SME Adviser Series: An introduction to starting your own business

12 Sep 2017

If you are thinking of setting up your own business, a key initial step should be to discuss your plans with an experienced accountant and business adviser who will give you the help you need and guide you in making the right decisions both now and for the future.

The more advance consideration you can give to the job of starting up your business, the more likely you are to succeed.

There are many matters you need to consider both before you go into business and during your all-important first year. A specialist business adviser such as Beavis Morgan will be able to assist with all this and more:

Do your homework

Market research is an important aspect of business planning for both start ups and growing businesses, whether it be in uncovering the merits of a new product to a market, developing a business idea or producing a new service. It is also essential when considering the sale or purchase of a business, to ascertain demand for the product or service, thereby contributing to a better understanding of its potential for future growth and appreciation, as well as its current and future brand value.

Business planning

Business planning or forecasting is a forward-looking view, starting today and looking to the future. A business plan will determine how your business will afford to achieve its strategic goals and objectives. A traditional business plan is also essential if to seek financial support from an investor or financial institution.

Your business structure

Your startup business can be a limited company, sole practitioner - incorporated, partnership, limited liability partnership or a corporation. All of these will impact how you set up and run your business, from the business name, to your liability, to how you file your taxes.

Your specialist accountant and business adviser will also be able to assist with establishing the best structure to suit your business needs, as well as company formation and setting up VAT practices.

Establishing sound financial processes and controls

Financial management is more than keeping accounting records. It is an essential part of the management of the organisation and encompasses the organisational structure and procedures that will ensure the operation, monitoring and development of an efficient system of sound financial controls.

Immediately after the vision and objectives have been set, a company creates a financial plan. The financial plan includes, amongst other points, your cash and profit forecasts, to help you forecast your future business performance.

Flexibility and innovation is key to finding more cost-effective solutions to keep costs down and increase profits. Keeping on top of your overheads is an important aspect of business management.

Your financial plan will also include your sales forecast, expenses budget, a projected balance sheet to deal with assets and liabilities which aren't in the profit and loss statement, and a breakeven analysis. It also entails the creation of a sound organisational plan. 

Strict financial discipline is a habit that small business owners must adopt in order to succeed. Instruct a professional firm of accountants and business advisers to structure your business with sound financial processes and controls to measure performance and maximise opportunities.

Early tax planning - minimise your tax liabilities

The corporate tax landscape has undergone some dramatic developments over the last few years and it continues to do so. This means that targeted advice based on a comprehensive understanding of your startup business and the tax rules which affect you is essential.

With careful planning and the right advice you could earn more and pay less in tax.

In your first year of operation, your accountant and business adviser will also assist with:

  • Preparing your accounts – this should be done promptly after the year end. Management accounts will also enable you to check regularly on your business growth, trends, and profitability and let you know the current financial position of your business for decision making.
  • Bookkeeping - computerised bookkeeping services enable you to spend more time running your business.
  • Ongoing financial planning - helping you plan both your business and personal finances.

At Beavis Morgan our specialist startup business advisers are here to help you succeed in business. We know that starting up and running your own business can be very rewarding, provided the appropriate processes are followed and the right structures are in place.

Experience is the best teacher and our team of startup business experts have plenty of experience. We are well versed in working with businesses of different shapes and sizes and across a range of sectors, so you can rely on our detailed understanding of the processes required in achieving business success.

Our partner business, BM Structured Finance, is also available to take the stress of applying for finance away from you. With strong relationships across a number of providers, we will work with you to tailor the facility to best suit your individual business requirements.For more information about how we can help you and your business, contact Steve Govey or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner.