There’s a saying that working at a startup is like building a plane while flying it.
Nothing could be truer. That’s why it’s crucial to have an understanding of how to build your startup, so you can be equipped with the right knowledge and tools for a smooth flight.
Here we have compiled a list of key steps that you should complete in your first 30 days as a startup.
Step 1: Establish a limited company
The first step for a startup is to establish a limited company, which is a type of legal structure for a business. It’s only £12 to register your limited company, which is a small amount for the benefits that will follow.
To set up a limited company you first need to decide on your name. However, no two companies are allowed the same name, so you will have to be careful in your choice. Once you have decided on a company name, you will have to check if it’s an already existing business and if it’s available to use as a URL (you can do this through a domain checker).
It is also important to decide how many directors your business will have. A limited company needs at least one, but you have a choice to add more if desired. Similarly, this is the same with shareholders, as there needs to be at least one to set up a limited company.
Setting up a limited company is profitable for several reasons, these include:
- A separate legal identity (the company is liable when something goes wrong, not you)
- Your business will be seen as more professional
It will be more tax-efficient than a sole trader
Step 2: Set up an office address
The next step is to buy and register a business/office address. This is especially important if you’ve set up a limited company, as the information about the company will be publicly available online. Consequently, it’s important to protect your privacy by not providing a private home address as the registered office address.
The office address can be anywhere you choose within England or Wales. However, we recommend finding a service that provides you with a prestigious London virtual office, like Hoxton Mix or Your Company Formations. Your business professional image means a lot, so providing your company with a professional and credible office address will ensure a good first impression.
Step 3: Create a business bank account
After setting up an office address, the next step is to set up a business bank account. A business account will allow you to manage the business finances, and you will have access to the cash balance, the employee payroll, any money owed to the business, and any money owed to creditors. More importantly, this allows the person in charge of the company finances to see the income vs outcome.
If you followed the first step and you are a limited company, then you will require a dedicated business current account so it is a separate entity legally and will need to be managed that way. Money Supermarket provides a comparison of business bank accounts, so you can find the one that is right for your business.
Step 4: Devise a business plan
A business plan is crucial to understanding your goals and ambitions for the business, and it should be used as a guide for the first months of your startup. In the business plan, you need to identify the purpose of the business, the management’s responsibilities, the upcoming marketing plans, and, more importantly, to research and document the current and future competition in the market surrounding your business.
Additionally, there are questions we recommend you answer in your business plan, these are:
- Who is your target audience/customer?
- Who will benefit from your business?
- What resources will you need?
- What is your income vs outcome?
- How much profit will you make?
Step 5: Source funding
How are you meant to run a business if you can’t fund it? The answer is you can’t you need to find some source of income, and you can do this either before the business plan or after.
There are many different options for you to secure money. We’ve previously written an article on the ‘Top 8 UK Tech Startup Accelerators’, which may be an explorable option for your business. Accelerator programs can provide you access to a wide range of investors, so it could be the perfect choice for your startup to raise funding.
Other options include:
- Asking Friends and Family
- Business Grants
- Contests (could be found by attending conferences)
- Gig-work or Microtasks
Starting a business isn’t the easiest task in the world and learning how to do so maybe even tricker. If it was easy then we would all have a business. This is why these tips/steps could be helpful so you can have a plan on how to start your startup and have an MVP in 30 days. The first 30 days are going to be stressful and tough, but it will be so worth it.