In the digital age, almost anyone has the ability to set up their own business. Admittedly, the entrepreneurs with their heads screwed on are far more likely to make a success of it, but it opens up the opportunity to others who may have previously been financially unable.
To run a home business you may need as little as a computer. Depending on the type of company you run, you could be set up within days. However, it is advisable to ensure there are things in place first. Here are some tips to help your business succeed when it is up and running.
Remember that your home insurance might not adequately protect you when running a home business. For example, while home cover might protect your structure from flood damage, it may not cover your business losses when your place of work is suddenly out of order.
So, getting business insurance is the first essential step to protect you in your new home business venture. Depending on what you opt for, you should protect all equipment used as part of your business stock and also cover for loss of income. It is not worth running the risk where your livelihood is concerned, after all.
Set up a website
A great way to get your business trading from the offset, is to build an online presence, which starts with a website. If your business is based at your home, you will automatically lose the advantages a shop may give you, such as a sign and any shop-front advertising. So you must make up for this with a good website, advertised well online and ready to go as soon as you launch your business.
Use online accounting software
With running a business comes the responsibility of organising your accounts, invoices and payroll. This is no different than if you were set up in an office or a shop. HMRC will want to see a tax return and your staff – if you have any – will want to be paid.
There is online software available to help you deal with your accounting needs. This includes keeping receipts, setting up invoices and setting up pay. A quick search online will bring up a software package suited to your needs.
Use networking where possible
When you are based at home, it is easy to lose touch with the business world. It requires an extra effort to stay in touch and this will be vital to the successful running of your business. Having a presence online by using sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest will only go so far; it is well worth considering going to networking events, where you can meet like-minded business people and try to secure new customers.
Keep home life separate
Being at home naturally puts people into relaxation mode. However, this is bad news if you are trying to run a business. Either set yourself strict working hours and stick to them, or run your company from a different room or section of your home. This way you will know when you should be in business mode and will be away from family distractions.Read more
HSBC will raise its fees for over 700,000 small business account holders this week as the bank aims to overhaul its fee system to create ‘more transparent pricing.’ Higher fees are expected to target over 700,000 UK-based small business account holders.
The bank will increase its monthly account maintenance fee, which is currently £5 for small business accounts, to £5.50 per month. All of the customers affected have been contacted and informed of the fee increase, according to HSBC.
Many of the customers affected by the fee increase currently have no-fee accounts, which waive the £5 monthly maintenance fee. These customers will be charged the account maintenance fee for the first time, starting this month.
The new fees will not affect all HSBC small business accounts, however. The bank has informed customers that community accounts and charities with revenue of £100,000 or less will not be affected by the new account maintenance fees.
While the new fees are more costly for most customers, HSBC has also reported that some customers may see their monthly account fees decline as part of the new price structure. This will primarily be the case for higher-volume business accounts.
The fee rise has drawn criticism from small businesses, which claim that HSBC and other banks marketed the accounts as ‘free’ for some customers. The issue of ‘free’ banking has featured prominently in small business news in recent months.
Rival bank Santander recently drew criticism from small business owners for using its ‘free banking forever’ accounts to charge customers a £7.50-£12.50 maintenance fee. The bank was forced to cancel the charges after extensive customer complaints.
Banks have claimed that the increased fees allow them to market other services and accounts more transparently. This reduces the need for banks to rely on misleading or less transparent services such as mis-sold payment protection insurance plans.Read more
According to latest figures released in polls across the UK, confidence is dropping fast in the UK’s ability to forestall a second recession and pessimism is gripping businesses and boardrooms throughout Britain. This is attributed to three different and very dismal surveys that were released today.Read more
As if fears for the global economy weren’t bad enough, they are now soaring as the head of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, warned that the world is entering into what he calls a “new danger zone.” Around the world confidence is plunging, nations are bogged down in debt and global growth as all but stalled.Read more
Jointly, the countries of the European Union have agreed to embargo oil from Syria in response to treatment of pro-democracy protestors in that country. It is their intention to step up pressure on the Syrian government in an effort to end the attacks on protestors.Read more
There has been a lot of press given recently to Mittelstand in Germany, a family owned mid-sized business that is quite well known for being able to dominate its niche worldwide. Surprisingly, the UK has many such companies that are altogether too often overlooked; not only for their accomplishments but for the impact they can have on the economy during these hard times.Read more
According to the director of Dream Laboratory, Dr. Glen Kemp, there is great potential in the Chinese market for healthcare and biotech firms. Unfortunately, he feels that many UK businesses are reluctant to take the time to research the market. In his estimation, this is a grave mistake because the Chinese market is ripe.Read more