In this contributed post from Experian, Ade Potts explains that although many businesses fail to check their credit score, doing so can make a real difference to their performance and prospects
Most people have occasional inspirations for a new start, but few of them put in the perspiration to follow it through. Often this isn’t a matter of laziness, but rather fear of the unknown and a misunderstanding of the real costs involved.
This is borne out in Experian’s latest, First Steps, research which found that almost half of people want a career change, yet few have made the first steps towards making that change.
There’s no reason to be fearful about setting up a business, and the budding entrepreneur has vastly greater prospects of success if they lay the right foundations from the start. Here’s how you should go about it:
Get financially fit
Start-up capital is often important, but with lower business operating costs these days, it’s not always necessary. More important is building a credit history, so that you can secure lending when you need it.
Anyone can do this quickly, easily – and for free – by checking your Experian Credit Score, which will show you what kind of loan you might get and how much you can responsibly afford to borrow. It will also help you improve it if needed.
Do your research
Research will always yield dividends. A good businessperson will understand their market, consumer base, market conditions, and competitors intimately. The UK.gov website has some good advice on conducting market research for businesses of all types.
What kind of company?
Getting your company set-up right is essential. One of the key decisions is deciding what structure your company should take. Different set-ups such as sole trader, partnership or limited company all have different tax implications, so take the time to seek professional advice about what will work best.
The most important lesson to learn in the early days of your business is you can’t do everything yourself.
There’s nothing wrong with looking for expert help, such as hiring an accountant, a web designer, or a photographer. It needn’t break the bank, and it’s better to hire professionals rather than doing something inexpertly that will reflect badly on your fledgling brand.
Put yourself about
It’s vital to give your business the visibility it deserves. Network with other local businesses, build contacts and relationships with potential suppliers and customers, and listen to the advice they give. It will be time well spent. Be ready with a concise, well-crafted “elevator pitch” – and don’t forget your business cards!