This blog post is from our Guest Author: John Lucas
Here it is:
Setting up your own business can be an exciting undertaking and the realisation of a lifelong ambition. It can also be daunting, complicated and fraught with tedious but essential administration. Attempting to navigate the many responsibilities involved with an SME start-up without expert assistance can place you on the back foot before you’ve even started trading.
The five resources you should be looking at
Most people go into business because they feel passionate about the market they’re entering. Working with a financial advisor can help you to keep the background essentials running smoothly while you focus on the day-to-day elements of making your company succeed.
There are a number of resources you can use for advice and guidance when it comes to starting your own business.
Independent Financial Advice: An independent financial advisor can offer unrivalled long-term support on a wide range of business concerns. While other business advice resources may be tied to certain products or services, IFAs provide impartial advice and recommendations based on an in-depth analysis of your business needs. They can also source other third-party services such as insurance brokers and accountants on your behalf.
Government-assisted services: Many local authorities offer small business support, from advice and workshops to funding and start-up loans. Speak to your local council or citizen’s advice bureau to find out what’s available.
Your local bank: Many high-street banks offer support and resources aimed at entrepreneurs. When speaking to a business advisor at your local bank, bear in mind that their recommendations are likely to be restricted to their own products – so it might be worth shopping around to find the best-value package to meet your unique business requirements.
Insurance brokers: From employer and public liability to theft and damages, there’s a lot that can go wrong when you’re a business leader. Anticipating and mitigating potential threats is an essential element of setting up and maintaining a healthy company. As with high street banks, most insurers can only recommend their own products, so explore the market or speak to an independent broker to secure the best rates.
Payroll Companies – If you’re going to employ staff, you may want to consider bringing in a payroll provider or accountant to support you. They can save you valuable time and resources by keeping employee records, providing payslips and making payments to HM Revenue and Customs on your behalf.
With the many costs and complications associated with starting a business, it can be tempting to cut corners or take a DIY approach. However, at this crucial early stage, the decisions you make are likely to affect your profitability throughout the life of your enterprise. It’s said that 50% of small businesses fail in the first year. With the right guidance, you can go a long way towards ensuring that yours isn’t one of them.
John Lucas is the content marketing manager for Local Financial Advice, a free service connecting individuals and SMEs with FCA-regulated independent financial advisors.