The past year and a half has been difficult for many of us on many different levels. The rapid and unprecedented spread of coronavirus and Covid-19 around the world has seen governments making changes to the way that we live our day to day lives. Social isolation measures, social distancing measures and national lockdowns have resulted in many of us spending more and more time in our own homes, as opposed to getting on with our usual routines. This has impacted everything from social activities to schooling. But a major area that many people have found Covid has impacted is their work. Many businesses have been unable to operate under the new rules and regulations and have had to close their doors for extended periods of time. Of course, this has meant that many have failed to make profit and collapsed. Many have taken measures to keep afloat, ranging from redundancies to offering people shorter working hours or lower pay. It’s not all too surprising that many of us are now turning our minds to starting our own businesses. Whether that’s because we’re out of work or our current jobs aren’t paying enough, setting up your own company makes for a flexible lifestyle that you have full control over. Of course, starting out and getting things off the ground is a complex task. So, here are a few essential steps you need to take in the process.
Register as Self-Employed
Whenever you make money for yourself, rather than through an employer, you need to make sure that you are self-employed. This will ensure that you are able to pay your taxes through a self-assessment at the end of each tax year. You can do this by conducting a quick online search and filling out an online form.
Register Your Business
You should also consider registering your business. By registering your business with Companies House, you can make sure that the company is deemed a different legal entity to you as an individual. This separates your personal finances and assets from your business’ finances and assets. As a result, if your business goes bankrupt or collapses, you won’t find that bailiffs take your personal assets or money as a result.
Find an Accountant
Before you start earning money through your own business, you may also want to find an accountant. Not all of us are all too financially savvy and we may have difficulties filing our business’ taxes at the end of the year ourselves. Accountants will take this burden off your shoulders, organising your tax returns on your behalf. Of course, accountants also have in-depth training when it comes to taxes, so they’ll also know what expenses and benefits you can make the most of and claim. You can find certified public accountants here.
Hone What You’re Selling
Of course, if you’re planning on setting up your own business, chances are you have a good idea of what you want to sell. Whether you’re planning on selling a product or a service, you need to hone what you’re putting on offer and ensure that it’s something that the public want to buy. A good way of determining whether your idea has selling potential or not is to carry out market research. This is an activity, or set of activities, that will see members of your target demographic presented with your product or service and asked questions about it. You can use the resultant information to determine whether there’s demand for your product, where it should be sold, how much it should be sold for, what packaging people like and more. Most small businesses and startups outsource this process to market research agencies.
Identify Your Suppliers
It’s essential to make sure that you set up your business-to-business connections as reliably as possible. Source competitive suppliers and services you can use, those that allow you to properly curate your own value without having to pay over the odds for it. Set up contracts that allow you to source this reliably, and make sure that you properly vet all suppliers and their proposed offerings ahead of time. No matter if you need to source the best construction supply materials or office furniture, what matters is setting up this supply network properly.
Protect Your Intellectual Property
Before you launch anything, it’s also a good idea to protect your intellectual property. You don’t want anyone else benefitting from all of your hard work by stealing and copying your ideas. There are a number of ways you can protect your intellectual property (which can include anything from brand name to slogans, logos, jingles and more). These tend to include copyrighting, trademarking and even patenting.
Of course, you’re going to find that you undertake countless other steps in the journey to launching your startup, but some of those outlined above are the most essential. Hopefully, each will prove useful to you in your process and will get your business off to the best start possible!