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Ask the experts: FSB Business Creation experts answer your questions


Our Business Creation experts are on hand to answer all your queries about setting up on your own. The following are just some of the questions we’ve received recently

Q When should I give up my job to start my business?

Knowing when to leave a job is like climbing the stairs. It is something that you do one step at a time. 

Consider your family. Talk through the realities of the move, along with the possible financial impact 

Identify a gap in the market, where you can solve a problem; try to identify your unique selling proposition. Why should business owners or customers use you? Spend some time perfecting your business offering 

Have a clear idea of whether you have a market for your products or services. If you are considering a service business, stay in employment until you have negotiated enough contracts to cover your personal survival budget and business expenses

Think through the correct legal status that suits you on a short and long-term basis

Take the time to develop your systems. Start with a business plan, personal survival budget and cash-flow forecast along with a working knowledge of the financial side to the business

Never make a big decision to start a business when you are experiencing a traumatic change in your life. Wait until things have been resolved and you can clearly think through all aspects of starting a business before taking that step.

Q How do I identify a good accountant?

A good accountant can be identified by the following:
Has great people skills
Knows your industry
Can assist you to set up a simple book-keeping system compatible with the systems they use
Will not charge you for a quick call or a regular email
Has a professional client reminder system in place
Updates you on recent changes within the industry and from the Government that will affect your business
Explains financial terminology in simple terms

Is available to discuss your short, medium and long-term strategy openly and objectively
Has a policy of being open and honest. Provides an estimated bill to help prepare your cash-flow forecast
Can provide clear terms and conditions of trade prior to engagement

Remember that the onus is still on you to ensure all HMRC paperwork and payments are submitted on time.

Q What can I do when business is quiet?

It is inevitable that things may start to go quiet. Here are a few useful activities that can be done during those periods:

Attend training courses. Courses can expand your skills, assist with growth or help you diversify

Reassess your business goals. A quiet period is a good time to keep an eye on your competitors, the market, pricing and your terms and conditions

Expand your offer. Consider adding more products and/or services. Try to have at least three or four income streams coming into the business 

Network. Social networking is one of the most cost-effective ways to engage with businesses

Catch up on paperwork. This is the ideal time to ensure that you complete your accounts, ready for submission.

Take a holiday. Time away from the business is the best way to recharge your batteries, think objectively and return to work full of energy