Blog - company formation

The First Year In Business: How Successful Startups Made It Through

07 October 2016

Starting a business is a big risk, but often one that is worth taking. A lot of the time, start-up owners are on the line financially and sometimes even mentally during their first year of business. That first year is critical in deciding whether your business will be a success or a failure. While no one possesses a magic formula that can tell you for sure if your business will be a hit or a miss, these tips will help you to make that first year as good as it can be and line your business up for its best chance at success!

Keep on trying

When you read about businesses succeeding or failing, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there are only two options – magical unicorn businesses that are instant runaway successes and disastrous failures – businesses that have always lacked potential and are doomed from the start. The truth is that most startup businesses usually fall somewhere in-between these two extremes.

In order to influence your business in the right direction, perspiration and perseverance is required in order to make your inspiration pay off. It’s also important to try and maintain a positive outlook despite the challenges that your business will inevitably face. If you can see past these challenges to the future of your business, then you’re well on your way to succeeding.

Work together

Time is a commodity during the first year of a start-up and business owners are often immersed in the business, but it can be good to take some time to talk to colleagues, friends and other advisors. Collaborating with these people is a great way to gain feedback, insight and even new ideas that could help your business.

Not every conversation will be of value to your business, but in general most will be positive and you’ll also be building yourself a support network that will be useful in years to come.

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Enjoy the journey

This is an important one! There are a lot of risks involved with starting a business and some challenges can seem insurmountable and create a lot of stress. However, the opportunity to pursue something you truly believe in, to see it grow and to be your own boss is considered by most to be excellent compensation for the initial tough times after forming your company.

Plan for the future!

Planning for year two is something that is important to do. Setting long term goals, such as having five year plans, is also recommended by many leading entrepreneurs. This will also help you to see past any challenges that appear during year one and aid you in finding a way through to business success. It’s also great to set goals so that you know exactly what each task you do is contributing to!

Are you ready to begin your business journey to success?

From forming your company with our online company formation service, to business accounting and much more, we’re here to help your business on its journey to success. Find out more about the services we offer on our website: blog.eformations.co.uk Or alternatively, give us a call for a friendly chat on: 0208 232 5479.

5 Secrets To Launching A Successful Online Business

01 October 2015

The online world of ecommerce is where many businesses are making their money these days. Starting an online business is an excellent way to take advantage of the growth of online shopping and could be lucrative for your company. Before starting an online business, there are some key things to consider. We’ve put together five secrets to successfully launching an online business in order help you succeed in your new venture.

  1. Plan your business

Starting an online business is definitely less complex than starting a real world business and it can be done a lot faster. However, it is still essential to have created a proper business plan including a cashflow forecast, brand identity, and marketing plans, before the business is launched.

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  1. Build your foundations

Setting up an online business shouldn’t be any different from setting up a standard business. It’s important to get all of the foundations in place. Forming a limited company is a great way to protect your personal finances and also helps customers perceive your business as official. You can form a company online today, using our online company formation service. Just click here! 

  1. Decide on DIY or agency

It can be tempting to try the DIY way of setting up an online business. It may work out cheaper and you’ll be completely in control. However, it’s also important to consider how time consuming it is and a more professional result is likely to be achieved if you opt for outsourcing this job.

Going with an agency will take the stress away from you and they’ll also be able to offer ongoing support and updates for your business.

  1. Start with a skeleton

One of the best things about starting an online business is that it’s possible to get set up and start selling almost instantly. While planning your business before starting to sell is essential, once that’s done you should try and get your products or services available for purchase as soon as possible, so that you can start making a profit.

  1. Set a launch date

Just like a normal business, doing a proper launch can work wonders. By setting a launch date you’ll be able to gear your marketing to building up interest, until your first products are available to sell online. Consider ways to make your launch memorable in the online world. Some businesses launch by running a webinar, which allows them to engage directly with all of their potential online customers.

Remember – in order to launch, your online business doesn’t have to have all of the bells and whistles installed. Just make it functional and professional looking!

We’re here to help your business succeed

At eformations, we’re ready to assist your business on its way to success. Our online company formation service is designed to make forming a company as simple and as hassle free as possible. To find out more about company formation and other business services we offer, please visit our website: https://blog.eformations.co.uk/Alternatively, you can call us for a friendly chat on 020 8232 5479.

 

 

5 Tips For Explosively Launching Your Business

19 May 2015

Starting a business is an exciting process, and there’s nothing more exciting than the prospect of launching a company. But how do you make sure your business launch is a resounding success? Here are five top tips on how to explosively launch your business in order to help you lay the groundwork for future success.

  1. Create an action plan

The first thing to do when planning your company launch is to come up with a plan of action. This plan of action should contain everything that needs to be done in the lead up to your launch. Approach it like a calendar and assign tasks for every day. Always think about how long it may take for you to achieve results from an action. For example, a newspaper advertisement may need to be booked in advance and then readers may take several days to respond. In comparison, forming a company through an online service will result in company formation after a few hours. Schedule your tasks accordingly.

 

  1. Establish your brand

Looking professional is essential for any new business. Before you launch, make sure company logos, colours, marketing materials, and your website, are all sorted. Don’t forget to form your limited company and make your business an official trading entity! 

  1. Connect on social media

One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is to spend too much time on the wrong social media channels. Find out where your ideal customer hangs out online and then put your efforts into those social media platforms.

 

Having a profile on LinkedIn is a must for any business, as it will allow other professionals to contact you. If you’re a B2B business, you can also use LinkedIn to gain clients.

 

  1. Test before you launch

Before launching your business, enlist the help of friends, family and anyone more impartial that you can get your hands on! Ask them to click through your website and read through your promotional materials just to make sure everything works and that it makes sense to those without prior knowledge of your business. An exception to this rule would be if you were to provide a highly specialised product or service. In which case, try and connect with those in your industry, who will be able to understand it, and ask them to help.

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  1. Build respect within your industry

In order to build your audience of prospective customers, it can be advantageous to integrate with their communities and establish yourself as an authority. To do this online, you may consider guest blogging for blogs in your niche, or contributing advice to questions asked in social media groups. In the real world, try attending relevant meet-ups or events that your ideal customer will also be attending.

 

Ready to launch your business?

If you form your company and tick off all of these points from your list, (after participating and engaging for a good amount of time) your business’ launch will be far more effective and anticipated than if you were to launch with nothing built up. An explosive launch will give your business the strong start it needs.

 

Do you have questions about forming a company?

At eformations, we’re here to help you make your business a success and that includes helping you form your company and choose the right package for your business. To find out more, please visit our website https://blog.eformations.co.uk/ or call us on 020 8232 5479.

 

 

 

5 Tips For Legally Forming And Running A Business

25 March 2015

Forming and running a business is an exciting idea, but the legal side of business can be a daunting prospect. That’s why we’ve put together five tips that will help you on your way to legally forming and running a business. By avoiding making mistakes, you’ll save you and your business money and time and get the legal side of things out of the way, so you can focus on running your business.

Check your company name and register it

This is one of the first things you should do when forming a company. It’s a good idea to register your company as a limited company as it offers more protection than being a sole trader. It is a great idea to talk through these options with a business expert or accountant, as they will be able to explain the difference. Give us a call if you’d like to talk it through on 020 8232 5479.

Assuming you are going to register as a limited company, there are some important things to remember:

  • The company name must end with the word Limited or Ltd.
  • The company name must not be the same as, or similar to another already registered company name. You can check this here: https://blog.eformations.co.uk/
  • Your company name cannot contain any restricted or sensitive words.

If your idea is an original one, consider patenting and copyright

If you have a great original idea for a business, it’s reasonable to not want anyone else to steal your concept. If you are concerned that this may happen to you, it’s a great idea to look into patenting, copyright and even trade marking, which may help to protect your idea and give you the legal grounds needed to go after anyone who does attempt to steal your idea.

Before rushing into spending a lot of money on patenting an idea, it’s a good idea to find out what the patent is actually worth and how much it will protect you. A great way of finding this out is to ask the question ‘what would someone need to change in order to not break the patent?’ and you’ll have your answer. You may be surprised how easy it is to get around!

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Organise your finances

It’s a good idea to organise your business’ finances as soon as you start your business. This means less time searching for receipts and being bogged down in a mountain of paperwork later. Finding an accountant you like early on in business is a great idea.

You can also get organised using your mobile phone! We recently wrote an article on accounting apps that can help your business keep track of money. Read it here: https://blog.eformations.co.uk/2014/11/

Read up on employment law

If you’re going to be taking on employees in your new business, there is a lot you need to know in order to comply with the law. A great way of learning all you need to know about employment law is to sign up for a reputable short course, run by an expert. Alternatively, at the start, hire freelancers to avoid the paperwork and legislation associated with employing staff.

Seek professional advice

If you’re considering forming a company and a business, we can help you to get it right first time. From helping you to check whether or not your chosen name is available, to online company formation and much more, visit https://blog.eformations.co.uk/ to start your business today. Alternatively, call us on 020 8232 5479 for a friendly chat and discover how we can help your business today.

5 Ways To Fix Pre-Company Formation Nerves

09 March 2015

Deciding to form a company is a big commitment and some pre-formation nerves are normal. If you’re still worrying about whether or not your business idea will be a success and need help feeling more confident, read on and discover five ways you can fix those pre-company formation nerves. These fixes will also help ensure that your business goes on to succeed in the long term!

Test The Market

Hopefully you will have already done a lot of market research before committing to your business idea. While it is relatively simple to profile your perfect customer, there is no replacement for real world testing. Go to where your customers will be and test your product or service and ask for feedback. This is also a great way to get testimonials from clients before you’re officially open for business.
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Talk Your Business Plan Through With Other People

It’s easy to worry that you’ll bore people by talking about your business all the time, but asking someone if they wouldn’t mind listening to your plan and sharing their thoughts on it can be a good idea. Ideally this person will not be too biased in your favour, so avoid family members and close friends as their answers may not be as useful. The people you talk to don’t necessarily have to be your target customer or even in business themselves, try and talk to a variety of people. You never know who may pick up on something you’ve never thought of before, or spot a flaw that was invisible to you!

Engage With Your Business’s Future Community

A great way to get your business off to a flying start is to engage with your potential customers and other influencers in your chosen field. If you do this before you start selling, you’ll hopefully have already started doing the work needed to establish you and your business as an authority in your chosen area.

Keep The Paperwork Stress To A Minimum

When starting a company, it’s possible to get caught up in all of the paperwork that goes with running a business. This can take focus away from the business itself and can slow down progress. A great way of keeping paperwork stress to a minimum is to outsource admin tasks and use a company formation service. We provide an online service that will result in company formation in just 3-5 working hours.

Start Right Now

Some people spend months, or even years, planning a business idea that may not actually work when put to the test. Some of the best advice you can follow is to start running your business as soon as possible – even if it starts out as a skeleton operation! When you start successfully selling and taking orders, you’ll know you’ve got a winning idea. Conversely, if your business isn’t immediately successful, you’ll be able to make changes quickly before too much time and money has been wasted. If you are going to fail in business, it’s always better to fail fast.

Are you starting a business?

At eformations we’re ready to help you through every step of company formation. Instead of struggling with paperwork, form your limited company with us, using our simple and stress free online service. If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of our services, please contact us for a friendly chat on 020 8232 5479 or visit https://blog.eformations.co.uk 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Reasons Why You Should Start An Online Business

02 March 2015

If you’re thinking about forming a company, you’ve probably already considered using online strategy to help your business succeed, but how about starting a business exclusively online? There are many benefits to running a business in the virtual world, especially if your product or service lends itself to the online platform. Here are seven reasons why you might want to start an online limited company as opposed to a more traditional limited company.

If you are considering forming an online business, it is a great idea to register as a limited company because it gives protection to the trader and helps to establish a trust in the customer when purchasing something from an online trader.

  1. You can work from anywhere

One of the main benefits of starting a business online, is that you can work from anywhere in the world without needing a physical premises. However, some businesses benefit from the gravitas of having a business address. If you would like a business address, but don’t wish to rent premises, why not have a look at our business address service?

  1. You can get started on a shoestring budget

A traditional business would require premises, stock, and employees, which means a large outlay of cash before the business has even started! Setting up an online business greatly cuts these costs as all you need to start selling is a website. You can also cut costs by outsourcing tasks rather than taking on permanent employees. This will mean less paperwork for your business!

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  1. It’s simple to go global

Using the internet makes it easy to reach and sell to customers all over the world. However, if you do have the intention of taking your products and services global, be sure to look into the latest VAT legislation for the EU.

  1. There’s easy access to a huge number of potential clients

With a traditional business, you are often limited by your location and can only market to those within a small distance of your business. When you’re online, it’s possible to reach a far wider range of potential customers, which should hopefully result in more income!

  1. Digital marketing is affordable and effective

Traditional forms of marketing, such as newspaper ads, are always a bit hit and miss, as it’s difficult to accurately quantify results. Marketing online, through Google or on social media, is a great way to run low budget, well targeted ad campaigns with results you can easily analyse.

  1. Your business can be open twenty four hours a day

By having a website, your business can be accessed at any time of the day or night, which customers find incredibly convenient.

  1. Be more flexible

Most traditional businesses work between the hours of nine to five, or similar. When you run your business online, you can choose your own hours to suit you and your business’s needs. If you’re working from home, you’ll also have more time to spend with family.

Are you starting a business?

At eformations, we offer a company formation service that can be done online in three to five working hours. You can find out more about this service and get started right now by visiting this page: https://blog.eformations.co.uk/how-to-buy/

If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of our other services, please contact us for a friendly chat on 020 8232 5479 or visit https://blog.eformations.co.uk 

 

 

 

 

Bootstrap Business: The Most Affordable Way To Start A Business

09 February 2015

Starting a business can mean that a lot of money has been put forward and there is the potential for that money to be lost. It is this risk which stops many companies from ever being formed. For those starting out in business, the more money that can be saved, the less of a risk forming a company becomes. We’ve collected together some of the most effective ways to make starting a business affordable, which we hope will inspire you to go ahead and form your limited company!

Get as many things right first time as possible

This may sound like something that is easier said than done, but there are certainly ways to improve your likelihood of getting things right first time in business. Hopefully you’ll already have conducted extensive research which should indicate that your business idea is a viable one. Beyond that, a great way of getting things right, after forming your company, is by reaching out to other business owners and drawing on their experience. Most people are happy to share tips and you’ll also make your business some allies, which may benefit you in the future!

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Strip down your operation

Some businesses start very small and then grow, but other businesses need a certain number of people to be effective. At the start of a business, an elite team is required, but keeping things stripped down doesn’t have to mean cutting your costs by cutting staff. Instead, consider your office space and other expenses that could be reduced. Where you can, make savings. For example, perhaps have some staff working from home, or source your office furniture from a site like Freecycle.

Outsource rather than hire

Outsourcing is a great way to utilise a large pool of people without the costs usually associated with running a large business. Outsourcing also allows you to hire people for a single job that you’re certain they can do. By using freelancers, you can avoid complicated employment law and keep a close eye on the business’s finances.

Use experts to help your business

Using experts is another good way of saving your business money in the long run, and sometimes in the short run too! Instead of spending hours figuring out and filling in complex paperwork, invest in a company formation service with a reputable company. One of the greatest mistakes often made by people starting out in business is to try and do every task themselves. By outsourcing and using experts, jobs will be done faster, better, and you’ll have more time to focus your attention on making the business succeed.

We’re company formation experts and more!

Here at eformations, we offer a wide range of business services, designed to take the pressure off you and help your company to succeed. We’re business experts, and will provide professional results fast. If you’d like to find out more about any of our services, please contact us for a friendly chat on 020 8232 5479 or visit https://blog.eformations.co.uk 

Business Success Stories: Four Secrets Of Successful Companies Who Did Well In Their First Year

02 February 2015

The first year of business can be a rocky time for companies just starting out, and it is during this time that many businesses fail. However, there are many success stories out there which can inspire your own business and help you to become a business success.

  1. Find the right inspiration

All businesses start with an idea. Sometimes an idea for a business comes from working for an employer and realising that something could be done better. Other times, business inspiration strikes because of an idea inspired by an occurrence in daily life. A good way of knowing if a business is right for you is to consider whether you feel passionate about the concept. All businesses experience ups and downs and commitment and passion for an idea is needed in order to persevere.

 

The entrepreneur behind AlgAran, a seaweed product company, first became fascinated with seaweed because of its impressive results as a grape fertiliser. This inspired a fascination with seaweed which resulted in her spending so much time researching it she says she was shunned by her friends due to it being all that she talked about!

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  1. Discover your motivation

Money is often the first answer that springs to mind when people are asked why they want to have their own business, but the most successful businesses are usually founded because their founder was passionate about solving a problem or improving upon an existing idea. Some entrepreneurs are even motivated by the excitement of building teams and starting something new. Listen to successful serial entrepreneur Judy Estrin talk about what motivates businesses here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24853536

 

It is a great idea to consider exactly why you’re in the business you’re in – even if you’ve been doing it for a while!

 

  1. Be prepared to be flexible

Many businesses fail because their owners get fixated on one idea and refuse to make any changes that could result in massive success. PayPal was originally envisioned as a cryptography company and overcame many failures before they found their sweet spot as an online payment system. If something isn’t working about your business model, consider a slight change of direction. Small adjustments can make a huge difference and lead to business success.

 

  1. Don’t be afraid to grow your business

If you’ve conducted research, tested the idea, and are passionate about what you’re doing, you shouldn’t be afraid to seek funding for your business. While obtaining backing for a new business can be tough in the current economic climate, raising money to grow your business is very important and will stop you from trying to do every single task yourself. Funding can help your business to grow faster and succeed faster.

 

Applying for backing might seem intimidating. It’s a great idea to connect with other business owners and entrepreneurs who’ve obtained backing before and ask their advice. Starting a business shouldn’t be a lonely process!

 

Taskrabbit, a business that specialises in errand running, connected with an already successful entrepreneur who supported the idea and allowed Ms Busque to watch him scale a business of his own and raise the money to support it.

We’re here to help your business succeed in its first year and beyond

At eformations, we offer a wide range of services beyond company formation. We’re here to help demystify the behind the scenes work that goes into running a business. Using our business services will help free up your time so you can focus on taking your company forward. If you’d like to find out more about any of our services, please contact us for a friendly chat on 020 8232 5479 or visit https://blog.eformations.co.uk 

 

Six Accounting Apps That Will Change The Way You Manage Your Business 

05 November 2014

Phones are often used for snapping selfies, sending emails, and making calls, but did you know that the technology currently sitting in your pocket can be used to help you manage your business? With the ready availability of the inbuilt camera, using your smart phone as a way to keep track of invoices and receipts is a great idea. There are many accounting apps available which can turn your phone into a mobile accountant.

Here’s an overview of six accounting apps that will change the way you manage your business in the future:

Earnest (Apple)

Earnest is a free, simple record keeping app for Apple devices developed by FreeAgent. With this app it’s possible to track your income, watch your expenses, monitor business cashflow, and keep an eye on tax so you’ll never miss those deadlines. Earnest can even give you an estimate of how much tax you’ll owe.

Mint (Android)

Mint is a free app that is advertised as a personal finance app. However, it does offer useful tools for small business owners and entrepreneurs. It’s possible to add credit cards and bank accounts and the app will pull in and categorise your transactions so it’s easy to see where money is going. Having organised finances means that you can spend more time focussing on the business.

Shoeboxed (Android)

Shoeboxed is a receipt, bill, and financial document organiser for Android devices. It has the neat ability of being able to extract important information (date, payment type, vendor, total, etc.) from the receipt which then creates a searchable digital database. Ditching the real-life shoebox for this app will save you time and money.

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Sage Record Keeper (Apple) 

Sage Record Keeper is a free app for Apple devices which has been designed to help self-employed people keep cash records. As well as being a great way to organise your transactions and track deadlines, this accounting app also stores six years of tax records for future auditing or reference. There’s a lot more to this accounting app and it is well worth visiting the app page to have a look.

Freshbooks (Android) 

Freshbooks is an easy to use accounting app for Android devices which makes it possible to track your business’s expenses and profits. Like other accounting app services, it charts and organises your business’s expenses to help you make good business decisions and file your taxes. It has some extra functionalities which might be useful for your business.

Quick File (Apple) 

Fed up of losing all of those receipts in the washing machine? Never lose a receipt or an invoice again with this free app for Apple devices. Quick File makes it possible to quickly photograph, crop, and file your receipts. It’s easy to view the receipts on your phone or online when you need them again.

Help with business accounting

If you need help organising your business’s accounts, we offer a professional accountancy service. Contact us for a friendly chat on 020 8232 5479 or visit https://blog.eformations.co.uk  for more information about the services we provide for businesses.

What is Companies House?

10 September 2014

If you’re considering or are in the process of setting up your own business, you’ll probably have heard of Companies House. However, their exact function might still be a bit of a mystery. We’re here to fill you in on all you need to know about Companies House and how it affects your business.

The history of Companies House

In 1844, The Joint Stock Companies Act meant that companies could form more easily than previously when the incorporation of joint stock companies was only possible by private act or royal charter. This act meant that all companies that formed under it were added to a public register. The office of Registrar of Joint Stock Companies was then created to be responsible for maintaining this register.

Currently, company registration is dealt with under the Companies Act 2006.

Today, all limited companies in the United Kingdom are registered with Companies House. There are over three million limited companies currently registered in the UK and every year over 400,000 new companies are incorporated.

What Companies House does

Companies House has a number of functions. The main functions are:

  • Incorporating and dissolving limited companies.
  • Storing and examining company information which has been delivered under the Companies Act.
  • Making this information available to the public.

Where is Companies House located?

Companies House has 3 offices, in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast.

The Cardiff office deals with companies incorporated in England and Wales, and with companies incorporated in Wales. Wherever the registered office of the company will be situated, in England or Wales, the company must be registered in Cardiff. England and Wales are a separate entity from Scotland.

When the registered office of the company is to be situated in Scotland, the company must be registered in Edinburgh.

When the registered office of the company will be based in Northern Ireland, the company must be registered in Belfast.

Upon incorporation of a company the certificate of incorporation produced by Companies House will clearly state where the company is incorporated.

Storage of Information

An important task of Companies House is to store data and provide that data to the public. The statistics of the companies registered at Companies House are published in the annual report.

Can I obtain data from Companies House?

Companies House have a website www.companieshouse.gov.uk where you can obtain information about all companies incorporated under the Companies Act. Most of the information is available digitally at a small charge.

Companies House also provide a wealth of resources and guidance booklets on numerous aspects of incorporating and running a limited company.  This information is available free of charge on their website.

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How can we help? 

While a lot of free information is available from Companies House, it is still a daunting task for a new entrepreneur to work through the jungle of technical information to set up a limited company and run it properly. Give us a call on 020 8232 5479 and don’t forget to visit blog.eformations.co.uk