell their friends and family can be highly effective.
5. Ensure the Right Image- The perception of your business is extremely important to its success. Ensure a professional image by creating a clean, easy-to-use website and business cards. You should also consider using a 0800 number which will be free for customers to call from landlines. This is a simple way to make the business more customer-friendly.
6. Home Business- Consider setting up your business from home initially. There are a range of benefits to this. Aside from extra flexibility, you will also avoid the costs of renting an office space, utility bills and other expensive bills. Furthermore, you can claim certain household expenditure as tax deductible. A portion of telephone, internet and utility bills can be deducted from your tax liability.
7. Build the right team- Going it alone in business can be highly stressful so it is imperative you build a strong team around you. Depending on your circumstances, you may also benefit from starting up with a partner in order to increase ideas and share the load. Look for someone with the same aspirations but with a different skill set that can complement yours.
By Thomas Hoadley at Tax Affinity.
Tax Affinity Accountants are experts in Tax and Accountancy. Based in Kingston upon Thames they are considered to be small business experts helping and supporting business in the UK. They regularly help new business start up and provide valuable support for new businesses.
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