Get it Right First Time: An SME Start-up Checklist

Do you have big dreams of being your own boss, making big money and quitting the 9 to 5 drag? Perhaps you think you’re the next Richard Branson? Then what’s stopping you from handing in your notice and starting up your very own company today? We can help you fund your venture; we find finance for SMEs every day.

Here’s an SME start-up checklist with everything to consider before taking the plunge:

Choosing Your Business

• Think about your motivation for setting up your own business and choose something that fits this. It should match your personal goals and utilise your skills.
• Once you have your idea consider how feasible it is:
o Work out financial projections.
o Calculate living expenses.
o Talk to family, friends or anyone else it may affect to ensure they are on board with the idea.

Business Requirements

• Find out what legal forms, permits, licenses and rules are needed for the type of business, and set these up. Some of these may need witnessing and may take considerable time to arrange.
• Find out how to establish a business entity. What forms do you need to fill in and how much does it cost to register?
• Get to know the tax requirements. Fill out all the essential paperwork and find out what records you need to keep.
• Enquire about what type of recordkeeping you will have to do. This can be anything from business receipts to staff contracts.
• Consider outsourcing costs for marketing, legal or accounting services, as well as insurance and finance options. These should all be factored into projected outgoings.
• Interview process and hiring staff. Also consider any systems, paperwork or processes you need to implement before they start work.
• Locate a supplier for your products (if required) and get a great deal.

Build a Business Plan

• Choose a name for the business.
• Draw up a detailed business plan. Examples can be found online or visit a business advisor for help.
• Decide when the business should open and promote your grand opening to raise awareness of your set-up.
• Think about whether you will work from home or if you need a physical space. Create cost projections and make arrangements.
• Identify your target audience and think about how you can cater your business to attract and hold their attention.

Gain Business Finance

• Develop a financial request in order to obtain start-up capital – We can help with this!
• Open a business bank account. We’d recommend comparing these to find the best deal possible.
• Set up an accounting system.

Finishing Touches and Added Extras

• Obtain a business license.
• Legally separate your name from the business.
• Attain certifications, stamps of approval or association memberships.
• Move into and set-up the business premises.
• Build a website, print business cards and create advertising material. In other words get your business out there!

These short lists form a handy blueprint for setting up your very own business, and each point can be adapted so it relates to your specific needs. If you would like to learn more about the financial requirements of setting up a business, how to source finance and the forms available, feel free to get in contact.

We source commercial finance for businesses every day and we’d love to do the same for you! Give us a call today on 02920 766 565 and request a call back.

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