Start Up Checklist

12th February 2019

You have a business idea, you’ve had them before, but this is the one that won’t leave your head and you are sure is THE ONE. What are some steps you should take to start your business as you mean to go on?

  1. Seek Advice

Work Avenue offers free Business Advice. You can come and see us at our headquarters in Finchley, N3 or even book in for a telephone appointment. Our advisers can offer their own expertise as well as signposting to a preferred supplier list that includes the legal and financial advice you may need to get started. It’s great to have input from family and friends but try to seek the advice of those that have relevant knowledge and experience, not just the ones that will tell you what you want to hear.

  1. Set your Budget

In the first instance you may not need to create a full budget or cashflow, but you should strongly consider what you can afford to put into your business both in terms of money and time. Some entrepreneurs rely solely on their business to provide for their family, for some it’s a supplementary income to pay for the finer things in life. Don’t invest money that you really can’t afford to lose and don’t try to run a multimillion-pound business around your other full-time work commitments. Assess whether the time and money you can spend can create the business you need.

  1. Test the Market

You love your idea, but you are not the one who is going to buy it. Test the market through selling at fairs and markets or through offering your services to your network for free to gain valuable feedback on quality and need in the market. ebay is a great place to test your sales market for purchased stock; Etsy is a good website for handmade items.

  1. Name and Branding

Get your name right at the beginning and you won’t need to waste time on fixing it once your business is off the ground. Spending some time on free websites like Canva to create your logo and branding will professionalise your appearance to your future customer. Contracting a freelance graphic designer to help you with your branding may not be as expensive as you think and may make all the difference to first impressions when you launch.

  1. Keep it Legal

Once you have made £1,000 in turnover, you are legally obliged to register a business with HMRC. You can register it as a sole trader, partnership or limited company. Once a trade is registered, you are legally required to keep the records of that business. Setting up a business bank account is a great way to keep defacto records of your business while you are setting up – if every transaction for the business goes through that one bank account it gives you a good idea of where you are financially and will also enable you, or a bookkeeper or accountant to create your financial statements when needed.

These are some first steps to starting your business – if it were this easy, everyone would do it, but they are a starting point. The aim is to start well so your business has strong foundations upon which to grow. If you have an idea you would like advice on, please do get in touch with us and we will be only too happy to help.

Hannah Mindel – Business Adviser, Work Avenue – hannah@theworkavenue.org.uk