Your Guide To Starting Your Own Small Business

Starting a new business can be one of the most exhilarating, yet daunting, experiences that you’ll ever face in your personal and professional life – being a business owner is a huge step towards achieving many of your goals in life, but it’s no easy feat and there are likely to be many hurdles that you’ll need to overcome on this journey. If you’re interested in starting up a business of your own, you probably fall into one of three categories:


  • You have a business idea that fills a gap in the market
  • You want to be your own boss
  • You think there’s a better way to offer a service or product that already exists


No matter which of these categories you find yourself in, the most important thing to understand is that there is a lot of hard work required to start your own business and it’s very difficult to make an instant success, so patience is a vital characteristic that you’ll have to learn. Once you’re ready to begin this hard work, you can start to formulate a more solid business plan to focus on – you can find tips on how to do this below! By following our tips, you’re sure to give yourself the best possible start when you’re founding your own business, so read on to find out what you’ll need to consider when you’re starting your own small business!


What will you need to start your business?

When starting up a new business, there are a couple of major key components that you need to ensure you’ve got in place, without which you wouldn’t be able to proceed. By ensuring that all of your vital factors are clear and actionable, you can be certain that you’ve built a solid foundation on which to build upon, but it’s all going to depend on having sturdy building blocks in place, to begin with. Here are the top things  you need to do before you start up a new small business!


A great idea

All great businesses are founded on a great idea or vision – whether you’re looking to revolutionise an industry or simply offer a service that’s missing from your local area, it’s important that you’re doing something that you’re passionate about and which you truly believe could be your big break. This belief all comes from that first idea – from the moment you have your lightbulb moment, you’ll know that this is the avenue to pursue when starting a small business. If you’ve already got your idea for a business in mind, that’s great; you can start making that vision a reality once you’ve done your diligence and ensured that the idea is viable and achievable! If you’re still struggling to find your million dollar idea, however, it might be time to focus on your hobbies, interests, and expertise to find a gap in the market that you feel you could fix. By choosing an industry that you’re interested in or passionate about, you’ll be aiming at a target market that is very similar to yourself – this means there’s nobody who can understand the needs, wants, and thinking processes that this audience goes through before making a purchase. With this insider knowledge, you’ll be able to tailor your business idea to the way that your target audience will appreciate most, propelling your company towards success. 

Of course, after you’ve got your idea there are still plenty of things you need to put into place to get your business up and running…



Get the necessary licences

One of the most important steps in the early stages of forming a business is obtaining the correct licences and accreditations that are needed to be able to legally operate in the capacity that you expect to – in many industries, there are certain governing bodies who you must be registered with before you begin to trade, so before you get to this stage, it’s important that everything is straightened out on the legal side of things. 

Due to the nature of these licences, you’ll often find that they are incredibly industry-specific and this can make it even harder to decipher which ones are and aren’t relevant to your own organisation. What may be relevant to a bar or pub may not be relevant to a florist or newsagents, so reading up on the licences required in your industry is a very important step in the process. Below, you can find a few examples of the licences that are required for different businesses and the things that these cover:

  • Licences for music: If your business is one that sees the ability to play recorded music as a necessity to attract customers, as it would be in a bar for example, then you’ll need to obtain a licence that permits you to do so. You can do this by applying to the PPL PRS for ‘TheMusicLicence’, but you’ll also have to disclose the capacity that you expect to play music in at this point too, so it’ll be a good idea to understand the size and purpose of your premises first. TheMusicLicence will vary in cost, ranging from the lower-priced licence to play music through speakers at a small bar to the larger licencing fee that you’ll need to pay if you’re expecting to host live music at a larger venue. 
  • Food business registration: Although this is not technically a licence that you’ll need to obtain, it is mandatory for any business that is deemed to be carrying out ‘food operations’ in any sector. Any activity such as selling, making, storing, or handling food will fall into this range, so if your business has anything to do with food, you’ll need to be registered as a food business. To do this, you’ll need to contact your local council, where you’ll need to submit a record of every premise where you expect to be carrying out food-related operations for your business. 



Make sure you’re protected 

Every business suffers setbacks, but in desperate times, it’s important that you’ve got the right protection in place to ensure that your business is able to survive through periods of unexpected difficulty or accidents. Once you’re a business owner, there is a great deal of responsibility and liability placed on your shoulders; unlike with major corporations, any claims against a small business can be crippling, leading to financial difficulty, debt, or even closure in extreme cases, if you’re uninsured. To avoid these damages, you’ll want to ensure that you have an insurance policy in place that protects you, your customers and clients, and your property in any unfortunate events. Small business insurance may not be a legal requirement, but it serves a very practical purpose; with insurance protection your business in times of difficulty, these policies could be the difference between survival for your business and closures. The risks posed to every business are huge – shops, cafes, restaurants, instructors, and everything in between can be hit with a claim at any moment from any angle, so it’s vital that you’re able to handle any injury, damage, loss, or legal costs should you need to. 

Here at The Insurance Octopus, we’re always on the lookout for ways that we can ensure our packages offer the most to our clients – that’s why we offer bespoke tailored insurance policies to meet your needs and tailor to the dangers that your business faces. In our eyes, this is the only way that you can be confident in the insurance policy that you’re purchasing. If you’re interested in finding out how our team can help you to find the perfect insurance deals for your business, simply get in touch online or by phone today! Our expert team is on hand to help guide you through the process to find the ideal package, so you know you’re in safe hands when you’re dealing with a member of The Insurance Octopus’ team.