Top Tips for Young Entrepreneurs Ready to Start a Business
The time is now. Lockdown has spawned many new start-ups, with people spotting new opportunities and fired up by the challenges ahead. Guest contributor Stacey from Sage Advice, shares some top tips for young entrepreneurs, taken from their online guide to starting up.
Steve Jobs famously said that getting fired from Apple was one of the best things that ever happened to him, “it freed me up to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.” There’s that entrepreneurial spirit seeing the opportunity in sometimes unwanted, forced change.
Enter the pandemic and queue one of the most explosive periods of businesses starting up in the UK. Startups.co.uk states that five online businesses were launched in the UK every single day (including weekends) in April 2020. That’s a huge 60% increase compared to April 2019.
- Since the UK lockdown started in mid-March 2020 more than 500,000 new businesses have been registered.
- London comes in top at 185,682, followed by Birmingham (13,314) and Manchester (7,818),
- There was a 30% increase in incorporated businesses registered in 2020, compared to 2019.
An ‘against all odds’ attitude has taken hold – one that young entrepreneurs thrive from and live for. Future business owners are fired-up and rising to the challenge that the pandemic brought and continues to bring – with a fearless ambition and eyes on an expansive future in post-pandemic times.
But even the greatest young geniuses need some structured steps to make the side-hustle or business model viable in the real world. Sage’s six steps to starting a new business online tool is a great place to start, and here are a few essential first-steps taken from this guide:
Tip 1: Don’t sit on your idea – get going!
If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that no one knows what’s in store for us. Giving us all the more reason to push forward with our ideas living by the insight that our world can turn upside down in a flash. Time to get into the real world, with real steps.
Tip 2: Research, Research, Research
Really get to know your market (this will be an important part of the business plan, too). Where does your product sit in the chain? If you’re a maker, head to Esty and see who’s thriving in your area and get inspired to do the same.
Etsy has 3.7 million sellers and the number of active product listings was at 80 million over 2020, which represents a 20% year-on-year increase, according to their financial reports.
Tip 3: Who are you going to be? Register your business and monies
If starting a business was a Monopoly board, you can’t pass ‘GO’ and start collecting deposits until you’ve made these stops along the way:
Who are you?
Are you a sole trader or a limited company?
A sole trader is basically a self-employed person who is the sole owner of their business. It is the simplest business structure and in UK law, the owner and the business are treated as one entity. (This effectively means that if the business gets into financial debt, the owner is personally liable and risks losing personal assets.)
More info on how to set up as a sole trader on GOV.UK
What you need to do when you start working for yourself, either as your only job or at the same time as working for an employer.
A limited company has its own legal identity, separate from its owners (the shareholders) and its managers (the directors). This is true even if is run by only one person, who acts as shareholder and director.
More info on how to set up a limited company on GOV.UK
How to set up a limited company, appoint directors and shareholders or guarantors, and register for tax.
There are many differences between the two business structures, when it comes to personal risk, raising finance, taxation etc. as explained here.
Make it official
If you choose to set up as a limited company, huge question…. what’s your business name? Be savvy, clear, and memorable here – what’s your USP? Lead with that.
Open a business account
Banking options today are bursting with support and flexibility for SMEs – especially start-ups.
What success stories do other new businesses share about their business banking and how do they feel supported?
Find out more about business bank accounts here, including the benefits and cost, and how to choose the best option.
Tip 5: Draw up your grand plan
This is it, the big one. The first thing you will create to share your vision – it’s your blueprint to show any potential investors that your business means business.
Time to make it happen on paper (or screen) and pull all the elements of your business idea together to show potential investors and future key people.
The framework of a business plan goes like this:
- Overview of business
- Audience and market
- Products and pricing
- Financials -planning and forecasts
For an essential read on all things planning head here. And get a quick, clear understanding of how to bring your vision to life. Exciting times!
Tip 5: Get the help you need
No one can do everything and why would you? You need to be out there slaying the market and building your dreams. A team outside your team, comprising a great accountant – who can guide you with tax options – to a bank who’ll support your applications for loans or funding are essential figures to have by your side as you showcase your business to the masses.
Now, what are you waiting for? You’ve got this!
Find out more:
The pros and cons of working for yourself, tips and tools and where to get practical help and advice, plus stories from other young entrepreneurs
About the author
Stacey McIntosh is the editor-in-chief of Sage Advice UK. He has more than 15 years of editorial, PR and social media experience and has worked across print and online for national newspapers, magazines, PR and marketing agencies including Metro, GQ, Men’s Fitness, International Business Times UK and Cool Blue.