New entrepreneurs always ask me how long it will take them to start up their businesses. I usually ask them as many questions as I can in order to give a more accurate answer. During our first consultation, I often realise that entrepreneurs have not done enough research or initial study in the market to understand where their businesses will be heading to. The most important lesson you should know about starting up your own business is: Do your research and ask yourself as many questions as you can before you invest a penny.
Imagine you’ve had a business idea recently. You’ve prepared your business plan and you know how much money you will need to invest in your business to launch it. But you’ve realised that you don’t have enough money to start. You think about how other entrepreneurs have overcome the same financial challenge when they started their businesses. Should you invest all your savings? Should you invite one of your friends or someone from your family to become your business partner? Should you talk to your personal bank manager? Perhaps an investor?
We know of many successful entrepreneurs who started their business from home. Steve Jobs from Apple is perhaps the most famous example. I have given advice to many people in the UK looking to start their business from home.
The first thing you need to be aware of is that you can’t start just any business from home in the UK. Most types of businesses in the UK need to have a special licence to operate, or at least a local registration in the Borough Council. You may also need permission from your mortgage provider or landlord to run your business from home.
Does your business suffer from an increase or decrease in sales during particular days, weeks or months? If it does, you are not alone. Most of the businesses I have given consultancy or get involved with in a way or another suffer from seasonality. Factors such as the weather or holiday periods can affect your business performance.
Seasonality is a characteristic of a time series in which the data experiences regular and predictable changes which recur every calendar year. Any predictable change or pattern in a time series that recurs or repeats over a one-year period can be said to be seasonal.
On 8th March 2017, Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of Exchequer delivered his first and last Spring Budget (as from next year the Government will only delivery one Budget per year and it will delivered in the autumn season).
The Spring Budget was very short in comparison with previous ones with only 28 main announcements. Philip Hammond ripped up a Conservative manifesto (delivered by David Cameron in 2015) which promised not to increase taxes such as national insurance, income tax and VAT for the next 5 years and hit 2.5million self-employed with an increase in National Insurance Contribution (NIC 4) from 9% to 11% in the next two years (even though the fixed national insurance contribution class 2 will be scrapped). However, on 15/03/2017 Mr Philip Hammond has scrapped the proposed increased in National Insurance Contribution Class 4 for all self-employed individuals. Read more