Business Model

Effective Ways to Start a UK Business

You’ve spent years dreaming of being your own boss. You know you have a good idea and the hard work ethic to support it. Now is as good a time as any.

The UK has one of the friendliest environments for an entrepreneur. New business set-up is fairly easy and corporation taxes are low. Then why do almost 60% of small businesses fail to thrive past three years? Most blame can be put on a lack of preparation and planning.

This is why we’ve assembled this guide full of crucial information. Every potential UK startup needs to plan correctly before opening its doors. Planning will increase your chances of success. Read on to learn how to compose a business plan, devise market strategies, obtain funding, and more.

FIRST THINGS FIRST – IS YOUR IDEA VIABLE?

Is your product or service going to fill a need or solve a problem? A SWOT analysis can be performed on your idea to answer these basic questions. After the analysis, market and competitor research needs to be done. Let’s explore each more in-depth.

SWOT ANALYSIS

SWOT is an acronym that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities,
and Threats.

  • Strengths – What makes you better than your competition?
  • Weaknesses – What are things your competitor is better at? What do you think is your Achilles heel?
  • Opportunities – What are the holes your product is going to fill in the market? What makes right now the right time for your business?
  • Threats – Will your business be in a changing market trend? Does your niche have heavy regulation?

MARKET RESEARCH

Market research defines who your customers are.

  • Make a profile of your customer – How old are they? Where do they live? What are their interests? Describe who will be buying from you.
  • Search the internet – Look for studies done on the group you just described to see if you can glean information about your customer base.
  • Ask questions of everyday people – Run survey questions of family, friends, and people you meet daily. You want to find out if they already use a product similar to yours. What could you provide that they can’t find now in the product they use?

COMPETITOR RESEARCH

This analysis will let you know where your customers get the same product or service now.

  • Who is your competition – Some you already know. Customers will broaden your knowledge about who they buy from.
  • Compare your competition – Not all businesses target the same audience. Some will be upscale while some will offer a discount version of the same product. Maybe different ages or ethnic groups are valued.
  • Find your playing field – By analysing your data, you can map how your strengths and weaknesses can yield the most success in the market.

CREATE YOUR BRAND

Once you are confident there is a need and a place for your product or service, you need to define who you are to your customers.

Establish your business name

  • Should create a positive first impression
  • Needs to be easy to read and pronounce
  • Can people remember it?
  • Make sure it’s not offensive

Ensure your name is original

  • It needs to stand out
  • Avoid being too general – people want to easily connect your name to your product
  • Make sure it is original -This UK.Gov name checker is easy to use
  • Decide which TLD (top-level domain) you will use
    • .com is best for worldwide growth
    • .co.uk is only used throughout the UK
    • Use a domain registrar to see if your name is available on a website.
      • Online checkers like 123 Reg or GoDaddy are easy to use and
        fairly inexpensive

Create A Logo

Logo creation should be designed by a professional to ensure fonts, sizing and colours align with your brand messaging. A good logo should be:

  • Memorable
  • Simple
  • Timeless
  • Appropriate
  • Versatile

Once you create a logo it is automatically yours. To prevent future infringement, you can secure your rights through Gov.UK

IDENTIFY YOUR BUSINESS STRUCTURE

There are 4 types of legal business structure. Your business needs to identify as one of them. Don’t panic, you can change this down the road if your situation warrants it.

  • Sole Trader – self-employed, running the business by yourself.
  • Limited Company (LTD) – owners and directors are separate from the company.
  • Partnership – operates close to the Sole Trader, but partners have to do a self-assessment registration. Also, if one partner quits, the partnership must dissolve.
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) – As far as accounting and registration, this is close to a private limited company. The difference comes from partners sharing the responsibility.

This Gov.UK link covers the different structures and how to register with the HMRC. We also highly recommend creating a separate business banking account to organise your finances.

Remember if you are creating a limited company you need to provide an address for your business, many people like to keep their home address private so choose our Glasgow mailing address service. Our service allows you to use our address for your registered office, plus we don’t restrict what you can use it for so can also use it for Google, HMRC, Banks etc.

CREATE A BUSINESS PLAN

This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. Many new business owners skip this step to open their doors as quickly as possible. Then they don’t understand why their model wasn’t sustainable. Here are the steps of a well-developed business plan to direct your business goals, direction, and growth.

  • Summary – a synopsis of your business and what your goals are
  • Marketing Plan – identifies your customers, pricing, competitors, distribution, and methods
  • Business Idea – identify your offering, who it targets, and what makes it successful
  • Management System – credentials of you and your employees
  • Financial Forecast – cash flow, balance sheets, and accounts details
  • Business Performances – location of businesses, where production occurs, and IT systems you will use

Your business plan doesn’t have to be lengthy. It needs to be all-inclusive.

DON’T FORGET TO MAKE A BUDGET & FINANCIAL PLAN

A business budget forecasts how much money your business will generate. It also shows:

  • If you will need to borrow money
  • Identifies your break-even threshold
  • Your start-up cost
  • Generates a product price
  • Answers if you can hire employees

We recommend creating two versions. One will account for a great start for your first year. The second should show a slower development. The two versions help you prepare for either outcome. Investors and bank managers will expect the
two versions.

FAMILIARISE YOURSELF WITH PERTINENT BUSINESS REGULATIONS AND LAWS

There are many rules, regulations, and laws governing every type of business model in the UK. Visit Gov.UK to see which pertains to your business. The business section covers everything from business taxes, employee expenses and benefits, as well as data protection, and more.

EXPLORE FUNDING

Unless you are very, very well off, you’ll need help to keep your small business afloat until it becomes sustainable. Here are a few avenues to explore.

  • Start-up grant – the advantage is no repayment. Although hard to obtain, they also come with business support.
  • Start-up loan – this is an unsecured personal loan backed by the government. The amounts range from £500 up to £250,000 and have 6% yearly fixed interest rates. In addition to the 1-5 year repayment period, you’ll also get free mentoring for up to a year.
  • Bank loan – several major banks still offer unsecured loans up to £250,000, but they are hard to get.
  • Angel Investment – a successful investor exchanges capital for equity. They will also have a bit of company control.
  • Crowdfunding – financing is provided in small amounts by huge numbers of people. You get the benefit of creating public attention and tying up financing.

WILL YOU NEED A LICENCE OR PERMIT?

Depending upon which industry your business falls under, you may need a licence or permit to operate. Find out by visiting Gov.UK. It will also provide guidance to find your local authority contact.

BUSINESS LOCATION

Rent is one of the largest business expenses new owners are hit with. Here are possibilities to consider.

WORK FROM HOME

If possible, try to work from home if your model allows. This will enable you to deduct some home expenses like broadband, electricity, and more. Click here to check for additional acceptable tax return deductions.

COMMERCIAL LOCATION

If you decide to rent space, review these considerations:

  • Location – can customers find you?
  • Cost – gauge how much rent and utility bills affect your business costs
  • Terms – is your lease flexible? Can you extend if you need to? Can you end early if you need to?
  • Repairs – establish who is responsible for which services at the beginning

START YOUR MARKETING

Here are some suggestions to introduce your business to your customers.

  • Create a website – the majority of shoppers today start their shopping
    search online.

    • Hire a professional for the best impact.
  • Create your digital marketing plan
    • Identify your business goals
    • Perform SWOT analysis
    • Identify your target customers
    • Position yourself in the correct market

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE SUPPORT

You’ll need help navigating uncharted waters to reduce and prevent costly mistakes.  Here are some great resources:

Gov.UK Business hotline

Business Gateway

Growth Hubs

Mentorsme

Federation of Small Business

Hire an Accountant

ARE YOU READY?

Starting a new business is easy. To operate that business year down the road takes preparation and planning. Make time now to craft a solid plan for success tomorrow. Remember Clyde Offices provides a range of back office support services to small businesses including, the virtual office we can also provide virtual administration support and telephone answering.



IdrzyIdrzy
19:43 15 Feb 24
Very fast service , address sent via email immediately after purchase. Attentive staff and customer service
Tom GairTom Gair
09:39 09 Feb 24
Found these guys, easy to follow online instructions. Quick to set up. Very fast response times to welcome us on board. Not yet used their services, but I'm sure they will be great!
Jordan SmithJordan Smith
13:49 01 Feb 24
Mark MunroMark Munro
14:50 29 Jan 24
Quick and easy to set up, very competitively priced with good support and friendly follow-ups.
Team NeonTeam Neon
09:40 26 Jan 24
Great service!
Michelle LydenMichelle Lyden
16:59 25 Jan 24
Clyde Offices provided us with a consistent and really good service for almost 4 years. Gerry was always at the end of the phone to help us with our queries. I would recommend Clyde Offices if you are looking to add value to your office needs, i.e. outsources answering service etc.
David HeriotDavid Heriot
11:08 11 Jan 24
Super easy to set up, very competitively priced and friendly follow-ups.
Gillian's WalksGillian's Walks
14:01 30 Dec 23
Quick and easy to set up. Great to have an option like this locally.
SamSam
12:41 07 Dec 23
I was looking for a mailbox provider as I am studying and I live abroad. I found Clyde Offices and they were very helpful in answering my questions. Very reasonably priced and would allow me to receive a few parcels. I highly recommend them and I will be using them for many years. The staff were very attentive and friendly.
Julie MurphyJulie Murphy
15:16 06 Nov 23
This is a great idea if you have your own business but would like an address in the city centre on top of, or instead of your own address or other location.Allows you to advertise as being based in the city centre.Anytime I had to contact the offices the staff were great and very helpful. I didn't need to contact them much at all because the process is so easy and straightforward.
Charles RidleyCharles Ridley
08:55 20 Oct 23
Really easy to get set up and competitively priced service.
William KimmetWilliam Kimmet
23:25 19 Oct 23
Very good and very cheap rental
Jon ChristieJon Christie
11:25 10 Oct 23
Can't fault the service; long may it continue. A good choice for most I would think
Stacy MairStacy Mair
09:56 10 Oct 23
Clyde Offices were very helpful and informative when setting up an account with them, they provide the full service at competitive prices and no additional fees.
j caldwellj caldwell
16:47 21 Aug 23
Setting up my virtual business address with Clyde Offices was so quick and easy to set up in minutes. They also were in email contact to make sure everything was ok and if I needed any other services from them just to make contact with them. I couldn't be happier with the service I received. Thank you
Levati LearningLevati Learning
14:13 21 Aug 23
Very good experience working with the team at Clyde Offices. They have been helping us out for over 5 years now and couldn't survive without them.
Joanna “C.”Joanna “C.”
16:12 14 Sep 22
A vastly superior service from Clyde Offices than any of the corporate virtual offices I have used in the past. A fab team, very efficient and friendly, always very helpful. I would recommend them one hundred percent. Great Central Glasgow location if you ever need to visit.
Audrey JenkinsAudrey Jenkins
04:00 03 Jul 22
I hired a mailing address through Clyde Offices for two months and the service was hugely helpful during that time. I rented some camping equipment for my hiking trip and could only find it for mail delivery; because I flew in from the USA, I needed an address in Glasgow and it so happens their office is very near the train station so this plan worked out perfectly as I set out Monday morning for my trip via train. In addition to easy communications and set up, the service worked with me on my order so that delivery time and pick up were arranged and I had no issues arriving and picking up as planned despite an awkward delay between delivery and pick up. My box was also large, which was certainly an inconvenience for them to hold for a week, but they understood my situation. I recommend Clyde Offices if you are seeking a mailing address in Glasgow.
Kathleen RobertsonKathleen Robertson
09:33 21 Mar 22
I have found Clyde Office to be 100% committed to all work that they carry out for people. Very helpful polite and trustworthy.
Ralph FlemingRalph Fleming
14:44 20 Mar 22
Alan and the team have been a real find for me. They do my reports and deal with all my mail for me. They automatically scan my mail over to me so that I can pick it up on the go, I could not recommend them enough for a small business like me. It's true what they say if you don't have an admin person then you are the admin person!
Austin PowellAustin Powell
17:56 19 Mar 22
Clyde Offices provide me with an incredible service that is invaluable. They help me manage my business. I use for call answering, mailing address and also they help with some of my admin via the virtual assistant service. 5 stars for sure.
Hunter StellaHunter Stella
18:45 16 Mar 22
Sign up was straightforward, and got a virtual mailing address confirmed within minutes. Would recommend.
Glasgow ClinicGlasgow Clinic
11:57 16 Mar 22
Amazing service for a new startup. Understands my business needs and always happy to offer solutions. Professional staff at the end of the phone every time.
hondo madhohondo madho
15:19 14 Mar 22
The staff are professional and timeous in their communication to customers.They give you confidence to work anywhere in the world and they handle your administration in a fantastic way.....keep it up...
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