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Business founders/entrepreneurs

Starting a new business -overwhelmed!!

17 replies

WantingToEducate · 10/08/2023 09:27

I’m a Paediatric Nurse and an Infant Feeding Specialist. I am also about to embark on a 6 month training course to become a Lactation Consultant (which is an internationally recognised qualification).

My plan is to obviously start my own business to support breast feeding mothers who are having feeding difficulties. This is already a very recognised care provision throughout the company (with the Lactation Consultants being self employed) so I am very keen to become a part of it.

However, I am so overwhelmed about where to begin and what costs I need to take into consideration and just generally a bit clueless about all the factors that are involved with starting up a business and what to expect with the process.

Can anyone give me any guidance? I think I need to hear the good, the bad and the ugly to get a realistic view of how difficult this may be and what challenges I may face.

Thank you.

OP posts:
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FartSock5000 · 10/08/2023 10:27

https://www.gov.uk/set-up-business

Read the guide fully. You may want to hold off on registering your 'business' until you've met the threshold sum for preparing company accounts and don't register for VAT right away either.

DO look into insurance. Public Liability AND Professional Indemnity. Legal costs if you are ever sued or injured are included in these. If you are visiting people in their homes you need insurance in case they accuse you of damage etc.

Use free sites like Canva to make your letterhead, logo and marketing materials. Vistaprint is also great for printing materials like info cards, business cards etc.

Look into hiring an accountant to handle tax, VAT and accounts down the line and remember to keep all your receipts including the ones for your vehicle.

Set up a business

What you need to do to start a business: choose a legal structure, see if you need licences and insurance, learn about reliefs and benefits

https://www.gov.uk/set-up-business

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Hoppinggreen · 10/08/2023 10:28

Write a very basic business plan, it will help you focus and give you a roadmap

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DogLover111 · 10/08/2023 17:17

This reply has been deleted

This has been deleted by MNHQ for breaking our Talk Guidelines.

bryceQ · 11/08/2023 19:51

Register a domain name (website url)
Create a wix or squarespace website
Think about your keywords and phrases eg breastfeeding support in Narnia
Make sure these are in your H1 titles
Setup Google Search Console to index your website
Create a Google Business profile
Set up social media profiles
Create a Canva account to create all your social media images
Create some basic templates for yourself

This would be my starter for 10

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Badbadbunny · 11/08/2023 20:01

Before you commit to anything tax related, talk to an accountant. I have almost weekly meetings with potential new clients who've either registered for VAT when they didn't need to (and it's detrimental to them), or registered a limited company that they don't need (again detrimental). It takes more time (and costs them money) to reverse these "big" decisions. There's so much misinformation on the internet and far too much "pub talk" or "school gate" talk that's plain wrong. A quick 30 minute chat with an accountant can cover these kinds of basics and put you on the right track to save you worrying and stressing about what kind of legal structure to use and what tax registrations are needed.

Just had a case in point of a couple who rented an empty cafe and wrongly registered for VAT which has cost them a few thousand pounds in the few months since they opened. Classic "school gate talk" from someone telling them they had to register for VAT because it had previously been a cafe - but they only knew half the story because that rule only applies if it's a transfer of a going concern, which it wasn't because it was empty!

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HBGKC · 12/09/2023 17:57

@Badbadbunny may I ask if one would have to pay for that kind of 30 min chat with an accountant, and if so, approx how much?

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Badbadbunny · 12/09/2023 19:33

HBGKC · 12/09/2023 17:57

@Badbadbunny may I ask if one would have to pay for that kind of 30 min chat with an accountant, and if so, approx how much?

How long is a piece of string. Some accountancy firms charge for such a meeting, some don't. Those who charge, their charges can be anywhere from £100 per hour to £500 per hour depending on size of firm, seniority of the person (i.e. whether staff or partner etc). You'd have to ring around or Google for accountants to shop around, but cheap/free may not always be best, especially if not qualified/regulated (anyone can call themselves an accountant!). Personally, I'm happy to give up to an hour of time free for potential business clients as I usually convert them into paying clients, so it's worth doing an hour free as a kind of marketing, but I know other firms won't do that and literally charge for all time they spend.

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HBGKC · 12/09/2023 19:40

Thank you, @Badbadbunny, much appreciated. Whereabouts are you based, if you don't mind my asking?

(Or does it not matter if your accountant is physically located anywhere near you, as such conversations can happen by phone/zoom..?)

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Wisenotboring · 09/11/2023 17:09

There is a lady called Lucy Ruddle who does what you describe. She seems very open to supporting new people in the area. You should be able to contact through fb amd she may be able to advise.

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CharteredBeanCounter · 09/11/2023 17:17

Badbadbunny · 11/08/2023 20:01

Before you commit to anything tax related, talk to an accountant. I have almost weekly meetings with potential new clients who've either registered for VAT when they didn't need to (and it's detrimental to them), or registered a limited company that they don't need (again detrimental). It takes more time (and costs them money) to reverse these "big" decisions. There's so much misinformation on the internet and far too much "pub talk" or "school gate" talk that's plain wrong. A quick 30 minute chat with an accountant can cover these kinds of basics and put you on the right track to save you worrying and stressing about what kind of legal structure to use and what tax registrations are needed.

Just had a case in point of a couple who rented an empty cafe and wrongly registered for VAT which has cost them a few thousand pounds in the few months since they opened. Classic "school gate talk" from someone telling them they had to register for VAT because it had previously been a cafe - but they only knew half the story because that rule only applies if it's a transfer of a going concern, which it wasn't because it was empty!

100% agree with this message. As a qualified accountant, the amount of people taking often incorrect advice from their friends is shocking. I would definitely meet with a local qualified accountant before starting up properly.

Personally I don't offer a free initial meeting as I have a full client list so don't need to but when I was looking for new clients I always did. Of course the hope is that you will then become a fee paying client. A smaller firm is likely to be more cost effective but do ensure they are qualified, the links below give a starting point. Both of the below institutes are very respected and of a high standard.

https://find.icaew.com/

https://www.accaglobal.com/gb/en/member/find-an-accountant.html?isocountry=GB

Find A Chartered Accountant

https://find.icaew.com

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marketing101 · 09/11/2023 19:12

The message here from accountants I echo this as a marketer. I spend a lot of time repairing terrible websites that people paid way too much for, and software they didn't need. You're better spending £100 with me to tell you what you need to set up and give you a clear focus on what to do.

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Doggymummar · 09/11/2023 21:38

I set my business up myself as my accountant wanted to charge me too much as a first year business was about 10k mostly outgoing. I just used the guide on Companies house. It cost less than £50 I think. Second years now I have made a tiny profit but that will be wiped out by accountancy fees £1300 I am hoping to be in profit by year 5.

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morecoffeeJD · 10/11/2023 14:30

I have to say, this is such a great thread, showing the power of the forums and how communities help their members.

Hope things are moving in the right direction for you! You got some good advice here and I can only tell you not to rush, and check twice before committing to anything or signing any document. Sounds like a simple thing, I know, but it saved me many times. 

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Badbadbunny · 10/11/2023 16:12

Doggymummar · 09/11/2023 21:38

I set my business up myself as my accountant wanted to charge me too much as a first year business was about 10k mostly outgoing. I just used the guide on Companies house. It cost less than £50 I think. Second years now I have made a tiny profit but that will be wiped out by accountancy fees £1300 I am hoping to be in profit by year 5.

Was there a reason why you chose to set up a limited company rather than being a self employed sole trader?

Limited company accounts/returns are more complex so accountants fees will be higher.

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FusionChefGeoff · 16/11/2023 18:20

Echo the business plan. Really think about what you want:

How much money do you want / need to earn a year?
How does that look? Describe what you want to offer and how eg home visits / online stuff / email or phone support etc. really spell it out what you are offering.
How many hours do you want to work?
Where do you want to work?
Who are you targeting? Yes obviously new mums but where? What sort of demographic? What else might they be into so where could you find them?
How will you find them? How will you get your new clients? There's not a great deal of repeat business! How will you reach them eg social / flyers / word of mouth?

Sit in your 'fantasy life' for a bit; imagine it's 5 years later. What does it look like? Then write that down.

Then you can get some really good and targeted advice on the finances and marketing

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RH1234 · 16/11/2023 18:48

Don’t skimp on an accountant (they pay for themselves in the long run - you at least deduct their charge off next years tax bill)

Budget for insurance, office (incl home office), internet, computer, software, printing, vehicle + insurance + maintenance, phone, equipment including consumables before you put out pricing.
Make a list of everything you need then divide the cost over approximate lifespan and depreciation.

Website and Marketing is important, but in my experience, it’s who you know that’s more important - get networking. My biggest client was brought onboard after their daughter recommended me.

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bryceQ · 16/11/2023 19:28

Did you make any progress OP?

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