9 Steps to Starting Up a New Business
The thought of starting a new business can be an exciting prospect for some. For others, it can cause apprehension especially if it’s come about as a result of a necessity rather than a desire to become self-employed. In any case, there are a number of key priorities that you will need to focus on to successfully get your business off the ground. TaxAssist Accountants, has extensive experience helping companies in a similar position.
The summary below sets out the advice that we give to Start Ups, in a logical step-by-step way. By adopting and following a structured approach from the outset, there is a much greater likelihood that your business will realise and achieve its potential.
- Have a Viable Business Proposition
This may sound like an obvious question to ask yourself but it’s one that is fundamental to how well your business will grow and develop. The idea of running your own business might be something that you have always aspired to do however it will still need to be profitable in order to generate revenue. It’s important to be very honest with yourself; for example, do you have the necessary skillset, or can you upskill? What are and will your costs be therefore how much money do you realistically need to make in order to cover such costs?
- Create a Business Plan
Once your clear that your business idea has the potential to capture opportunities, the next stage should be to prepare a Business Plan. It should be a working document that also contains financial projections. Not only will it provide structure to your planning process but will also give something to monitor your progress. This can be done by yourself but if numbers aren’t your forte then consult a professional with financial expertise who can compile this accurately for you .
- Determine Your Budget
It takes time to start a new business and to be in a position whereby you are in a position of real earning power. In the meantime you will still have your usual living expenses as well as needing a level of investment to promote and develop your brand. Starting a business can be a time consuming exercise and it can be a while before you are in a position of real earning power. While this is happening, you will still have living expenses as well as work expenses to consider therefore it’s extremely important how these can be covered, for example, savings, redundancy package, existing job, spouse’s income, Short Term Enterprise Allowance, Credit Union Loan, Bank Loan etc.
- It’s a Family Affair
This point is critical to your emotional well being as much as it is practical. Getting your family support behind you is motivating in itself and it also avoids getting distracted by ongoing concerns, leaving you with a clear head to focus on setting up your business.
- Name Your Business
Choosing an appropriate business name is critical as this is essentially the label for your brand. It has to be able to resonate with your potential customers and generate a meaningful as well as a positive association between your product or service and your market.
- Legal Structure
Once you have selected your business name you will need to register your details either as an individual, limited or corporate business name; a company; or a limited partnership with the Companies Registration Office. It can be confusing deciding which is the best choice for you. For example, a ‘limited status’ can protect your personal assets if something happens but on the other hand it has additional costs attached initially and requires further responsibilities. If you are unsure, contact a professional that can advise you appropriately.
- The Revenue Commissioner
You will obviously have to fulfil your financial obligations to the treasury which means completing any number of returns from VAT, PAYE and Corporate Tax etc. Registration for using and submitting the necessary documents can be completed through the Revenue Online Services. Alternatively, help is also available though TaxAssist Accountants to make the filing process easier.
- Get a Licence…to Trade
Businesses dealing in tobacco and/or alcohol, operations within the gaming sector, and enterprises offering transportation-related services (including driving schools and haulage firms) are required to be licensed, inter alia.
Professional qualifications provide credibility so it might be worthwhile checking if it’s in your interest to update your skills.
Lastly, congratulations! You’re now officially an SME. We wish you the best of luck with your endeavours and every success with your future.