Business start-up advice
Wednesday 6th December 2006 was an interesting day for me, I often get asked about how I run The Site Doctor and how I set the company up in the first place, but on Wednesday I had no less than 3 people mention that they had thought about setting up their own business but weren’t sure how to go about it or whether they should so I thought there must be more.
Leon Jollans was the first and posted a question on the MsWebDev list (message in the archive here) asking for some advice and seeing as a plethora of fantastically useful information was offered I thought I’d wrap it up for future reference.
Before we get down and dirty with the advice, the first thing I’ll say to you is:
If you’re thinking about it, do it –there’s never a better time than now.
Cheesy as it sounds, it’s true, the number of people I’ve spoken to in the past saying that they’ve thought about it but the time’s not right is unbelievable, if you start off with that attitude, the time will never be right, there will always be a reason not to do it. The thing you realise once you do take the leap is; it couldn’t have been a better time!
In regards to how many businesses fail, I believe the official figures in the UK at the moment are 1 in 5 businesses make it through the first year. This would explain why the government is giving so many breaks to SMEs, so just remember -you're the 1 in 5!
Ok so to the tips, I’ve tried to get these into some form of logical order but some comments span multiple topics so I apologise about that.
Update 16th Feb 2007: The article is now available as a downloadable PDF
- Business start-up advice
- Before you get going
- Contracts and Terms and Conditions
- Business Plan
- Working from home
- Day-day running
- New Business
- Finances (VAT, Accountants etc)
Thank you for taking the time to read the articles, I hope it wasn’t too overwhelming for you and more importantly I hope it’ll be a useful reference for you in one way or another. There was a lot more I want to add but it was starting to be never ending story so I had to put closure on it, over time however I expect I’ll add more so check back soon!
Here’s to your success!
As I said at the start of this article, it is largely based on information posted on the MsWebDev list so thanks must be given to all those that contributed:
- Sean Ronan
- John Mandia (http://weblogs.asp.net/jmandia)
- Jos Vernon
- Andy Henderson
- Alex Homer (Stonebroom Ltd)
- Mike A
- Ian Blackburn (http://www.bbits.co.uk/)
- Duncan C. Ion
- James Murphy
- Mickey Puri (http://www.ivtelecom.co.uk/)
- Michael Wall
Useful References / Links
The following links may also be interest to you:
- http://www.startinbusiness.co.uk/ -This should be one of your first ports of call, there is a huge amount of information available on pretty much every topic you'll ever need.
- http://workalone.co.uk/mailman/listinfo/wauk_workalone.co.uk -The WAUK mailing list
- http://www.mswebdev.org.uk/ -The MsWebDev List on which this article was based on, full of interesting people chatting about development on the Microsoft platform
- http://www.under-score.org.uk/ -underscore_ is a collective of individuals working in New Media in and around Bristol.
- http://lists.evolt.org/ -Discussion list for designers, developers, and web managers working to make the web a better place for all!
- http://www.multipack.co.uk/ -The Multipack is a community of multi-talented individuals from across the Midlands UK, that come together to discuss all the things web and share their knowledge, skills and talents.
- http://www.soflow.com/ -Soflow an online business network.
- http://www.linkedin.com/ -LinkedIn is another networking tool that helps you discover inside connections to recommended job candidates, industry experts and business partners.
- http://www.whichwebdesigncompany.co.uk/ -Which Web Design Company is an independant website allowing clients who have used a web design company's service to rate and review them.
- http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/ -HM Revenue & Customs
- http://www.chamberonline.co.uk/ -The British Chamber of Commerce's main website.