Setting Up Your First Company – Business Services, Consulting, Etc

etting up and running your own business can be a fantastically rewarding challenge. This article provides ideas and suggestion to entrepreneurs who are, or are thinking of, setting up their own company. best registered agents

Setting yourself up:

  • Consider how you can best access the wide range of expert advice without unaffordable expense. Use free resources available on websites run by the government and professional bodies
  • Join a few business forums in order to find people who can help and also to get recommendations for advisers, companies etc. Use the forum well – search for past threads and take some time to learn from the information already there
  • Use a formation company that can help you with the basics to ensure that you are compliant. Check out a few and find one that offers you good support at a reasonable price. Costs vary quite widely
  • Find a good accountant. If possible via recommendation. Most accountants will give you a free introductory session. Make good use of this, prepare your questions in advance and also use this to decide if this is someone you can work with
  • Decide about location; the need for offices, systems, infrastructure, staff. Initially try to do as much of this as possible on a service basis rather than through hiring staff
  • Consider your brand. This may seem daunting but need not be too costly and is something that is hard to change later
  • Consider your IT needs; what sort of web presence do you want, how will your supplier and customer management systems work etc
  • Try to plan all your first year expenses up front so that you can prioritise and make good choices

Your business plan and finances:

  • Be realistic. Put together a Profit and Loss forecast, run a worst case scenario – about 20% of your first estimate of sales. You can do an upside one as well for fun but make sure you can survive on the worst case at least for a substantial period of time
  • Look at your cash flow. Even a successful business can struggle with cash flow issues, and this becomes particularly critical if you are in the temp or employment agency market where your contractees will need paying every week and your clients will take a lot longer to pay. Plan on the industry average of around 50 debtor days or more
  • Get insured. Consider buying necessary insurance that you can pay for monthly. Yes, it’s a little more expensive than paying up front but it helps you preserve your cash position
  • Be prudent. Check out the credit rating of your clients
  • Get your terms sorted. Absolutely clarity up front on invoice terms will save you effort and angst later on. Include late payment processes and incorporate these
  • Consider how you can best build your portfolio – can you do some low cost or free work for either a charity or an organisation that will given you a valuable endorsement. If you do some early lost leader work, ensure it is positioned as such and avoid the low cost trap as far as possible
  • Focus on gaining testimonials at the end of each job/project/contract
  • Consider how you can get referrals, can you offer a referral scheme?

Your Customers:

  • Take a bit of time to consider what it is that you will be offering your customer and what might make you their supplier or business partner of choice
  • Set your pricing parameters up front and take care not to compromise on these in an early bid to do business since you will find it hard to recoup them later – unless you build this into a longer term contract
  • What service guarantees do you propose to give your customers?
  • If you are negotiating a long term preferred supplier arrangement consider using a procurement professional

Lisette Howlett [], Managing Consultant/Director mlh global hr consulting [], has a unique range and breadth in HR and a track record of achievement spanning 15 years with global Human Resources in blue chip companies and 5 years in local government and the public sector. This includes extensive global HR project and content leadership and internal/external HR consulting covering UK, U.S., Switzerland, Europe, and Asia. She writes and presents on HR and recruitment matters with particular emphasis on recruitment, recruitment effectiveness, integrated talent management, the people and orga