Top tips on how to start a business in the UK
The entrepreneurial dream is bigger than ever in the 21st century. With so many people becoming millionaires or even billionaires, from so many different domains and with so many different ideas, it’s only natural to expect that everyday people will want to follow their footsteps, that’s why we wrote this post: How to start a business in the UK.
Some of the biggest businesses in the world started out as dorm room ideas, while others began in a garage – businesses like Apple, Microsoft or Facebook. In spite of this, most of the other firms that turned into huge success had quite a bit of funding to start with, which brings us to our question of the day: can you start a business with little to no money?
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Starting a business is a breeze
We won’t say that starting a business in the UK with little cash is easy. Having a couple thousand pounds to begin with, would certainly make it easier, but don’t quit just yet. With the right attitude, mindset and willingness to work, coupled with a few tip and tricks here and there, your entrepreneurial dream can be well on its way.
Here are some of the things we think are essential to building a business with no money:
1. Build around the things you already know.
You might know that investing in the real estate market is great right now, but if you don’t know the first thing about real estate, the costs of gaining knowledge might be better spent elsewhere.
Think about what your skills and strong points are. We’re talking about all kinds of skills: from professional ones which you also used in your job like software development, design or creativity to more “basic” ones like cooking or cleaning. The bottom line is easy: build your business around a skill which you already have and already love. Passion will take you a long way.
2. Tap into free resources as much as possible.
Chances are, your business won’t need a very complicated website at first – why not do it yourself, using some free online tools? or use our pre-made web design service for startups on a limited budget. You could also learn basic accounting, presentation and communication skills, and work from the comfort of your home or from coffee shops.
Try not to invest in expensive housing for your company or high-tech gadgets and resources at the beginning. This will both free up your initial capital to invest in products and keep you out of big debts.
3. Keep finances safe and easy.
At first, register your company as a limited liability company, a partnership or a sole trader – although you will have to do some accounting yourself, the costs of setting up such a company are rather small.
Request customers to pay for products up front, or at least half upfront, to make sure you don’t run into cashflow issues in the first few months of existence. Also, keep a healthy amount of “backup” money, and try not to hire any permanent employees that you don’t absolutely need just yet.
4. Don’t quit your day job.
This advice is counter-intuitive for most people. Aside from the obvious benefits of earning constant money, your day job also keeps you motivated to work on your business and teaches you to work around limitations.
It’s much easier to procrastinate and waste time if you have 10 hours a day to work on your business. If you don’t quit your day job, you only get 2-3 hours of independent work per day – and you will make them count.
5. Wear multiple hats.
At least at the beginning, you’ll do a little bit of HR, marketing, accounting, logistics, sales and manufacturing, just to name a few. While this may be exhausting, don’t outsource! Keep as many of the tasks close to you, to save money and to learn as much as you can about your products and customers.
6. Research as many business ideas as possible.
If you don’t know where to start, take your search online. There are hundreds of business ideas out there, forums to meet fellow entrepreneurs and thousands of places to get advice from. We have a great article on Starting an Online Business. This article covers tips and advice when starting out.
Take advantage of all free resources, and network as much as possible.
7. Don’t go for big products first.
Chances are, people won’t want to buy £10,000 hot tubs from a company which just entered the market. A £10 umbrella or a £5 handmade wallet are both easy to make, easy to sell and don’t require lots of reasoning from your customers – they’ll just buy it and go on with their lives.
These are just some ideas that are meant to prove that you can (and you should) start a business without much or any money to begin with. Some of the greatest entrepreneurial successes of the 21st century started with minimal or no investments – a dream which you, as well as other entrepreneurs, most certainly share. Take the leap and start your new journey today! If you have any questions on how to start a business, please shout back in the comments below.
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