Starting a business is a life-changing decision. So, before you take the plunge, there are several things to think about. You might recall our blog on ’10 things to consider when starting a business’. To supplement those suggestions, here’s Neil Ormesher, our Managing Director of Accountancy. He’s got some helpful ideas for starting your own business. So, what advice does he have?
‘Prepare to work hard’“First things first,” he said, “you should have a well-defined plan.”
“This plan should include time-bound goals and clear objectives. Having a good accounting system will also help with this. Without quality, real-time information you cannot see how well your business is doing in financial terms.”
“It goes without saying,” Neil continued, “that you’ll need to work hard.”
“In the early days of any business you’re going to be both chief cook and bottle washer. Remember, you only get out what you put in. So, while it won’t always be plane sailing, the rewards of running your own business can be huge. Both for yourself and your loved ones.”
“The challenges associated with starting your own business depend on the type of business you’re engaged in. Not to mention your personal circumstances. If your business is your only source of income, the biggest challenge will be paying yourself. As a business owner, you are usually the last to get paid. Cash flow can be very tight in the early days of any new business. A good plan should include a cash flow forecast. You ought to be realistic with your growth. And, without being pessimistic; you should always consider the ‘worst case’ scenario.”
What can we as accountants do to help, then? Can the digital innovation in our industry create opportunities for start-up businesses?
‘Infinite opportunities’“For me,” Neil says, “the opportunities that digital accountancy can offer are infinite. Technology shines a spotlight on your company’s key credentials. If applied in the correct manner, technology can enhance your business’s potential. The right tech takes away the legwork and gives you more time to do what you do best.”
“Technology is an enabler to a first-class accounting service,” he continued. “Here at Danbro, we’re committed to providing a technology led service with a personal touch. We started using cloud-based software at the beginning of the previous decade. Since then, we haven’t looked back.”
“The main thing digital accounting offers is valuable information at your fingertips. You can use this data to make important, real-time business decisions. Having a solid understanding of the system you’re using, as we do with our own software, is crucial.”
So, what are Neil’s three top tips for building a successful start-up business?
- “As I’ve mentioned above, first, you need a strategy. And, while it’s important to be flexible, you should always try and adhere to your plan of action.”
- “Ensure you have robust systems and processes in place. Good systems can take away administrative burden. They can allow you more time to develop your business. Why waste time burning the midnight oil doing your books? Instead, you could use the help of a good accountant.”
- “Finally, advertise and market your business in an effective way. Be bold, be brave and try different things. But, make sure you track your returns for different activities. If something works well do more of it, if it doesn’t, do less, it’s as simple as that.”
Sam Wright is Danbro’s Marketing Manager. He produces regular content and feature articles on our digital and non-digital channels – and social platforms – for the Danbro Group and its subsidiaries, as well as having responsibility for the Company’s internal and external communications.
His background is in Journalism and Creative Writing, having previously contributed to publications such as The Daily Post, The Lancashire Evening Post, and The Blackpool Gazette.
He is a keen swimmer and avid Manchester United fan (but don’t hold that against him), and he lives in Lancashire with his wife, Sarah.