Starting a Small Business with Minimal Cost
This article is based on setting up a one-man Business as an IT Trainer.
The cost is low because Training will be provided on the premises of Clients. E.g Computer Training Centres or Company Training rooms. Take the following steps:
- Prepare a Business Plan - A business plan is a statement of your business; what you want to achieve and how you plan to go about it. It should outline the structure of your business, the service, the customer, the growth potential and the financials. It should also inspire you for the future. It’s a blueprint for what you want to achieve.
- Business Name - Choose a unique name for your Business.
- Registration - Register your Business. In the UK, it is free to Register a one man Business. (The 2 paged Form is at the bottom of this article).
- Email - Open up an email account for it. It is adviceable not to use Yahoo, hotmail etc. Your Business will have more credibility if you have a private email which only costs about £30 a year. This will give you your own Domain. So, you will have an email address and a website in your Business name.
- Communication – Have a telephone line for your Business and a fax machine. It is possible to use the same line for your fax machine and telephone.
- Address – If you can afford to rent an office, do so. Alternatively you can use a room at home which can be converted into an office. Otherwise, rent a post office box so all your mail can be directed there and that way no Clients visit your house. The important thing is that you have an address for correspondence.
- Stationary - Once you have sorted out the address, email and contact numbers you can proceed to have your Business stationary prepared. E.g Letter heads and Business cards. The companies that do this normally have logos you can choose from. Otherwise, create your own Logo.
- Open a Business Account - For this the bank would require, proof of ID, your Business Letter head and sometimes a little amount deposited into the account which would be yours anyway. This takes about 7 – 14 days to set up and you will be given a cheque book in your Business name, a Paying in book and a Bank card.
Computer Training Centre
- Keep Records - Keep financial records. You could use an Excel spreadsheet to record details of your expenditure and details of incoming monies. This is important and will make it easy for when you prepare the Annual Accounts for your Business. Keep receipts of everything you buy for your Business. On this scale, you do not need an Accountant. If you keep records very well, you can do the yearly accounts yourself.
- Invoice - Prepare a standard invoice for your Business, to give Clients once you have carried out Training for them. Print out your invoices on Letter Head. (Check if you have to be registered for VAT, as not all Businesses have to)
- Evaluation – Prepare an evaluation form and give this to Clients to fill in after Training. Feedback is important and helps improve the Business. If you provide a good service, people will refer you.
- Equipment – The basic things you need are a Computer, Printer, Telephone, Fax machine. Photocopier is optional as you can make photocopies outside. Obviously you will need Learning materials to carry out Training.
- Business Contracts - Utilize the internet for this. There are many ways you can get customers. Advertise on websites (a lot of websites allow free advertising). Do mail shots to companies that could require your service. Prepare posters etc.
- Maintaining/growing your Business – There are a lot of Government funded Organisations that are dedicated to supporting and giving advice to small Businesses E.g Business Link. Find a few, register with them. Also, this is particularly helpful for when you want to start expanding your Business. You might need a Business Loan from your bank later on and these organisations will help you with your Business Plan for the Loan Application.
Finally, it is important that you find out about Businesses who provide similar services. This will give you an idea of what people are providing in the market, price ranges etc. Also, how you could get an Edge over them, by taking yours a step further in the service you provide.
- Lots of ways to Create a Second Job / Income
In the times we live in now, its difficult to live on one income. Im sure most people can count at least 10 bills they have to pay in one month. Here are some Ways to create your own Job to suit you, with little or no cost. March 2010