I started my own business on 1 January 2020. Probably the biggest New Year’s resolution I have ever made.
Of all the hurdles I have had to jump I think the most astonishing is just how many hats I can wear at any one time.
To name just a few…
· Customer relations
· Sales and marketing
· Product sourcing
· Business development
· Image consultancy
· Brand awareness
· Digital media
· IT guru
· Facilities management
The challenge for me has been to decide which of these I can do myself and which I will just make a mess of so I have to invest in the assistance
As an accountant myself at least I knew how to prepare a business plan, a cashflow forecast and an estimate of costs.
Even then, I attempted to use spreadsheets to get things started. An obvious and cheap way to get started but not effective.
How to make it more efficient and cost effective
If you are starting your own business here are some of the things I have learnt in the last 6 weeks:
Honestly rank your areas of expertise against the list of job roles you expect
Outsource all but the top 3
Budget for those expenses from the beginning and find out if the costs can be spread over the first 12 months without additional cost such as admin charges and interest.
I know this means the set up costs are higher but actually you will just spend more over the first 12 months with a smaller return if you take on too much yourself.
Where do I get help?
Having appreciated this I have established a new business start up package with a low cost in the first few months to ensure that you ask for the right advice early on!!
· What legal structure should I use?
· Do I need a separate bank account?
· Should I register for VAT?
· How do I inform HMRC?
· Do I need to have a payroll?
· Can I charge for my fuel or do I charge a mileage rate?
· Can I charge for my lunch?
· What receipts do I need to keep?
· Can I just use a spreadsheet for everything?
· Imagine the costs of getting this wrong…
Give me a call if any of these questions have occurred to you and you have not been confident of the answer!