This is where you will need to find a reputable firm of accountants who have the specialised skills and experience to assist start-up businesses. A good firm will want to invest time in helping you through the first stages of getting the business up and running. Agree fees up front so that you can budget accordingly.
The easiest way to obtain support first is to ask people you know. This could be friends, family and acquaintances. If they run businesses themselves, all the better. If they have the expertise in that field ask them. If not, then ask who they could recommend? Referrals are usually your best starting point. Other than that, the internet is a good starting place. If you need any information, Google it! You can also search for a Chartered Accountant who offers business advice on this website.
Surekhah is a director at the Carnelian Consultancy and has provided video responses to a number of entrepreneur’s questions, including this one.
Follow the link to see her advice on how to get the right finance solution for your particular business. Watch Surekhah’s advice in full
Once again, there is a surprising amount available online including the Gov.uk website for regulatory matters. Another option, many local councils have links with small business initiatives. These often run free, or very low-cost, training sessions for startups, which is helpful.You can also find an awful lot of information on this website or use the search box to book a face to face meeting.
It is important to work with a competent professional advisor. In the early days of your business, you may not be able to afford their fees but thanks to ICAEW BAS (Business Advice Service), the registered firms will be willing to provide you initial business advice for free.
They can also refer you to other professional in their network to help you with other specific areas.
It is also worth signing up to the Government’s Growth Voucher scheme to subsidise your cost of professional advice in certain business areas.
As soon as you announce to the world that you are in business there is an endless queue of B2B services that will try and be sold to you. This wastes your time and distracts you. You need to be very focused on what it is you need to achieve in the next 3-6 months. Start with the basics and expand your horizons as your cash flow situation improves.
Tax and financial advice should be available from your friendly local chartered accountant but you need to find one you can work with. All your advisors will need paying – they, like your business, are not charities. There is a wealth of knowledge on the web. Put effort into grasping what you need to know from free sources first, then your friends and network and then from professional advisors. Your cash is a scarce resource so do not go and splash out on advisors before you need to.
A good place to start is to speak to a qualified and experienced accountant. They will be able to provide you with expert business advice on starting a business. They may also be able to provide a broad range of services in addition to their core accounting and tax services, such as HR, legal and fundraising.
It’s also worth speaking to fellow entrepreneurs, who can be a font of knowledge, as they have been there and done that before. Other helpful sources can be start-up incubators, government bodies and, of course, the internet.