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Designed specifically for the needs of new businesses

Many people start out with a great idea, but it’s how you put that idea into practice that will determine your success.

Once you've launched your business, the next step is to grow and develop. Starting a business involves many moving pieces and to help you, we have drawn on knowledge from our team to produce this quick start guidance.

In 2016, there were 657,790 new businesses started in Britain. Start Up Britain tracker

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Building your business and winning customers

Even if you had a successful launch, you need to develop your business for long-term success. Once you're up and running, you need to retain and attract clients and customers.

You should start with the basics by identifying your unique selling proposition (USP) and creating a marketing plan. A good marketing plan should include a website, blog and some advertising mixed with social media activity. 

Good service is also important to make sure you keep your customers happy and turn them into brand advocates for your business. The way you treat your customers matters and the effects of a poor customer experience is people will move their business somewhere else if you fail to impress.

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Technology to improve customer experience

Many businesses are looking for better ways to adapt and adopt new technologies. From intelligent self-service options to mobile apps and voice-activated chatbots, technology can help you to improve your customer experience, revenue and profitability.

The effectiveness of your technology is equally important to make sure they meet your customers' expectations and work flexibly, so you can make changes to meet market needs.

At the same time, digital platforms offer new businesses a powerful route to market. Selling and promoting yourself online is affordable and successful businesses are being built on websites and social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

To help you, we have developed a useful guide on how technology can improve your sales performance.

Download our guide to Growing Your Online Sales

What to consider when taking on employees

When you're recruiting staff for the first time, it's not simply a case of interviewing and hiring the right person for the job and then setting them to work. It's important to know your legal obligations and responsibilities when hiring staff, otherwise it may cost you time and money.

Find out more with our useful employment guide.

When you're employing staff there are certain aspects that you'll need to consider:

  • Salary: remember that you need to pay your employees at least the National Minimum wage
  • Right to work: check someone's legal right to work in the UK, as well as other employment checks.
  • Check records: you will need to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check if you work in a field that requires one e.g. financial and legal services and security.
  • Insurance: you will need to get employers' liability insurance as soon as you employ a member of staff.

  • Records: you will need to send details of the job (including terms and conditions) in writing to your employee. If you are employing someone for more than a month, you will also need to give them a written statement of employment.
  • Register: you will need to tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by registering as an employer. You can do this up to four weeks before you pay your new staff.
  • Pension: if you employ people aged between 22 and up to state pension age, and they earn more than £833 per month, you will need to enrol them into a workplace pension scheme



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Determine how you will fund your business

In the early stages of developing your business, the funding world may seem complex. The fact is, you cannot expect any business to succeed unless it is adequately funded. It's therefore essential to establish a solid financial base for your new business and be clear about how much money you are going to need and where to find it.

Traditional sources of finance, such as loans and overdrafts, have become more difficult to access. Many people use personal savings or alternative forms of funding that include Invoice Finance, Invoice Discounting or Factoring to develop their business.

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Speak with one of our team today 0808 196 1692