How to set up and run a small business

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Why do some businesses appear to steam ahead, recording rapid year on year growth, when others even in the same sector, with the same market opportunity, lag behind, recording poor growth or often no growth at all.

Of course, every sector will have its own nuances, however there are some barriers to grow that every business owner (and aspiring business owner) will need to address if they aim to punch above their weight. Continue…

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According to research, around 7% of working age adults in the UK expect to start a business in the next three years.

Many of these aspiring new business owners will be envisaging a multi-million pound business, or even a multi-billion pound business. But, statistically, only 4% of business owners ever reach the £1million turnover mark.

So, what’s holding back more than 2.5 million UK businesses from breaking that £1million barrier?
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To create a successful business you need four things – a good plan, a good product that people actually want, good people who can make things happen and a good supply of money.

Running a business is also a way of life, which invariably takes up a lot of your time, so when you are starting a business choose something that you enjoy doing, something you have a real passion for. Continue…

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Your brand is your identity and in a tough market place it can be the thing that separates you from the competition and grabs the attention of potential new customers.

Remember you’ve only got a very short space of time to capture the attention of new customers, so whether it’s the design of your business cards and marketing collateral, your website or even the name of your company, these things really make a difference when it comes to winning business. Continue…

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Statistics from HMRC show that around 80% of companies registering for VAT cease trading within three years, and this statistic has held true for many years now.

With the chances of survival so slim, it’s a wonder so many people decide to take the plunge and start their own business. Anybody that manages to steer a start-up safely through these crucial early years, has done so against the odds and should be heartily congratulated on this achievement.

So what are the secrets to surviving the start-up years, and thriving beyond? Continue…

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If you are starting a new business, or your business is still in its infancy, it’s tempting to grab any deal that offers something for free – after all you need to save as much money as possible and look after your cash flow.

But if you are offered a free phone or other telecoms equipment – you may find it ends up being anything but free.

Sadly, many small businesses have fallen prey to a scam where they are offered free phones for their business, but are then tied in to overpriced, long-term contracts that can cost them thousands of pounds.
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A key skill for business owners is the ability to deliver a successful business pitch.

A pitch can take many different forms, it might be pitching for contracts with possible new customers, highlighting potential opportunities to new partners, persuading talented individuals to join your team, or trying to win investment to grow your company.

With the ability to pitch being such an important tool in a business owner’s armoury, here are some simple steps you can take to give yourself the best chance of succeeding with your pitch and getting that handshake.
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Starting a new business is fun. It’s a world of learning and discovery as you set out on your own and try to build a brand new business from scratch.

Many people are so caught up in building their business that they don’t really consider where they want it to go in the long-term. And very few people are forward thinking enough to plan the finish – their exit strategy – when they are starting up.

Yet it’s an essential part of your start-up planning. Not only will there have to be a day when you walk away from the business, but when you know where you ultimately want it to go, you are much more likely to make the right decisions along the way.

Here’s why you need to plan your exit before you launch your new venture;
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Popular media would have us believe that the legendary entrepreneurs are born that way, concocting profitable deals with their schoolmates from a young age, and that you either have those elusive qualities or you don’t. I disagree.

From what I have experienced over the years, you can acquire the qualities of those successful business owners, if you want to. Continue…

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Setting up a new business is an exciting, thrilling and all encompassing challenge! Personally, I think it is the best and most stretching form of personal and professional development that a person can do.

Creating and selling your own products and services, building a network of happy customers and managing your own time are just three of the perks that come with starting and running your own business.

But all too often, I meet entrepreneurs who are burnt out, stressed and lacking in sufficient income. This is often because they did not trial their business ideas before they got stuck in. So today, I want to convince you that you should ‘pilot’ your business idea before you launch your new venture for real.
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With the enduring popularity of entrepreneurial TV shows, a lot of attention is paid to finding a great business idea by the media.

To work out if your idea is brilliant or will bankrupt you, there are four key questions to ask before you get started.
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Hundreds of thousands of new businesses are formed each year. Some will be a great success, but the vast majority will no longer exist in five years time.

So if you are thinking of starting a business, what can you do to increase your chances of success? Continue…

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Chris Robson, author of Confessions of an Entrepreneur provides some helpful tips on how to survive the initial stages of starting up a new business.
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Starting your own business can be very exciting, but the reality is that it can be very tough to get a new business off the ground.

Statistics indicate that out of every 5 businesses started, 4 will close within their first 3 years, so the chances of success are slim. However, if you are passionate about starting and running your own business, you won’t let mere statistics or long-odds get in your way!

If you are thinking about starting up this year, there are things you can do to increase your chances of succeeding. Here are 10 practical tips from the ByteStart team for anyone considering taking the plunge;
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When you’re starting a new business, there are plenty of things to take into account – finding suppliers for any physical goods, suitable premises, a strong customer base, and so on.
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While many business start-ups focus on trying to come up with a single ‘killer’ business idea and attempting to raise funding for their grand vision, this is the wrong approach according to the author of the fastest selling business book of 2013 so far.

Here’s why entrepreneur, and author of ‘The Millionaire Dropout’, Vince Stanzione, thinks you should forget about the big business idea and just get on with starting your small business –
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If you think lack of time is stopping you from launching your own business, think again. In this guide, we look at how you can realistically start your own small business by working in the evenings.
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Once you’ve made the decision to start your own business, the natural instinct for many is to charge headlong into getting it off the ground right away.

Starting your own business might have been something that’s been at the back of your mind for years, and now that you’ve finally decided to take the plunge, you don’t want to waste any more time.
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There are currently over 800 different businesses operating as franchises across the UK. Some of the more instantly recognisable brand names that offer franchise opportunities in the UK are Domino’s Pizza, McDonalds and Subway.
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If you want to make your start-up business more profitable, alongside the quest for more sales, and better margins, there are a number of things you can do to make your new business more efficient.
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Truly transferable skills overlooked by employers

August 16, 2012

Setting up or running a business of your own takes a certain set of skills, and you might think they’re the same ‘transferable skills’ that employers look for in top-class job candidates.

How to beat your competitors on eBay

June 22, 2012

So, you’ve got your eBay seller account successfully set up, and you’ve learned the basics of listing products for sale – now, how do you make sure shoppers buy your items, and not those of your competitors?

How to set up a business on eBay – the basics

June 22, 2012

Plenty of people choose to sell some of their possessions on eBay, or to deal in items bought especially for resale on the internet auction site. If you want to join them, there are a few things to consider that will help you to gain a positive reputation quickly, and to sell your goods with […]

How to pick the perfect franchise for you

March 7, 2012

Every year in the UK thousands of people get their start in business by buying a franchise. It’s the perfect way to own a business with significantly less risk than creating something from scratch.

Top tips for eBay business sellers

February 23, 2012

The web is a great leveller for businesses, enabling small companies to compete with their larger rivals – nowhere is this illustrated more clearly than on auction site eBay.

Ten top tips for a successful start-up

October 13, 2011

In association with Lloyds TSB Commercial, here are 10 handy hints and tips to consider when setting up your business.

To franchise or not to franchise?

October 13, 2011

Very often potential franchisees tend to get excited over the latest new franchise opportunity – without any thought about whether it is the best business model, the right return-on-investment, or whether it means them working “in” the business or not.

ByteStart’s Start-Up Guide – Part 1 – Introduction

October 11, 2011

Welcome to Bytestart’s Start-Up Guide, which features bite-sized guides on each aspect of the start-up process, from choosing your business name to setting up your first website.

ByteStart’s Start-Up Guide – Part 2 – Before you start-up in business

October 11, 2011

Starting up a business on your own must be one of life’s steepest learning curves – and certainly one of the most challenging. The start-up process will not only test your knowledge of your industry and your key skills, it will also teach you about yourself. By the end of year one, you will be […]

ByteStart’s Start-Up Guide – Part 3 – Which business structure is best for you?

October 11, 2011

Most small businesses set up as either sole traders, or limited companies. In this section of ByteStart’s Start-Up Guide, we look at the most commonly used business structures in the UK.