Thinking of starting a business in Cwmbran?
That’s awesome. Perhaps you’re a local who wants to make a success of yourself from your hometown, or you’re not originally from Cwmbran but something has drawn you to it.
There are thousands of people from Cwmbran who would like to thank you for attempting to help add to the local economy.
We can relate, since we’re a new business in Cwmbran ourselves. Therefore, all of the formal steps and processes of starting a business are very much fresh in our minds.
As a result, we thought we would try and put together the ultimate guide for starting a business in Cwmbran. Our aim is that this serves as a nice kind of roadmap or checklist for you to use as you go through the steps of starting a business. To be as helpful and relevant as possible, we’ve tried to be very specific to Cwmbran.
As a little disclaimer, it’s important to recognise that of course we’re not experts in this area. Ensure that you consult professionals for all of that legal and tax-related stuff and blah blah blah…
Now that’s covered, let’s get straight into the post!
The Ultimate Guide for Starting a Business in Cwmbran
1.) Decide to Start your Own Business
There are a million and one reasons why someone may decide to start their own business. Maybe they want to make a living from a hobby they have. Maybe they were made redundant and were forced to find an innovative way to put food on the table and pay the bills. Maybe they’re just a born entrepreneur and know that this is what they have always been destined for.
Regardless of the reason, the first and most important step in starting a business is deciding that you’re actually going to do it. There are a gazillion things for you to do from this point to bring it into reality. Visiting this blog post is a fantastic start. Along with this article, the resources listed below should assist you with where to go from here:
2.) Have a Business Idea
Okay, so you’ve decided that you’re going to start a business. But in what? Every business will start with an idea. An idea for a product or service. It might be an idea that’s totally new and something that the world has never seen before, or it could be an idea developed from your own interpretation or a refinement of existing products or services out there.
Since you’re reading this post, chances are that you already have an idea for a business. However, if you don’t have one, and are in fact having a tough time coming up with one, there are a host of great websites and resources out there that are designed to help you come up with a business idea. Some of them include:
3.) Research your Idea
Once you’ve come up with an idea, it’s time to vet the idea and examine whether it’s credible for setting up a business. You want to speak to as many people as possible about your idea to see if they can find any flaws in it, or to gain useful insights about how to improve your idea.
However, most of the work will be carried out by yourself. Some of the kinds of questions to ask yourself include:
Is it a realistic idea?
Can you afford to start up the idea?
Is it a good idea?
Is the product or service that you’re thinking of in sufficient demand?
What’s its unique selling point?
Do you have the necessary skills to execute the idea? – Remember, ideas are worthless. Execution is everything.
For assistance with researching your idea, check out the following resources:
4.) Write a Business Plan
Once you’ve settled on an idea having consulting other people about it and researched it thoroughly, then it’s time to formally come up with a proper business plan around the idea.
This isn’t just for the sake of applying for loans or grants in the future, it’s also for helping you to settle in your own mind a lot of the aspects of the business, and forces you to really think long and hard about it.
The kinds of questions that you’ll be addressing in your business plan include:
Where it will be based – Will it be home-based or are you planning on getting an office or shop?
How you will finance your business: Savings or loan?
The legal structure of the business: sole trader, partnership or limited liability company?
How much everything will actually cost
For advice about how to put together a business plan, check out these great resources:
5.) Finance your business
Up until this point, everything has been fairly hypothetical and in your head. Now it’s time to put your money where your mouth is, and take practical steps to make your business dream a reality.
Some of the first steps that you’ll want to take will revolve around financing your business. After all, you can’t have a business premises, stock or staff without paying for these things. Therefore, we’ll be covering some of the ways you can finance your business.
Get a Business Bank Account
You’ll need to get a business account set up to keep your personal and business-related finances separate. This will make it easier when it comes to accounting at the end of the tax year. You’ll want to apply for one as early as possible, because the process can take a few weeks, and you don’t want to be delaying your start-up to wait for your business bank account to kick into effect.
All of the big banks will offer their business accounts with varying terms and conditions, so be sure to go through them thoroughly. However, it’s worth looking out for the ones that offer a year’s free banking for start-up businesses, as this will help to save you a decent amount of money.
Some of the banks that have branches in Cwmbran include:
Lloyds Bank (Gwent Square & Commercial Street)
Barclays Bank (Cwmbran Shopping Centre)
The Co-Operative Bank (Cwmbran Shopping Centre)
HSBC Bank (Cwmbran Shopping Centre)
Natwest Bank (Cwmbran Shopping Centre)
Halifax Bank (Cwmbran Shopping Centre)
Santander Bank (Cwmbran Shopping Centre & North Walk)
Nationwide (Cwmbran Shopping Centre)
TSB Bank (Commercial Street)
Get a loan
If you don’t have the finances to start your business straight away, you can consider getting a loan for your business. You can apply for loans from a range of sources, including banks, government and credit unions.
Get a Grant
Another option is to try and obtain grants. These are notoriously hard to come by at times, but they are out there.
Invest your own Money
Of course, you always have the option of just using your own money to fund your business.
The advantage of this is that you’re not indebted to anyone else like you would be if you were relying on a bank or government loan scheme to fund you. The other advantage is that you’re not paying any interest rates that would apply under a loan scheme either.
Of course, the downside is that you only have acces to as much money as that which you were able to save up. This might make things very tight, and it’s important to plan for what will happen in case you need access to additional money, or have a bad month with sales.
6.) The Boring Stuff (Taxes and Insurance)
There are several boring (but very important) things that you’ll have to get in order if you want to avoid getting into any trouble, such as managing your tax affairs correctly and ensuring that your business always remains fully insured.
Register with HMRC
As a business operating in the UK, you will have to register with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and ensure that you always comply with its rules and regulations.
Consider Hiring an Accountant
If the thought of making an error on your tax return strikes the fear of God into you, then it might be worth hiring an accountant to handle your tax affairs for you. Yes, as a start-up it’s an incredibly inconvenient extra expense for your business, but they do say a that a good accountant pays for him or herself.
Here is a list of some accountants that are based in Cwmbran.
Insure your Business
Depending on the type of business you have, there are various kinds of insurance that you may wish to pay for in order to fully protect your business. These can include:
Public Liability: Protecting your business from claims for accidental injury and property damage made by your customers.
Professional indemnity: Protecting your business from compensation and defence costs if a client makes a claim against you in your professional capacity.
Employer’s liability: Protecting your business against work-related injury and illness claims from employees.
Here’s a list of some of the main business insurance providers in the UK:
7.) Pre-Start Preparation
It’s time to start preparing for launch!
Here are some of the kinds of questions you’ll want to ask yourself to try and ascertain whether you’re ready for your launch date:
Is your business premises clean and ready to accept customers from day one?
Do you have a sleek website to entice people into getting in touch about your business?
Do you have the necessary equipment in order to supply the products or services that you’re offering?
Do you have adequate levels of stock in place ready to sell?
8.) Market your Business
It’s time to let the world know you exist!
You’re going to want to dedicate a portion of your total budget towards marketing to help raise awareness and spread the word about your new business.
If you’re wondering where you should allocate your marketing budget, look no further than here at Vagabond Media! Our social media marketing and content marketing services are designed to be a cost-effective and affordable way for small and medium-sized businesses to market their products and services.
9.) Start Selling!
With everything else in place, all that’s left for you to do now is to start selling and make a profit for your business!
End of guide!
With this guide, you’ll have all of the knowledge and information that you need in order to set up your own business in Cwmbran in no time at all.
What do you think of our guide? Is there any additional information that you would provide to someone who is thinking of setting up a business in Cwmbran?
Altered Image Credit: Wiki Commons