Getting started...

But before being seduced by visions of a fistful of cash from Dragons' Den the budding entrepreneur must ask how will my business be funded, what will its structure be, what will it be called, what product or service will I sell, should it be a franchise, what will my route to market be, who’ll be my customers and competitors, will I need premises and will I employ staff?

The answers should be in a comprehensive business plan which can make the difference between success and failure.

Seek external funding – bearing in mind the risk-averse nature of lenders – but show belief in your business by providing your own capital, whether it be cash, equipment, orders, expertise or guarantees.

Ensure sufficient working capital to allow your business to adapt to circumstances and don’t attempt too much at once because you can’t afford to spread yourself too thinly.

Access the pros and cons of being a limited company, sole proprietor or partnership and know your market and where best to be based for customers and suppliers.

Use the internet, PR and marketing to spread to word about you and your venture.

Remember to register for VAT and PAYE and establish systems for accounting, and insurance and health and safety.

Seek professional advice to guide you throught this potentially hazardous maze – working with a trusted advisor can lessen the load for the next Peter Jones.

Steve Boyes
Beever and Struthers Chartered Accountants & Business Advisors