Ten key steps to setting up your own business

Government figures indicate a growing entrepreneurial spirit in the UK, with more than 800,000 new businesses formed last financial year – a 6.4% increase on the previous year. But what do you need to know about setting up your own business? And where do you start?- business experts offer their tips. Here, Kyle Eaton, money.co.uk business bank accounts expert, outlines some key steps to take if you’re aiming to start a business or side hustle

  1. Identify your market and niche

Start with what you know and where you can leverage your skills, experience, or network. Conduct market research to understand your target audience, their needs, and how you can meet them differently or better than existing offerings.

  1. Develop a business plan

A solid business plan outlines your business idea, market, strategy, and financial projections. It helps clarify your vision and can be crucial if you seek funding or partnerships. Focus on low-cost, high-impact strategies that require minimal upfront investment.

  1. Set up a business bank account 

It’s a good idea to set up a business bank account early on to make it easier to keep track of any expenses and your profits. If you earn more than £1,000 a year from your side hustle you’ll have to complete a self-assessment tax return by January 31 each year, so having a separate business account can help manage this.

  1. Consider getting business insurance 

Business insurance can offer crucial protection for all kinds of side hustles and businesses, including legal costs and compensation claims if you’re sued. This can mitigate risks and allow your business to run smoothly even if you encounter unexpected issues.

  1. Build an online presence

In today’s digital age, having an online presence is essential. Use free or low-cost tools to build a website and social media platforms to promote your business. Content marketing, like blogging or video tutorials, can also be a powerful tool to attract and engage your target audience.

  1. Network and collaborate

Networking can open doors to opportunities, partnerships, and clients. Attend industry events, join online forums, and participate in community groups related to your business. Collaboration with others can also offer mutual benefits, such as sharing costs or cross-promoting services.

  1. Start small and scale gradually

Begin with a minimal viable product (MVP) or service that allows you to start small, test your idea, and get feedback. Use this feedback to refine your offerings. As your business grows, reinvest your earnings to scale up operations.

  1. Utilise free resources and tools

Countless free resources are available for entrepreneurs, including online courses, templates, and tools for various business needs. Use these to gain knowledge, manage your business, and increase productivity without spending money.

  1. Focus on customer service

Exceptional customer service can set your business apart from competitors. Happy customers are more likely to become repeat buyers and recommend your company to others, which can drive growth without substantial marketing budgets.

  1. Stay flexible and adaptable

The business landscape constantly changes, and flexibility can be your greatest asset. Be open to pivoting your business model, exploring new markets, or adjusting your strategy based on what works and doesn’t.

Starting a business requires creativity, perseverance, and a strategic approach. By utilising your existing skills and resources, focusing on building a strong online presence, and gradually scaling your operations, you can lay the foundation for a successful business. Many successful companies started with little to no funding, using the power of innovative ideas and hard work to overcome financial constraints.

Remember to protect your hard work by putting the right systems in place to manage your money and safeguard against any financial risks, with a dedicated business bank account and insurance.