Running a business, especially if you are setting one up for the first time, can be a daunting prospect. There are a lot of details to consider and you need all the help and advice you can get. We have a number of ideas and resources here which are for people who are setting up for the first time, covering all the aspects of setting up and good business pracice - we hope you find this web site useful.
In your business you need a well- defined structure – people need a clear and concise job description and the company’s expectations of them need to be well and truly understood. Also the business’s procedures and overall policies need to be totally clear to everyone working there. You need to have effective and well thought out systems in your business and ensure that every member of your staff is fully aware of the company’s expectations are in terms of measurable results.
You will certainly need a system of measuring these results that relate to your business activity so that you can set clear targets for your workers. This will help your staff in knowing how well they are doing and it will help you to be able to see how well your business is performing overall.
These elements are crucial in the development and maintenance of your company’s structure, which you will no doubt need to review and improve over time but without a solid structure your business is unlikely to succeed.
Obviously your company needs to make money – in order to pay you and your employees an income and to reinvest into the business, it is the main reason you are in business to start with…
In the beginning, you may need some startup capital – most businesses do and, with only a few exceptions, the businesses that get started with a decent amount of cash behind them tend to take off the quickest – Sure, you can start a business on your own with zero capital but it will tend to take much longer to get going as your turnover will be much smaller and your growth will be limited by this and the constant drain on the businesses cash flow from your taking out drawings to live on.
If you don’t have sufficient startup capital to begin with then you have to look around for either a grant or loan from somewhere and there are a lot of them available, (they tend to be quite specific in what kind of business product or service they will or won’t support) Certainly a loan is a possibility provided you can get one, of course and this would have to be discussed by your bank.
Your business will also need some operating capital to begin with in order to keep it going until it becomes profitable. When you are starting up if you are on your own, a sole trader you might find you can get help from the government in the way of Tax Credits to assist you financially until your business is in profit.
All business owners have to pay tax, if you make a profit, you have to pay tax on that income. You are required by law to keep business records and if you are a sole trader and just getting started you will probably do your own income and expenditure calculations every year and submit your own tax returns to the inland revenue either by post in which case it is due by the 31 October every year or if you register to do this online your deadline is 30th January. Either way the period in question from a tax point of view is April 6th – April 6th the following year.
If you don’t make the deadline you will have to pay a penalty, the fine for not submitting in time for the deadline is £100 even if you don’t owe any tax. After 3 months if you still haven’t filed a tax return, you will be charged a daily late penalty of £10 per day. Then after 6 months it’s either £300 or 5% of the tax owing, sometimes even more depending on the circumstances. The Inland Revenue has a lot of information that is helpful and relevant to anyone starting up a new business.