Five tips for setting up your own business

Thousands of people set up their own business every year. Although you gain full control (and hopefully earn some money) from this experience, it’s important that you make the right decisions and take the right steps to ensure you’re able to handle the responsibility of being a business owner.

Here are five tips to help:
1. Research
The first step you should take, after already deciding what you want your business to do, is to carry out extensive research. Every business needs customers so you need to identify your target audience and probe them for information on why they’d use or want your service.

Surveys, questionnaires and interviews are great ways to do this but you need to make your polls as far-reaching as possible to get a good and accurate range of answers that truly reflects your audience and the market you intend to operate in.
2. Modify
Early research is crucial as it can help you modify your plans and create the best business possible. It’s far better to make changes early on as if you are forced into making them later down the line then it could have heavy financial implications.

That said, business success lies on the ability to adapt, modify and be flexible so always embrace change when it is necessary to stay on top of your game.
3. Plan
Your business plan is your chance to piece together all of your research to form evidence for why your business idea is capable of creating money.

Your plan must contain the goals that you want your business to achieve, how they’re attainable and what you intend to do. Financial matters will form the backbone of this plan so make sure you know your figures inside out.
4. Insure
Business insurance is vital because it protects you against a loss, ensuring you remain in the same financial situation as you were in before. If you’re going to have employees then you are legally obliged to have Employers’ Liability Insurance under the Compulsory Insurance Act 1969.

This covers you against any injury or illness your employees obtain whilst at work. Whilst other business insurance isn’t obligatory, it’s highly recommended you invest in protection for any premises/properties, business vehicles and stock or equipment.

An example of the importance of business insurance is the 2,500 claims which insurance companies paid out after the London riots of 2011, equating to a whopping collective value of £200 million.
5. Finance
Businesses can get incredibly complicated when it comes to financing and business law. You can try and tackle this yourself but the safest and most effective way is to leave it to someone who truly understands what they’re doing.

This not only ensures your finances are handled accurately but it also means you can spend your working time more effectively, looking at the other aspects of your business and focusing your attention where it’s most needed.