Where to look for help when starting a business

Starting a business has plenty of personal implications, and it’s only natural to feel excited, daunted, nervous, maybe even scared, when you’re getting ready to take the plunge into running a business of your own.

If you’re not sure how to get started, it’s equally natural to ask: “Where can I get help to start my own business?”

Here we are going to focus on the practical aspects of setting up a new business – not directly on issues of finance like business loans and government grants, which vary depending on the business you are setting up, but on some of the things anyone can do to make the process run more smoothly.

Plan ahead

Decide in advance how you are going to set up your business. Will you be a sole trader at first, or do you need to register a company name even before your launch date?

If you decide to register a company name, make sure you choose one that is acceptable – it must be sufficiently different from any other registered company name, and that can be a challenge in itself.

Think about how to structure your business finances too. For a sole trader it can be tempting to run things through your existing personal bank account, but especially as your business grows, an individual current account might not be the best option.

With a separate business account, you keep all of your professional finances separate from your own household spending – and even if you are a sole trader, this can be beneficial when it comes to filing your taxes and keeping a check on your cash flow.

Ask around

Everybody knows somebody who runs a business, so don’t be afraid to ask for advice. It might be a friend or family member, or even just a local independent businessperson who you’re on speaking terms with.

In most cases, as long as you’re not a direct competitor for their business, people are happy to share what they have learned – and you might learn something yourself that you were not already aware of.

Also ask for recommendations of suppliers and service providers you can work with – not just to supply you with any materials and stock you might need, but also utilities like business electricity providers if you need one, and professional services like accountants and lawyers, as appropriate.

You might be setting up in business on your own, but you’re not alone – there’s a community full of entrepreneurs who are happy to help newcomers, and professionals who will be more than happy to sell you their services at the right price.

Spread the word

Social networks are a good place to start building some brand awareness, even before you launch your business, and they can also be a way to reach out to new potential customers and get some honest feedback on what you have to offer.

If your family and friends are the kind who will tell you your business looks great even if it doesn’t, then reach out to social media users as a sounding board for any ideas you might have.

The main social networks even allow you to set up basic polls, so you could easily ask people to vote on the best logo or brand name, or on the products they would like to see you start selling from the day you launch.

Launch day

Do it right from day one and your partners, suppliers and customers will be more likely to enter into long-term business relationships with you.

If you don’t want to waste time getting your business finances sorted, an Arro Business Account is a good option, as you can be approved and up and running within as little as 3-5 minutes.

You just need your name, date of birth, company name if you have one, and your UK trading address, plus a few contact details.

We guarantee to accept all eligible applications – you need to be over 18, and there’s a basic Fair Fit test, but no credit check or intrusive background check, and no need to physically send us any paperwork.

As soon as your Arro Business Account is open, you can start accepting customer payments using your sort code and account number, and you can set up Faster Payments, standing orders and Direct Debits to your suppliers too.

Every account also comes with a Business MasterCard® debit card, so you can make card purchases in-store and online – we will send you your card details immediately via SMS so you can use them online until the physical card arrives in the post.