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How to start a business

(26 Posts)
IrrelevantPeasant Tue 17-Oct-17 22:24:56

I am a SAHM and would love to start my own business. I have an idea but have no idea what to do with it. How do I get the ball rolling? I'm in Scotland if it makes a difference.

OP’s posts: |
delilahbucket Wed 18-Oct-17 11:27:12

That depends on what you plan to do. Research is often the first place to start so you can find out whether your idea is viable.

bizbon7 Wed 08-Nov-17 10:04:14

Hello! First of all, you need to decide what you want to provide for people (products or services), secondly, write a business plan and then start doing your business step by step according to your business plan and budget.

Mum8 Wed 15-Nov-17 11:19:43

This discussion is interesting for me as well. How do you go about making your business plan?

Shen0102 Thu 16-Nov-17 19:07:21

Research is definitely a way to go. Just Google your idea and if there are other companies selling/offering the same services look into how you can do better than them.
Then look into how much money you'll need to get into the market. Nowadays banks don't touch new start-ups so you might have to use savings or borrow from friends and family. Once you have a year's worth of accounts that's when you could approach banks and other crowd funding places who normally ask for accounts from the past 6months.

Initially I wouldn't recommend doing those 20 page business plans as they would expire before you even finish writting them ..i never did one for my business only after I started making a good wage from it did I then plan the next 12months (even then it was just a sketch of goals)

NeonSun Fri 01-Dec-17 12:04:43

Are you really passionate with your idea? In case of your own business it's very important, I know many people who made their companies really successful starting from this strong wish and love for certain work smile Besides you'll need to spend really much time for it and in that case many types of work will seem easier.
Don't leave you current job before starting your business, it's not a smart idea at all because you'll start getting money from it not very fast. Of course if your husband can support you during this period, than it's another case smile
Good business plan, finding customers, help of professionals in your sphere and effective management system are other important things for you. If you're going to sell various products, then an inventory/warehouse management system will be necessary for you too because managing all that stuff is a key to creating a successful business. Such software will help you to control all parts of your supply chain and make it more effective, there are many of them, including personal project ones which are good for working with your stuff too.
And yeah, for newbies in this case finding a nice mentor is an important step in the beginning too.

gillybeanz Wed 25-Apr-18 23:42:29

Always start with a business plan, google and there are thousands of free sites offering templates, some industry specific.
You can't rush these things, I've been doing mine for a few months now and I'm nowhere near ready to start operating yet.

speakout Wed 02-May-18 21:18:27

Depends what you are doing OP.

Could you start slowly? I have never had a business plan, no real start up, literally £50 initial investment and I make a very healthy profit as income.
Depends on what you need to get going.

As a sole trader you can start in a modest way- look at competition find out what is working for you.

You don;t really need a business plan unless you are trying to pitch to investors.

speakout Wed 02-May-18 21:25:31

Op depends what you are doing.

I am a sole trader, make a healthy profit, very little initial investment. I have never written a business plan.
Only useful for small start ups if you need to pitch for a loan.

A mentor would have been of limited use to me also. My work is very niche.

speakout Wed 02-May-18 21:25:48

Sorry- double post!

GardenGeek Wed 02-May-18 21:36:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

speakout Wed 02-May-18 21:50:22

I think a point some others made was a valid one- that time is an issue.
I make and sell craft items. I have been self employed in other ways for 16 years or so, but my latest venture took 12 months or so to build up to a decent profit.
I was starting it while running another venture too, but OH works so I was not relying on my newest business to pay bills.
Since it has taken off though, I am prioritising that and winding down my older venture .

speakout Wed 02-May-18 21:52:02

gardengeek your nursery business sounds interesting.
Would that be quite seasonal though?
Do you have space to cultivate?

I sell my stuff globally, my items are small, non perishable and easy to post.

onlyoranges Sun 06-May-18 18:39:50

I am starting my own business in September. I have a plan of what I want to do, added income streams etc but wonder what else should I be doing between now and then? Do I need a business plan if I don’t need a loan? Hope you don’t mind me jumping on OP was going to post myself then saw this and thought as they were so similar this would be better to do it this way.

speakout Sun 06-May-18 18:49:54

No easy answer to that oranges.
My latest venture ( and I have been self employed for 16 year) is very profitable.
Started 3 years ago last year-, £80K revenue, £50K profit.
Initial outlay was £20, never had a business plan.

onlyoranges Wed 09-May-18 16:11:34

GardenGeek when are you starting your business? Are we saying I don’t need a business plan?

Mybabystolemysanity Wed 09-May-18 16:16:45

On a practical level, all you have to do is register with HMRC for self assessment, arrange any insurances you need and have a business bank account. I was surprised at how simple it was to get going. All free except insurance for the first two years, so you have nothing much to lose by getting started to test your idea. £1million public liability for my sole trader business costs about £60 a year. Double it if you plan to have someone working with you occasionally.

GardenGeek Wed 09-May-18 17:15:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GardenGeek Wed 09-May-18 17:19:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RhubarbTea Wed 09-May-18 17:21:14

Mybaby do you mine me asking who you decided to go with for insurance and business banking?

speakout Wed 09-May-18 17:24:28

You don't need a business bank account- not to start with anyway.
If you're operating as a sole trader, there is no legal requirement for you to open a business bank account.

I use a normal deposit account- no charges.

speakout Wed 09-May-18 17:30:49

I just wonder if all these additional complications prevent people from starting up small businesses.

Business plan- not always necessary,
Start up loan- not always necessary.
Business bank account- not always necessary.

If I have become tied up with all those things I don't think my business would have even got off the ground!!

Mybabystolemysanity Wed 09-May-18 19:33:41


I just opened a business account with the bank I've always had a current account with. It was just easy to keep it all together. I have to have a business account as one of my customers is part of an international manufacturing company and they insist on it.

As far as insurance goes I've always just used a comparison site. I think AXA always come out fairly near the top and it's a brand customers trust. Mine went up a lot this year because of needing maternity cover and therefore having to have cover for an additional worker.

With banking, you need to keep an eye on fees and charges. I got a two years free deal which is coming to an end, so now costing £5 a month and transactions are charged as well. I only have very few larger amounts going in, so it's different to say, someone doing e-commerce where they have lots of automated debits and credits racking up huge fees.

Hamiltoes Wed 09-May-18 21:34:38

Echoing other posters who say they didn't spend any time on a business plan. I literally jumped staight in at the deep end and worked my arse off for 6 months straight (while also working full time and a single mum to two). I genuinely think the thing that holds so many women back is the tendancy to want to plan everything out. The belief that everything has to be "just so" before you can finally launch. I've done this in the past and it's held me back, by the time everything is good enough you'll launch to no customers and no sales, and lose momentum quite quickly. The buzz of a sale will keep you going in the beginning and believe me, that's when you will need it most. It's incredibly difficult and frustrating at the start when you have so many ideas, so little time and can see others further down the road than you being successful. You NEED those highs to keep you determined and you need to make those mistakes so you learn from them.

If your plan says X, and X isn't working for you, you can stick with it or you can adopt quickly to what is working for you. If you've spent 6 months slaving over plan X it's going to be so much harder to let go of that and change course. I started my business with a very specific product range which related to my business name. Then one day I bought some cheap stock which was similar (but different) on a whim from my supplier to reach minimum order weight and it sat in a box for a good 6 weeks before I got round to selling it. It didn't fit in at all with my branding and ethos but from the day I started it sold like hotcakes. 4 months down the line I've completely moved away from where I started and expanded the range of similar but different products and business is booming.

I guess what I'm saying is you have to roll with the punches at the start. You have to be agile, dynamic, and you have to adapt very quickly if you stumble across something that's working- and also cut your loses if something isn't. Bank accounts, business plans, fancy business cards, perfect logos, mood boards, etc is all just noise and distracting you from the real goal which is starting a business. If you don't have a turnover, you don't have a business.

speakout Wed 09-May-18 21:55:06

Hamiltoes I totally agree.

For me a business plan would have been- and still would be a hindrance.

It has been all about sales and income from day one. And it still it. I am constantly trying new stuff, some things don't work, other things take off really well- and from those successes other ideas come. I always to try to stay ahead of the competition.
I don't invest too much, I am a toe dipper, but it's easy to tell if you have found a good extra direction fairly soon.
I haven't needed any investment, or business plan.
I need a web site now, but too busy fulfilling orders to have the time right now- so I am developing new products with greater added value that are not so time consuming to make.
My profit margins are high.
I earn more than I need and the hours I work are not huge.

I don't need a business plan to tell me that things are good.

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