BUSINESS START UP PACKAGE
A Business Plan
Every new business must consider all of the issues listed below. Ideally, your detailed thoughts in each of these areas should also be turned into a formal business plan.
• Objectives - what does the business want to achieve?
• History - how have you got to the point of starting the business?
• Products and services - what will you sell?
• Markets and marketing strategy - who will you sell to, and how will you get them to buy from you instead of from someone else?
• Research and development - what must you do to create the products and services you intend to sell?
• Basis of operation - how will the business be run, where from, will it be a company or a partnership?
• Management - who are the key management players and what special skills and abilities do they bring?
• Financial information - detailed month-by-month forecasts showing what you expect to happen to sales, costs and cash over the first few years.
• The finance required and its application - how will it all be paid for, and what progress have you made in putting this finance in place?
• Executive summary - although you should write this after writing everything else, you should put it at the front of your business plan.
We’re seasoned experts in every step of business planning and management, and we would be delighted to help you write your business plan.
Ideally, you should set up a system for producing monthly/quarterly management information. Not only will this give you the up-to-date information you need to run your business properly, but it will also give you external credibility, particularly with your bank.
Bank Accounts and Cheque Signatories
For most businesses, the majority of the money they spend and receive passes through their bank account, so good relationships with the bank – and strict controls over how bank accounts are used – are absolutely essential. We would be delighted to introduce you to a selection of bank managers.
Notepaper Invoices and Name Plates
Your logo and business stationery (letters, invoices, mail-shots, statements and so on) are part of your corporate image and, as such, are an important part of your marketing strategy. We strongly recommend that you get a graphic designer onboard at an early stage, and we would be delighted to introduce you to one of our trusted designers if you’d find that useful.
Property, Services, Fixtures and Fittings
Have you identified and estimated all relevant costs, and are they within your budget? For example, rent, rates, repairs, insurance, mains services, maintenance, professional fees, renovation, fixtures and fittings all need to be considered
Health and Safety
Health and safety of employees is easily overlooked by the business owner, but not by the Health and Safety Executive. Here are some of the things that you need to consider:
• If you have 5 or more employees, you must produce a written ‘Health and Safety Policy Statement’ detailing the company’s arrangements for safety at work
• Steps must be taken to minimise the danger of injury or ill health through the use of special safety systems, such as ‘restricted access’ areas
• You must display the Health and safety law: what you should know poster in your workplace.
You will need to arrange the following insurances, as required by law:
Employers’ liability – personal injury and property of employees
Motor insurance - minimum third-party insurance for all vehicles
Public liability – to cover you if your business causes injury or damage to the personal property of the public
You might also want to consider other insurances such as:
Key employee life and critical illness insurance – to cover your business should you or any of your key employees fall ill or die
Contracts of Employment
Our HR consultant can help you draw up standard and specific contracts of employment. Having written employment contracts allows you to to include terms and conditions over and above those required by law to protect yourself and your business.
Pay As You Earn
You must start using the PAYE system as soon as your business has any employees (and, if you are operating as a limited company, you could already be classed as an employee yourself!).
Ask us to show you how to use the PAYE system properly. We will do this automatically as part of our optional Bookkeeping training service. Alternatively, ask about our Payroll service.
Value Added Tax
Unless you intend to stay very small, you are likely to want (and probably also need) to become VAT registered. In fact, once you reach a certain size, VAT registration is automatically compulsory, with penalties for late registration.
The VAT rules are complex, so if you would like us to help you register, prepare your VAT returns, or do a VAT health check from time to time to give you peace of mind, please let us know.
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