Your Business With James Caan 2017 - 235
1 0 E S S E N T I A L T I P S F O R S TA R T U P S
Make a business plan
Your business plan should include
everything from management and
responsibilities to products and market share,
as well as a sales strategy and finance.
Get the business structure right
2 Take advice to determine the best legal
and taxation structure, as there are advantages
and disadvantages to many options.
Think about finance and funding
3 Get your financing right and you'll have
a healthy business with a positive cash flow.
Crowdfunding is becoming more popular for
start-ups and Baldwins can provide advice on
gathering data to strengthen your chances of
achieving your financial crowdfunding goal.
Hire the right people
4 A structured recruitment strategy
can make the difference when it comes
to making the right recruitment decisions.
Your business will flourish or fail by
the people you hire to represent it.
Keep a record
5 Baldwins can give advice on
which financial accounting systems
are best for your business, as well as
provide training on the software.
6 If you don't promote your products
or services, the public won't know you
We know how start-up
businesses feel because
we have been in the
with 25 staff to a plan of well over £100m
and 2,000 staff by the end of next year.
"We've bought businesses that have enabled
us to expand our services, which is a benefit
to all of our clients. I don't think there's a
service we don't offer - we've expanded into
forensic, banking, payroll, cloud accounting,
specialist tax and corporate finance.
"We know how start-up businesses feel,
because we've been in the same position. We
can support them as they grow, with a full range
of services tailored to the SME market, delivered
locally from our UK-wide network of offices."
Back to basics
David, who was appointed a director of
Baldwins Accountants in 2005, has helped
many start-up businesses, yet during his
initial meeting with entrepreneurs the basics
remain the same - do they have the finance
and a detailed business plan with sound, solid
information to make their idea become reality?
"Raising finance is the biggest challenge
facing new businesses," he admits. "Banks
are often willing to lend to established
businesses with an asset base and a track
record, but with start-ups it can be difficult.
"At the start of our meeting, I always
mention a business plan. It's important
to get the structure of the company right
and cashflow is really important.
"Another factor to think about is that
money doesn't come in straight away.
When you send an invoice, you might not
get paid for two months, so it's important
to ensure you have sufficient cashflow. If
you don't have any money, your business
will fail before it has hardly got started.
"Our specialist banking and finance team
can help with alternative ways to raising
funding, ranging from family and friends,
crowdfunding, challenger banks, factoring
and invoice discounters to SEIS schemes."
Bigger and better
Baldwins is following its own business plan
to acquire more accountancy practices. "It
doesn't scare me, it's exciting," says David.
"We concentrate on the SME market
and that remains our focus. We have clients
exist. Setting aside a budget for marketing,
public relations, advertising, promotions
and sales is important to prevent your
business falling at the first hurdle.
Learn about franchising
7 Becoming part of a franchise
organisation has its advantages and
disadvantages. If you're considering
opening a franchise, make sure you
research everything you can about the
local market to ensure there's room for
your business, and carefully read and get
professional advice on legal contracts.
Check your insurance
8 Your insurance should cover fire,
loss of profits, employers' liability, public
liability and product liability, and you
must make sure you have suitable
sums insured or indemnity limits.
Don't be taxed by taxation
9 Gain financial advice to ensure
you maximise your profits and don't
pay too much tax or fail to pay the
right tax. Baldwins offers a no-fee noobligation service to get you started.
Control your credit
10 Check that your customers can
support the credit you're granting. Do your
research - contact other suppliers to obtain
references and consider their credit rating.
ranging from sole traders to much larger
clients and we don't specialise in just one area.
We're very much focused on being here to
help every step along a business's life cycle
from start-up to eventual sale or exit, and
we have the resources and skills to deliver.
"We've also shown our faith in helping
the next generation of 18- to 25-year-olds
with our annual KickStart competition to
help budding start-up entrepreneurs achieve
their aspirations. This is our fifth year and we
give £20,000 of funding and mentoring to
the winners, and £5,000 of mentoring and
accounting advice to two runners-up.
"We've helped some cracking businesses
get off the ground and are still giving advice
and information to businesses who were
involved in the first year of the competition."
F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N