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Finance Directors Turning SME's into Profit Leaders

Starting a Business – What must you do to find success?

Ensure you have a keen interest and are prepared to put in lots of time, commitment and ideas. An accountant or part-time FD can be useful even before starting up. They can help you prepare plans and forecasts and could save you more in tax and operational efficiency than it costs in fees.

Our list of the top things

  • Appreciate that setting up and running a business takes a lot of time and commitment. The rewards can be great but you have to know why you are starting your own business and what you are getting into.
  • Use time wisely: if busy and need to meet potential clients, alter products etc,  then delegate tasks like bookkeeping, answering phone calls, emails etc. Though it is good for team morale to see a leader make the coffee, it is not good for the most valuable people in an organisation to do taks except those others cannot do.
  • Identify your Strengths and especially your Weaknesses so you identify areas where you need advice.
  • Look at all Opportunities for either the volume or the premium market for your goods and services.
  • Get a tax-efficient business structure. You can trade as a sole trader, partnership, limited liability partnership (LLP) or limited company. They all have different tax consequences and responsibilities and you should take advice on which one is best in your circumstances. We will help you with this.
  • Produce a financial forecast so that you know what funding you are likely to need and be conservative. We can help you with this.
  • Investigate the competition thoroughly, don’t ignore them as your customer will not. Look to take advantage of their weaknesses and be constantly aware of what they are doing.
  • Research your market to ensure there is a demand for what you are offering.
  • Decide on your marketing plan. A good product or service doesn’t mean you will sell anything. Good marketing can be the difference between success and failure.
  • Decide on what staff you are likely to need and what skills they need to have. You will have to operate PAYE for any employees you have although your accountant can help with this. You’ll also have employment law and health and safety law that you must be up to scratch on.
  • A business plan is an important document to put together even if you don’t need to raise finance. It will help you to properly focused. We can help you with this.
  • Decide on how you are going to keep your accounts and get advice from day 1. We will help you with this.
  • Make sure you register with all the relevant authorities, e.g. HM Revenue and Customs and determine if you must register for VAT. We will help you with this.
  • Consider all the necessary insurances, including public liability, keyman, stock, business assets, business interruption, credit and bad debts, motor insurance, employer’s liability (compulsory if you have employees), professional indemnity and permanent health insurance.
  • Use trusted advisors such as accountants and solicitors to help guide you. Not getting the right advice can be far more costly.


Member firm of the ICAEW (www.icaew.com).            

PII: our professional indemnity insurer is Barbican syndicate 1955 at Lloyd’s. The territorial coverage is worldwide excluding USA/Canada.