Can you start a business with no money? Reply

Business Startup word design

Recent surveys suggest that nearly have of start ups didn’t require any funding to get started, so how is that possible?

Here are some business models where it could work.

Subscriber based businesses

This can apply to many situations ranging from Networking and Memberships to Sky TV or Microsoft Office 365, get your clients hooked on paying a monthly or periodic payments and  it should work wonders for your cash flow.

High Demand Products

Any product in short supply creates a situation where clients are prepared to pay now in order not to miss out.

Pay In Advance

Often used in the home improvement market for example conservatories, kitchens, bathrooms, getting customers to pay a deposit or in some cases all the money upfront (or on finance) puts you in the best possible position especially if you can set up accounts to pay your suppliers on 30 or 60 days.

Market Place

Getting paid to bring people together is a great business model think of ebay, dating sites, or any on line market place where the owner gets paid when a deal is done.

Self Employed Freelancers

We are now in culture where freelancing is common

Working from Home

Here are my top 20 home based business ideas:

  1. Get a lodger – Under rent-a-room a taxpayer can be exempt from Income Tax on profits from furnished accommodation in their only or main home if the gross receipts they get (that is, before expenses) are £4,250 or less
  2. Ironing and Laundry Services – Always popular and you can start with friends and family
  3. E Bay Trading – as E Bay say… The first task is to sort through those bulging drawers and messy cupboards, finding stuff to flog. Get a big eBay box to stash your wares in, and systematically clear out wardrobes, DVD and CD piles, the loft and garage. Use the easy 12-month rule of thumb to help you decide what to offload: Haven’t used it for a year? Flog it.
  4. Blogging – Blogging has taken off and many businesses are looking for people to write blogs for them
  5. Candle Making – You can sell the candles on line and its easy to buy the wax and things you need to make the candles
  6. Car Boot Sale – As with E Bay but without going on line
  7. Cake Making – Make sure everything is labelled correctly and you comply with Health & Safety issues
  8. Data Entry – The internet makes it easy to enter data from where ever you are
  9. Social Media – Similar to blogging, businesses need help to manage Twitter, Facebook and Linked In
  10. Website Design – If you have the expertise, go for it
  11. Sales Parties –  Cosmetics to Ann Summers, there is a long list of opportunities
  12. Sewing and Clothes Alterations – Perfect before and after Christmas
  13. Jewellery – Making and selling jewellery is always popular and great for Christmas presents
  14. Car Repairs – Assuming you have the skills needed and comply with legal requirements
  15. Pet Care – Walking dogs or grooming is popular
  16. Virtual Assistant – Also personal organiser or personal shopper
  17. Wedding Planner – You could start by creating a blog about your expertise
  18. Direct Sales – For example Utility Warehouse
  19. Computer Repair – Great provided you have the skills
  20. Marketing – Telesales to leaflet design and freelance writing

steve@bicknells.net

What do you need to do to become self employed? Reply

Business people group.

First, you should create a business plan.

Approximately a third of all SME’s in the UK don’t have a Business Plan, that’s about 1.5m businesses, here are some reasons why you should prepare one….

  1. Research by Exact Software shows that SME’s with Business Plans make 20% more profit
  2. Having a business plan doubles your chances of increasing profits, increasing revenue, attracting new clients
  3. A well-researched business plan which includes the right figures and realistic forecasts will reassure potential investors you are a sensible investment opportunity
  4. A Business Plan will help you set out and achieve your goals
  5. It will help you set goals for your managers and staff
  6. The Business Plan will help you plan your cash flow and forecast Capital Expenditure
  7. A Business Plan will help you secure Business Finance and Loans
  8. You can plan your succession strategy or prepare the business for sale
  9. A Business Plan tests the feasibility of your business idea
  10. It will help you plan for the recruitment of Staff

Your responsibilities

You’re responsible for:

Ask an Accountant for Help with…

  • Choose the right business structure for your business – most businesses start out as sole traders but once they start making profits convert to limited companies, this is because sole traders pay more tax than company structures
  • Choose the best VAT Scheme you might be better off with Flat Rate or Cash Accounting
  • Choose the most suitable accounting software
  • Don’t mix up Business and Personal Expenses – always have separate bank accounts
  • Reconcile your Bank Transactions regularly – its easy to forget what you have spent checking the bank account keeps you in control
  • Understand and manage your cash cycle – how long does it take to get paid and what credit terms do you suppliers give you?
  • Manage customer payments and make it easy to pay your invoices
  • Understand and Comply with rules like National Minimum Wage and Holiday Pay
  • Understand and set money aside for Tax, don’t be late paying your tax

steve@bicknells.net

10 things a Business Accountant will tell you when you start your own business 2

Badge

According to Government figures, there has been a net increase of 146,000 businesses in the past year, taking into account all start-ups, closures, takeovers and mergers. It means more businesses have started than closed.
The Business Population Estimates also show the number of businesses that employ people has grown for the second year running, with 35,000 more at the start of 2015 than in 2014.
Small businesses continue to make up 99.3% of all businesses and generate over £1 trillion turnover for the UK’s economy.

Business Accountants (Association of UK Accountants) are Chartered Management Accountants (CIMA) and when you start your new business they are will tell you:

  • Choose the right business structure for your business – most businesses start out as sole traders but once they start making profits convert to limited companies, this is because sole traders pay more tax than company structures

  • Choose the best VAT Scheme you might be better off with Flat Rate or Cash Accounting
  • Choose the most suitable accounting software

Accounting Clients

  • Don’t mix up Business and Personal Expenses – always have separate bank accounts
  • Reconcile your Bank Transactions regularly – its easy to forget what you have spent checking the bank account keeps you in control
  • Understand and manage your cash cycle – how long does it take to get paid and what credit terms do you suppliers give you?
  • Manage customer payments and make it easy to pay your invoices
  • Understand and Comply with rules like National Minimum Wage and Holiday Pay
  • Understand and set money aside for Tax, don’t be late paying your tax
  • Have a Business Plan and Forecast it will improve your chance of success

steve@bicknells.net

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Why working with accounting is about to get so much better Reply

Business Accountant

Entrepreneur startup business model????????????????????????

Anyone who works with businesses is fully aware of how important accounting is for the success of a company. Yet many business owners have a negative attitude towards accounting. A high percentage of entrepreneurs see accounting as a necessary evil and often a hindrance to starting a new company.

How is that possible? Wasn’t accounting invented to help companies manage their business?

The IT industry has brought us computers and the ability to create software to automate bookkeeping. While there is no doubt that accounting software has been a great help, when we look at the usage of it, something is wrong. More than half of the businesses in the UK keep track of their finances by using a combination of spreadsheets and word processors rather than using accounting software. In an age where computing power is ubiquitous and virtually never too far from our pocket, we should be able…

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Are you one of the third of workers with a part time business? Reply

Business people group.

Almost a third of British workers run some kind of creative business outside their main job contributing an estimated £15bn to the UK economy, according to new research from Moo.com. Profitability among this group of enterprises has increased by 32% in the past year. One in ten part-time creative entrepreneurs plans to leave their job to focus on their business full-time within the next year. However, 60% said it was their passion for the business, and not making money, that motivated them. The most popular part-time creative ventures are in food and cooking, gardening, photography and knitting. (According to Law Donut)

So why are micro businesses taking off:

  1. You can start off working at home
  2. Your start up costs are low
  3. You can do it part time when it suits you
  4. With wages frozen and costs rising it can provide a useful additional income
  5. Its easy to be price competitive with low overheads
  6. The Internet makes it easy to sell your goods and services
  7. Your social capital can be used to generate sales ie use your contacts and connections
  8. There could tax advantages – employees generally pay more tax than sole traders
  9. Some clients prefer the personal touch
  10. It could be start of something big

Here are my top 20 home based business ideas:

  1. Get a lodger – Under rent-a-room a taxpayer can be exempt from Income Tax on profits from furnished accommodation in their only or main home if the gross receipts they get (that is, before expenses) are £4,250 or less
  2. Ironing and Laundry Services – Always popular and you can start with friends and family
  3. E Bay Trading – as E Bay say… The first task is to sort through those bulging drawers and messy cupboards, finding stuff to flog. Get a big eBay box to stash your wares in, and systematically clear out wardrobes, DVD and CD piles, the loft and garage. Use the easy 12-month rule of thumb to help you decide what to offload: Haven’t used it for a year? Flog it.
  4. Blogging – Blogging has taken off and many businesses are looking for people to write blogs for them
  5. Candle Making – You can sell the candles on line and its easy to buy the wax and things you need to make the candles
  6. Car Boot Sale – As with E Bay but without going on line
  7. Cake Making – Make sure everything is labelled correctly and you comply with Health & Safety issues
  8. Data Entry – The internet makes it easy to enter data from where ever you are
  9. Social Media – Similar to blogging, businesses need help to manage Twitter, Facebook and Linked In
  10. Website Design – If you have the expertise, go for it
  11. Sales Parties –  Cosmetics to Ann Summers, there is a long list of opportunities
  12. Sewing and Clothes Alterations – Perfect before and after Christmas
  13. Jewellery – Making and selling jewellery is always popular and great for Christmas presents
  14. Car Repairs – Assuming you have the skills needed and comply with legal requirements
  15. Pet Care – Walking dogs or grooming is popular
  16. Virtual Assistant – Also personal organiser or personal shopper
  17. Wedding Planner – You could start by creating a blog about your expertise
  18. Direct Sales – For example http://www.netmums.com/back-to-work/working-for-yourself/direct-selling-opportunities
  19. Computer Repair – Great provided you have the skills
  20. Marketing – Telesales to leaflet design and freelance writing

 

steve@bicknells.net

10 financial mistakes all new business should avoid 1

Stress business woman

Starting a new business is always a challenge but there are some common financial mistakes that all start ups should avoid.

  1. Lack of Planning – Businesses normally start with a great idea but you need to have business model that works and to at least have a basic business plan and cash flow.
  2. Over Trading – this happens when a business expands too quickly for its working capital, when you start a new business its tempting to accept every order without considering whether you can have the resources and the cash to deliver.
  3. Wasted Marketing and Advertising – new businesses are an easy target for marketing companies but its important to stick to the essentials to start with, having a website, e mail and business cards are essential, magazine advertising and other things can be done as the business grows, in the early stages you are experimenting and finding your market so if you spend too much too soon you might promote the wrong things at the wrong price.
  4. Wrong Business Structure – Before you start your business get some advice from your accountant, its important to choose the right structure not just for tax reasons but also for investment and ownership.
  5. Wrong Staff – Choosing the right team is critical for business success, choose staff that have the right skills, the right attitude and are dedicated to the success of the business.
  6. Over Ambitious – All too often businesses plans are over ambitious with sales growing rapidly, often they prove to be unrealistic, when preparing a sales forecast start with your order book and be cautious in your assumptions.
  7. Overheads – Many businesses over spend on overheads for example renting premises too early, work from home, if you can, to minimise costs.
  8. Stock Problems – Buying the wrong stock, under or over stocking are also issues for start ups, try to adopt a ‘just in time’ stock policy.
  9. Getting Paid – A sale is only a sale if you get paid, any one can give things away, make sure you manage your clients and get paid on time.
  10. Competition – Keep an eye on your competitors, they will be watching you and responding to maintain their market share.

steve@bicknells.net

10 reasons why UK Micro Businesses are taking off 2

e commerce

New analysis from Direct Line for Business (DL4B), based on data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), reveals that just over half of all UK small firms are run from the home of the business owner.

The findings show that there are currently 2.5 million home-based business owners in the UK, representing just over half (52%) of the total number of UK SMEs. These home-based business owners now account for 8% of the UK’s total workforce.

The largest concentration of all is in Herefordshire – where 27% of the county’s 92,000 total workforce is a home-based business owner. Pembrokeshire is second with 23% and Eastbourne is third with 20%.

Men are more than twice as likely as women to run their own business from home, with 1.7 million male home business owners across the country, compared to around 818,000 female home business owners.

http://www.itdonut.co.uk/news/it/most-small-firms-are-now-home-based-businesses

Small businesses are a vital part of the UK economy.

BIS Chart

Marketing Donut reported this week that a study of UK small businesses has shown a rise in the number of people setting up micro businesses and hiring people for part-time work.

The study by Freelancer.co.uk assessed 300,000 businesses over the past 12 months and it concludes that an entrepreneurial boom is taking place in the UK, with significant numbers of people starting up new ventures across the country.

According to the study, Brighton and Newcastle have seen the highest growth in the number of new micro businesses being launched (up by 24%), followed closely by Manchester and Southampton with 23% growth. London has seen 21% growth, Edinburgh and Liverpool 20%, Birmingham 19% and Sheffield 8%.

The research also shows that there have been positive knock-on effects for freelance workers in business support sectors, such as website design. It found there has been a 19% increase in the number of micro businesses commissioning new ecommerce websites.

In addition, orders for shopping carts to be installed on new small business websites are up 18%, email marketing is up 20%, graphic design is up 12% and logo design is up 6%.

So why are micro businesses taking off:

  1. You can start off working at home
  2. Your start up costs are low
  3. You can do it part time when it suits you
  4. With wages frozen and costs rising it can provide a useful additional income
  5. Its easy to be price competitive with low overheads
  6. The Internet makes it easy to sell your goods and services
  7. Your social capital can be used to generate sales ie use your contacts and connections
  8. There could tax advantages – employees generally pay more tax than sole traders
  9. Some clients prefer the personal touch
  10. It could be start of something big

steve@bicknells.net

 

 

Business Plans – Do you really need one? 2

business plan tree

A business plan is a written document that describes your business. It covers objectives, strategies, sales, marketing and financial forecasts.

A business plan helps you to:

  • clarify your business idea
  • spot potential problems
  • set out your goals
  • measure your progress

But its no good unless you have business model that works as Doug Richards explains

Research by the national enterprise campaign showed that last year 484,224 businesses were started, compared to 440,600 in 2011.

According to the FSB at the start of 2012:
  • There were an estimated 4.8 million businesses in the UK which employed 23.9 million people, and had a combined turnover of £3,100 billion
  • SMEs accounted for 99.9 per cent of of all private sector businesses in the UK, 59.1 per cent of private sector employment and 48.8 per cent of private sector turnover
  • SMEs employed 14.1 million people and had a combined turnover of £1,500 billion
  • Small businesses alone accounted for 47 per cent of private sector employment and 34.4 per cent of turnover
  • Of all businesses, 62.7 per cent (three million) were sole proprietorships, 28 per cent (1.3 million) were companies and 9.3 per cent (448,000) partnerships
  • There were 907,000 businesses operating in the construction sector – nearly a fifth of all businesses

micro: 0-9 employees, small: 10-49 employees, medium: 50-249 employees (updated October 2012)

The best bit of advice I have heard is this piece from Doug Richards ‘Take the Order’

Once you have a business model that works, then create a business plan, here is a link to some free plans to get you started http://www.bplans.co.uk/sample_business_plans.cfm

steve@bicknells.net

 

Cut your Income Tax by 50% from April 2012 – Start a New Business 12

As part of the Autumn Statement, the George Osborne annouced:

From April 2012, anyone investing up to £100,000 in a new start-up business will be eligible for income tax relief of 50%. In 2012, any tax on capital gains invested in such businesses will also be waived.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15937366

This has to great news for new businesses planned to start up next year as every new business has demand for some level of investment.

steve@bicknells.net