One of the most common emails I receive are those asking for advice on what to do if you are thinking of starting your own business.
Due to the state of our economy, a lot of people have found themselves in the position of having to think differently about their careers. It is said that home baking becomes more popular, the worse the recession.
I don’t blame people at all for having a go at making their hobby into a business (after all that is how I started) – I do worry, though, that people think it is a case of just ‘popping the odd cake into the oven’ (One of my daughter’s teachers actually said this about my job!)
So here are some things to consider doing, before setting up as a sole-trader:
- Contact your council to register and so they can start the necessary hygiene checks.
- Open a business bank account – some offer free banking for life in exchange for doing everything by machine or online.
- Get a website – through a website creator? Mine is invaluable for letting customers see the quality and range of my work.
- Insurance – Do you need it to cover equipment/stock or public liability
- Get an Accountant – Factor in the cost and the time it takes to keep your books up to date.
- Suppliers – I could tell you exactly where I get all my stock and equipment but I’m not going to – I constantly review what works for my business and encourage you to do the same.
- Social Media – Facebook Group, Twitter accounts, Linked In, Pinterest, Flickr – It all takes time to keep it going but its vital to getting the business known. Plus, there is a wealth of knowledge out there and people that are willing to answer your queries.
- Your local Chamber – mine were great at helping me set up and I even got a grant.
- Real Life Networking Groups – I don’t pay to join but I make sure I’m in close contact with other local businesses.
- Phone – Do you need a separate number or are you going to have your mobile on at all times?
- Do your family understand how life might change as a business owner?
- Advertising – Are you going to do any?
I could go on for ages about the various places to try and sell your products, but that is definitely a post for another day – Can you think of any tips for setting up that I might have missed?