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Starting your own business

Starting your business is an exciting time, but it can be difficult to know where to begin. There will be learnings as you go through the process, that will be part of your journey. However, there are steps you can take in the early days to improve your company’s chance of success.  

Key stats

113,000 more businesses formed between 2019 and 2020
96% of UK businesses are micro (9 or fewer employees)
£2.3 trillion SME turnover Estimated

Top 5 tips

1. Research competitors 

Start looking at what else is available across the market. Is your idea already someone else’s business? What competitors do you think are doing it well or not so well? How can you improve their offering to create a competitive edge for your business? Start with desk research looking at their website and social channels, then test out being their customer to experience their processes. 

2. Talk to customers 

It is important to identify who you will be selling to either by location, age or particular behaviours. Once you have an idea of who that is, find people who fit that criteria and chat to them about your offer to gain their truthful feedback.  

3. Form your company 

You’ll need to think about what type of company structure you will adopt ie. sole trader, limited company, or partnership. You’ll also need to decide the name of the business to register with Companies House (look around to see if other companies have that name already or something similar as this can affect how you appear online). 

4. Set up a bank account 

Once you have your business registration certificate from Companies House, you will be able to set up a business bank account in that name. It is important to do this in the early days to have the details to share with customers at invoicing or payment stag and keep track of business revenue.  

5. Secure your web domain 

Use a domain finder to identify web addresses that are available to buy for your business. Securing this sooner rather than later will avoid any difficulty when sourcing and securing a domain when you want launch online.