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10 tips for start-ups

Want to start your own business?

If so, here are 10 tips for going freelance or starting a limited company based on our 20+ years of experience.

  1. Research your market and test your ideas with real people – don’t just ask, actually try to sell something (product or service)
  2. Connect with people who share your passion to share ideas, create conversations and build an inspiring support community
  3. Try starting your business as a side project to your main source of income, it will give you time to build your confidence
  4. Tell your network about your new business and ask for introductions and ways to improve your offer: if you don’t ask, you won’t get
  5. Find your first customer because no amount of testing beats a real customer paying for your product or service
  6. Don’t worry about perfection at launch, just make sure your basic offer works because you can add bells and whistles later
  7. Ask for feedback but not with leading questions, such as “Did you like the product/service?” – instead use open questions, such as “How can I improve / What didn’t work / What more would you like?”
  8. Remember, tell HMRC that you are going freelance or setting up a business, keep accurate records and talk to an accountant about expenses, VAT and whether to set up a limited company through Companies House (also, check your insurance)
  9. Watch your cashflow, keep outgoings low and remember that not all you earn is yours – you might have to pay tax on some of it
  10. Tap your local business support organisations for free business advice and networking opportunities to continue learning.

∗ Bonus tip: Build your network online and offline – and backup your contacts so you don’t depend on a single platform.

We hope you find these ten start-up tips interesting and useful. Please share your views below.

PS: Do what you love, do it with passion and have fun.

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Thank you for reading

Huw Sayer

@HuwSayer / @Business_Write

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