COLUMN: Now is a good time to be setting up your own business

Michele Coe-Baxter, manager of the Skegness office of Duncan & Toplis.
Michele Coe-Baxter, manager of the Skegness office of Duncan & Toplis.

The economy is picking up so now is a good time to take the plunge and set up your own business, says Michele Coe-Baxter, manager of the Skegness office of Duncan & Toplis ...

We continue to hear many positive stories of how the local economy is on the up; consumers have more money to spend and businesses are feeling more confident about investing.

These are probably some of the reasons why many people are taking the decision to start their own business.

When evaluating any business start-up there are many things to consider, and it’s essential to get advice which is both practical and technically correct. Here are some questions you should ask yourself:

l Who will be my customers?

l How do I attract customers to buy my goods or services?

l How much should I charge?

l How much cash will I need to get started?

l What equipment will I need?

l What records do I need to keep?

l How much tax will I pay?

l Do I need to register for VAT?

The need for an initial pot of funds to start the business and the requirement for cash on a day-to-day basis should form a major part of the planning for any new venture. As part of this, it’s very important to agree terms with suppliers and, if relevant, customers from the outset to ensure that the business will have sufficient funds to trade and grow. Many profitable businesses have failed owing to a lack of cash.

If you’re starting a business venture you should also draw up a cashflow forecast showing the expected cash incomings and outgoings to identify any potential shortfalls. This forecast should be realistic and include provision for unexpected changes, such as sales which are lower than expected or customers who are late paying. It is also important to update this forecast regularly as the business grows.

The financing of equipment for the business should also be considered as part of the cash planning. With many options available the decisions made will affect both the cash required and the timing of any VAT reclaim.

To find out how Duncan & Toplis can help you set up in business call 01754 899899 to arrange a free initial meeting.