You may not think it now, but new opportunities await you. The lockdown has changed where people live, where they work and how they work. We now communicate and interact with each other differently and these changes are here to stay.
For some people this might be a time of great opportunity but they might not yet be confident enough to take that leap into the unknown.
As the saying goes, when one door closes another one will always open somewhere and now is a very good time to consider diversifying your existing business and/or starting up a new business. Here are just a few tips to help make your new venture a success.
During the global financial crisis in 2007-2009, both Uber and Airbnb were set up along with thousands of other businesses that have shaped our lives since and historically many other successful firms have been set up during a downturn. When jobs are scarce people frequently turn to ‘necessity entrepreneurship’. Change may just be the push that some people need to take their idea and turn it into a business reality.
Businesses which are set up during lean times are often very cost focussed, more creative and will give more thought to the goods and services that customers really want to avoid making expensive mistakes.
Given the new agile way we are all working, working from home is no longer a barrier and with technology to keep you in touch with the business community and social media to help showcase your business products or services, you can reach a huge audience at very little cost. With any new business, cash flow is key. Whilst there is support for many existing businesses at the moment there is less for new businesses and banks might be more cautious about lending to a start up at this time. You might want to consider alternatives such as crowd funding or angel investment, but it is important to have a water-tight business plan to enable this to be successful.
You need to know how to price your product and at what point you will start to make a profit as well as whether there is a market out there so planning is key to your success.
Looking at taxes, whilst corporation tax is unlikely to rise in the near future longer term tax rises should be planned for, to pay for the financial support which the Government is providing to help existing businesses survive the pandemic.
So don’t be scared, use some of the fantastic help and support which is currently available at the moment for entrepreneurs. For example, here in Brighton we are seeing a creative and entrepreneurial boom and the local housing market is buzzing as people seek to achieve a better work life balance. Plenty of new people to the town mean more people to market to and more new contacts to make.
The Brighton Chamber of Commerce is a great place to start looking for business support and there is a lot you can tap into from home. Here at Kreston Reeves we also have a huge range of resources available on our website and we have an active programme of online seminars and events which can be joined live or viewed later.
You might experience practical difficulties setting up a new business bank account at the moment but don’t let this stop you from starting your business. You can start off as a sole trader and as long as you record all your income and outgoings and keep this separate from your own day to day spending then this can be changed to a business account once that facility is easily available again soon. Also, you can change your business to a Limited Liability Company at any time.
Be wary about putting too much capital into a new venture as it is important to properly plan and prepare a budget, look closely at your pricing structure, quality of goods or services and ensure that your product or service will have a long-term market.
Does your new business have intellectual property which needs registering or protecting? Patent Relief is available but this can be a complex area which needs more specialist advice which we are happy to offer.
I look forward to hearing soon about all the great entrepreneurs who are just beginning their journey today! And if you need any help then please give me a call.
Alison Jones is a Partner at Kreston Reeves
Tel: 01273 811000 or 0330 124 1399