Becoming self-employed and starting your own business can be an exciting time. However before you get going you need to make sure you have all of the equipment and resources in place. We’ve compiled a list of the bare essentials to make sure you’re ready for business.
First thing’s first, you need to establish where you’ll be working. If you’re going to be sat at a desk most of the time then you have a couple of options. You can either hire out a small office or you can work from home. While hiring out an office may give a more professional feel you should be sure to consider the impact it will have on your cash flow. On the other hand while working from home may provide a cost free alternative will it provide the right environment? The last thing you want is children crying in the back whilst you’re trying to concentrate or on an important phone call.
Make sure your computer is up to the tasks that are required. If for the most part you’ll simply be word processing then most computers will fit the bill. However if you do require something of a higher spec, say for instance for design purposes, then make sure it will comfortably be able to handle the work which is required.
Additionally if you see yourself having to travel to meet clients or for other reasons then you might want to consider buying a laptop over a desktop computer, or a tablet so you can take any necessary information with you to present. While laptops are often more expensive than desktops computers you don’t have to buy them outright. There are numerous leasing and financing options available which allow you to control your cash flow while you get your business up and running.
Internet & phone line
Having a reliable internet connection is crucial to almost all roles. Even if what you do doesn’t directly require the internet you’ll still need it for things such as your emails along with maintaining and managing your website and social media accounts.
Just as essential as your internet connection is a dedicated business line. While your business is in its infancy you might get away with using your mobile as your business line but as you grow we’d recommend having a number strictly for business enquiries. We certainly wouldn’t recommend using your land line given the number of irrelevant cold calls and other personal calls you’re likely to receive.
To provide a more professional feel there are a number of telephone answering services available. They act as your receptionist and can divert calls through to your mobile or landline or even take messages if you’re too busy. This frees up more time for you to get in with more pressing jobs involved in running your business.
When you start your own business there’s a strong likelihood that you’ll be needing external support of some sort. Even if you manage to find time on your hands, chances are that you won’t have the expertise required for certain tasks.
Something we’d highly recommend is having a qualified accountant on hand. While many SME owners might consider hiring an accountant as being too expensive, the benefits they provide will most likely make them worth your while in the long run. Having an accountant won’t only remove the stress of ensuring paperwork for the HMRC is filled and returned on time but they’ll also work to ensure you tax bill is minimised through legal means. Therefore acquiring an accountant will not only save you time but also money.