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Communicating YOUR business

Review your business

Now is the time to step back and take a long, cool look at your idea to see if it really is a potential winner. Ask yourself some difficult questions and be honest with yourself:

Will people buy your amazing new product?
Will people want to use your groundbreaking new service?
Are you in the right place, at the right time with the right product?

But don't just go off your instincts - carry out research to be sure there's a market out there for what you have to offer. And try to think like your buyers, if you were a customer would you use your business?

Make sure you've convinced yourself. After all, if you don't believe 100% in your plan, how can you expect them to?

As well as insurance, depending on the type of business being set up, you will need to consider some kind of security. This could be software based such as a firewall or a tangible security service such as key holding and alarm response. Considering security measures prior to setting up a business can and probably will save you in some way or form in the long term.

One of the most challenging factors facing any UK SME is when an employee who is mission critical to operations is injured or falls in.

How would you present your idea to clients?

What would be ideal to present your product?

Your company name

A key decision has to be your trading name. However, this isn't just about what name will play best with your customers.

Legal restrictions exist on the use of certain offensive words in company names, as well as terms such as Royal, British, Trust and Council. It's also against the rules to choose a name that another company has already registered. Companies House keeps a list of registered company names. Visit www.companieshouse.gov.uk

Present your company

Going in to business on your own can be a scary step. Investing your own money, hiring your own staff, risking everything. Yet it allows you to be master or mistress of your own destiny, to sink or swim as a result of your own hard graft. To get the rewards from your labours. But if this is too big a step all at once, there is a middle way which we recommend you consider. Why not become part of and join a business franchise instead?

You can still run your own branch of that franchise, be responsible for your own success, but you also have something of a safety net around you, guidance and advice, so that you are not alone. It is also a great way to get experience in a whole raft of business areas. For anyone wanting to set up their own business, it is an idea well worth considering.

Building a business bottom up

When considering making a purchase of a capital asset for a business, such as industrial machinery or vehicles, cars and vans, it is advisable to take the correct financial advice before committing the company to more debt.

Law and terminology

Laws are constantly changing and it is vital for businesses to keep up to date with everything that is going on. Businesses need to be aware of the law in their dealings with other businesses, in dealing with their employees, in dealing with their customers, when creating contracts, buying property, merging with businesses, hiring and firing, and handling intellectual property. If you are setting up a new business, or are a business without a lawyer, then it is important that you speak to a commercial solicitor as soon as possible to make sure that you are working within the law, that you are not taking any unnecessary risks and that you are receiving clear and straightforward advice and guidance as to what your business needs to be doing.

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If you are thinking of starting up a new business

Then you should first of all seek financial advice, as there may be various government backed schemes available to you as a start up. You should then speak to experts in employment law for businesses as there are a huge number of employment, business and commercial related laws that you need to get your head around when setting up a new company.

Now is also the time to start getting to grips with some basic company law and terminology (see www.businesslink.gov.uk for an excellent A-Z guide).

The most crucial decision is choosing the right legal structure for your business. As this is such an important decision, it is definitely worth seeking advice from a solicitor or an accountant.

 

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Want more advice and help. Read useful articles at Business Matters - the UK's leading SME business magazine