Small business start-up guide

When starting a small business, it can be tricky to know exactly where to begin. From coming up with the initial concept to figuring out your marketing plans, it’s important to iron out a step-by-step plan to get the wheels in motion. According to studies, SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) made up 99.9% of the business population in the UK at the start of 2022, so plenty of start-up owners will be going through the same motions.

Here’s how you can make a smooth entrance into the business start-up world to get off on the best foot possible.

Business plan

As tempting as it may be to jump straight in at the deep end, it’s important to take a step back and create a detailed business plan. During this period, you’ll be prompted to assess the opportunities and threats your venture might encounter. You’ll also gain a deeper understanding of the longevity of your business, as well as how certain actions might dictate what the future looks like year-on-year. 

Having a business plan in place will also help collate everything in one place – and it may come in handy if you’re seeking investment in the future. Setting goals and identifying how you’d like your business to progress will help you make action points that keep things moving. Keeping a copy of your plan close-by to reference regularly can help keep you focused on your goal and do the best you can for your business.

The paperwork

Having your paperwork in order will make your life 10 times easier. Make sure it’s up to date and filed correctly so you can refer to key documents when they’re needed. Once you’ve submitted your necessary paperwork, you can finally get the ball rolling. 

Examples of such tasks might include registering your business name, obtaining data protection documents, and getting the right business insurance. If you plan to employ staff, you’ll need to look into filling out employee records and other HR-related documents.


Knowing how you’ll fund your start-up is crucial. It’s an expensive thing to commit to, particularly in the early stages, so having a plan of action will help things run more smoothly. 

Grasping how to control the cash flow in and out of your business and ensuring your personal assets are protected is key in case the business doesn’t take off. There are lots of helpful accounting systems and tools to help you keep track of your finances.

Finding your demographic

Identifying your demographic and taking the time to truly understand it is fundamental to your business’ success. This can inform the identity of your brand, from the tone of voice to the logo and visual assets.

Taking the time to research your target audience will mean you can piece your marketing plans together more effectively. You’ll be able to spend less time and money on experimenting and more on investing in a campaign that will directly reach your audience. 

Photo credits: Coworking London