How much do you need to start up a business from scratch?

How much do you really need to start a business up from scratch?

January 13, 2017  /  Lizzie Sullivan
Business start-up essentials

Let’s be honest you can’t start a business for free but you can keep your costs low, particularly in the first 12 months whilst you are getting off the ground.

We would like to give you a frank and honest appraisal as to what you need when starting a business. This isn’t to scare you or to remove the fun, but it will help you spend  your money on the things you need versus the things you don’t.

Getting your business of the ground

Once you have decided on an idea, concept, product or service and have tested the viability of the idea, next you need to form your business. You need to decide which legal structure is right for you, a sole trader, a limited company or if there is more than one of you, a partnership. Let’s face it unless you have done this before you probably won’t want to do it yourself. Instead, why not leave it to the experts and get on with doing something fun like coming up your new brand name.

How to handle money and the dreaded HMRC

Next you need to find an accountant. Don’t yawn at this part as its very important. Business owner’s dread the look of a brown envelope on the door mat and unfortunately HMRC does not respond well to the excuse “the dog ate it”. There are hundreds of accountants out there but you will need to look for one that has experience dealing with start ups. You also want to ensure that you don’t leave yourself open to a hefty monthly or yearly bill, so find one that fits within your budget. Your accountant will help with your PAYE, TAX, personal tax, business tax, year end and VAT as well as give you advice. Something to note, your accountancy bill won’t necessarily include bookkeeping, you can either do this yourself or pay for this as an additional service.

Where to work?

What’s next? Have you thought about where you will work? Before you dash off to get the monopoly board, pause and realise that not everyone needs to set up in a fancy office, although it would be nice. Think practically about what you need out of an office space. I spent 7 years working from the couch, which has not only ruined the couch but also my back, so I recommend that if you buy anything get yourself a comfy chair. To avoid being stuck in doors all day you can utilise the local coffee shop as a temporary office but watch how many cups of coffee you buy as this cost will soon mount up.

Getting the right IT equipment and insurance

You can’t get your business online without IT, but only upgrade your equipment if you really need to. If your existing equipment isn’t suitable then purchase a reasonably priced computer, a mouse and a printer. Ensure that you have a way to back up your files and have sufficient security in place. Small businesses are susceptible to cyber crime so invest in anti-virus protection and keep your software up to date

Whatever you are planning on selling you need to ensure that you are covered with business insurance. Go online and  compare quotes before you settle on the right one, ensure that all aspects of your business are covered.

Communicating to customers

The rest you can do yourself in the early days. When you are thinking about your brand, your logo and your website there are plenty of places online to visit to do this yourself. Most importantly, work out who your target audience is and design your brand to appeal to their tastes, not yours.  Then focus on communicating with your customers and wow them with your customer service.. Word of mouth is your friend so treat your customers well and they will recommend you to friends.

What you need:

  1. Your business registered with Companies House
  2. A bank account in your business name
  3. A basic computer, printer, cartridges and paper
  4. A mobile phone with voicemail
  5. An email account and domain name for your business
  6. IT back up and support
  7. A comfy chair
  8. A small desk or kitchen table
  9. A4 folders for filing hard copies, but try and keep a paperless office
  10. Patience and the ability to work when the house is full of distractions
  11. Network with existing, new and old friends as well as colleagues
  12. Business insurance to ensure you are covered for every eventuality

If you are ready to start something exciting then please feel free to contact boffix for some support and guidance.. Boffix can support all aspects of your new business from one place, helping you keep your costs low. We can even help you to get started by setting up your business with Companies House and registering your domain name.


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