10 important lessons our Q&As can teach you

10 important lessons our Q&As can teach you

August 09, 2011 by Mark Williams

1 Buying a business

“Buying an existing business can be less risky than creating one from scratch. If the business has customers, it has income. Risk is also easier to assess because you can calculate costs, turnover and profit – and thereby predict cashflow”

Emilie Corbille of www.daltonsbusiness.com

2 Setting up a limited company

“If you want to form a new company, you must send Companies House your registration fee plus a memorandum of association, articles of association and a completed IN01 form, which details the company’s registered office and the names and addresses of its directors (and company secretary, if applicable)” 

Andrew Millet of Wisteria Formations

3 Tax for the self-employed

“By putting away some money from your earnings each month – say, 25 per cent of your gross earnings – you should have more than enough money in the bank to take care of your tax bills”

James R McBrearty of www.taxhelp.uk.com

4 Market research for start-ups

“Even if you believe you have an excellent idea for a business, you mustn’t allow yourself to get fooled into a false sense of optimism. Test it thoroughly by doing some basic market research. Only then can you move forward on any sound basis”

Start-up author Kevin Duncan

5 Calculating start-up costs

“You should minimise your start-up costs because then you’ll stand a better chance of surviving that crucial first year. Also, it’s a good discipline to get into from day one. In business, you must keep your costs as low as possible ­– and avoid buying things you don’t need”

Martin Dunne of Sayers Butterworth chartered accountants

6 Effective cashflow management

“The old saying ‘turnover is vanity, profit sanity and cash reality’ remains true. Businesses go bust in the long term through lack of profit, but in the short term, they fail because they don’t have enough cash to pay their bills on demand. Cashflow is the lifeblood of any business”

Chartered Accountant Howard S Hackney

7 Supplier contracts

“Having a written contract clearly sets out the roles and responsibilities of both parties, which is helpful when it comes to monitoring the relationship’s success. It can also act as proof if a supplier’s performance falls short”

Marie Kell of Andrew Jackson solicitors

8 Complying with environmental legislation

“The onus is on the business to ensure staff comply with legislation. An act of omission by an employee is likely to have consequences for the business. In some circumstances, directors may even be personally liable. The consequences can be drastic”

Kevin Turnbull of Muckle LLP Solicitors

9 PR for start-ups

“Editorial is regarded as more believable than an advert. I’ve read that it’s 50 per cent easier to sell to someone who has read positive things about your business, products or services. And such publicity is usually no cost or low cost. Even if you have to pay someone to do your PR, gaining one piece of coverage per month can be much cheaper than advertising”

Jane Lee of IT PR specialist Dexterity

10 Setting up a home-based business

“It’s low cost and therefore less risky, because there aren’t any expensive premises overheads. You can also claim for a percentage of your domestic bills, for lighting, heating, telephone calls, etc. A home office means no commute, so you save money and time, too”

Emma Jones of Enterprise Nation

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