Starting a business is a great option provided you have a viable idea and a plan of how to start trading.
Outside the core of your business, there are a number of other factors to be aware of before starting your business planning.
To make bite sized chunks, we’ve broken these down to:
- Physical and tangible things about your business and its output;
- Virtual aspects – data protection;
- Insurance for your business.
Data protection and Insurance comes after this section and we will be providing a short course on Cyber protection in the future.
Here’s a list of the physical things which we cover in the courses:
- Where will your business be based?
- Working from home or dedicated premisses?
- Do I need to look at planning regulations, my mortgage or insurance?
- Health and Safety during work and at ‘my office’?
- What additional qualifications/certificates do I need for me or my business?
- Food storage? or dealing with waste?
- Fire certificate?
- Do I need a licence or registration? – Is your business child minding, guesthouses, restaurants, hairdressers, mobile or pop-up shops, taxi and private hire, indoor sports, public entertainment (band disco), clubs, pet sales, boarding kennels, scrap metal, carers/nurses or even street trading?
- What and when do I need to tell Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs?
Most of the items above have simple actions or straight forward processes to solve and will not unduly delay you getting going. All part of business planning in the next course.
However, you must ensure that you are trading legally and appropriately – remember the news about a father that got fined because his young daughter started selling lemonade on their front-lawn? The council enforced a fine for illegal ‘street trading’ which was upheld even though the trader was under age.
Common sense and a little research is all you need before you start trading.
Security, health, safety, environment and fire
What aspects of health and safety and other regulations apply to me?
There are a lot of rules and regulations that apply to most working practices. In most cases, common sense and a good audit trail of your work and conduct will protect you from making fundamental mistakes.
However, some regulations like customer data protection can have a fatal consequence on a small business if they are breached and you are prosecuted. Click on the links below to find out more:
- Security – (Data Protection Regulation) DPR
- Health and Safety
- Environment and environmental policy
- Fire and access
Do not be put off by some of the stories you read in the media regarding business failings. Provided you have and maintain appropriate policies/plans to meet the regulations and you have a process to spot, rectify or address failings then you can mitigate issues and your insurance will cover the unexpected. Most important of all is to be open and honest with yourself, your customers, the appropriate regulatory body (if applicable) and your insurers.
Remember that the most important aspect of your business will be making a profit legally!