Start by carefully reading the terms of your visa or residency. Many visas have restrictions on the type of work and investment you can make, and you may need to apply for a different status, or limit your business type to comply with regulations. Also check with national and local authorities on what business registration and operating licences will apply, so you can ensure you’ll be able to cover launch costs and be profitable. Don’t forget to purchase insurance before you start operations.
Before you start doing anything else, create a detailed business plan. You can find rough templates online, or work with a business consultant for a more bespoke plan. The process will help you answer the key questions so there will be no surprises when you launch. It will cover things like who your market (customers) will be, how you’ll differentiate yourself from the competition and market yourself, and how you’ll be profitable. It’s also essential when it comes time to seek financing.
You may seek funding back home in Australia, or locally in the UK. Your visa or residency permit may place restrictions on the options available to you in the UK, including your ability to open business-banking accounts. In either case, you’ll need to be able to prove that you’re launching a serious, well-thought-out, and viable business venture. Your business plan can help convince investors or banks that your plan is likely to succeed.
Pinpoint a location
If you’re just starting out as a consultant or online retailer, you may be able to operate out of your home. If you’re opening a manufacturing or retail business, or a professional service that customers will attend in person, you’ll need to look for operating space. Research your target market ahead of time to understand what locations they’re most likely to attend; you’ll spend less money on marketing and alerting people to your existence if they can find you easily. A letting agency can help you with the legalities, and may be able to provide location advice as well.
Smart choices in business equipment from the start will save you pain in the long run. Research and put in place professional technology and software to run your business administration and operations. It should be industry-standard and compatible with industry partners, suppliers, customers, or clients, and well-suited to your business sector and operational needs. Microsoft software is a good place to start – look at MS Dynamics Sales to discover what’s available. A specialist service can help you understand which is the best choice and provide valuable support so you don’t spend all your time solving tech problems and dealing with security breaches, instead of making money.
Starting a business in the UK is an exciting and potentially rewarding venture. Give yourself the best shot at success by doing your research, working out a detailed business plan, and investing in software and technology choices that support smooth, efficient operations.