Start-Up Guide (1) – Introduction to the small business world

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.

It may surprise you to find out that the majority of people in the UK are actually employed by ‘small’ businesses. There are small firms working in every single industry sector across the entire country.

How many small businesses are there in the UK?

According to the latest Government data (October 2020), there are an incredible 6 million SMEs actively trading in the UK.

Of this number, 99% are described as being ‘small’ (with under 50 employees), made up primarily of small limited companies and sole traderships, as follows:

  • There are 3.5 million sole traders.
  • Around 410,000 partnerships.
  • Around 2 million actively trading limited companies.

The vast majority of small businesses have no employees at all.

The British are famously entrepreneurial – and fiercely independent. Even Napoleon called the British a “nation of shopkeepers”!

In fact, there have never been more self employed people in the country. Since the turn of the century, the number of people working for themselves has risen by 2.5 million – a rise of over 70%.

But, while the entrepreneurial spirit is clearly alive and well, it is an unfortunate fact that most (up to 60%) of businesses fail within their first 3 years.

At ByteStart, we’ve been running our own small businesses for over 20 years. This site has been up and running since 2004, and we’ve gone through many of the same ups and downs as our visitors.

We’ve had to secure funding, deal with technical issues, deal with accountants, solicitors, customers, and government agencies.

Avoid the most common business start-up mistakes

Alongside the practical steps you need to follow when setting up your business, there are a number of character traits you will need to possess to ensure your success when you take the plunge on your own.

Determination and tenacity will be required for sure.

You’ll also need to be prepared to work hard, organise your time effectively, and bounce back from the inevitable knocks you will get along the way.

There are no guarantees that your new business venture will be a success, but the aim of this guide is to help minimise the chances of things going wrong when you start up on your own.

We will outline the pitfalls that frequently catch out those starting a business for the first time. These common mistakes include failing to research the market in enough detail, and not keeping on top of cash flow.

We’ve kept this guide as compact as possible. Rather than going into great detail on each topic, we’ve provided links to more in-depth guides you can find elsewhere on ByteStart.

Best of luck with your new business idea!

On to ByteStart’s Start-Up Guide – Part 2 – Before you start-up in business.
Back to the ByteStart’s Start-Up Guide Index

Last updated - 11th October, 2019

Bytestart Limited

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