Starting A Business In The UK

Starting A Business In The UK
There are a number of options available for starting a business in the UK, including buying an existing company and developing it, becoming a franchisee for an established brand, becoming an agent for referral marketing or becoming self-employed and starting a new business from scratch. All are challenging and involve finance and a great deal of red tape.

The simplest is buying a business, having first engaged professional help to judge its present viability and its place in the marketing sector. Establishing a local franchise of a well-known brand is a good way to capitalise on brand awareness within the community, amply demonstrated by the worldwide spread of McDonalds.

Becoming an agent is the cheapest and simplest method of setting up on your own, although you’ll need to have excellent networking skills to succeed. It’s also flexible, mostly work-from-home, and involves taking a percentage of order values as a local distributor. Avon Cosmetics provide a good example of a successful agent-dominated way of doing business.

Starting a business from scratch is the hardest and by far the most rewarding method of going it alone, although it requires intricate research into your field of endeavour, a realistic business plan, some knowledge of accounting as well as your marketplace and the ability to work all hours for the first several years.

You will need to register the business for Value Added Tax, (sales tax), as well as with the Inland Revenue and, if you’re unfamiliar with UK tax laws, engage an accountant to make your quarterly VAT and annual tax returns and keep an eye on the business’s cashflow and profits versus expenditure.

Various organisations can offer support and even subsidies or funding, although UK banks at present are notorious for their lack of assistance to small businesses and start-ups. There are no restrictions on the manner of your trading or your business methods as there are with agencies and franchises, and fast adaptation to economic changes is easier.

The downside is the steep learning curve even for those who were business owners in their countries of origin, with mistakes invariably costing money. Long hours are another downside, and one of the main reasons why the majority of new businesses fail during their first year of trading. Another reason for failure is initial success resulting in unwise expansion before the business’s financial footing is solidly established.