We started our business, Ocala Healthcare, in Suffolk this year. Very exciting times! It has been a huge and enjoyable learning curve.
When you dream about starting your own business, you’re not imagining reading your public liability insurance policy, you’re not imagining writing policies and you are definitely not imagining learning the ins and outs of the new data protection legislation!
You think about making the sale, doing it better than those before you and ultimately being successful!
We are only at the very start of our journey, but it took a lot of work before we could even take our first step!
So I wanted to make a post to let you know what support is available to give your businesses journey the best possible start.
Your first port of call needs to be MENTA. They are an EU funded, ward winning not-for-profit company assisting new business. Right off the bat you can book yourself onto three free half day courses;
- Business Planning Workshop
- Marketing Workshop
- Book Keeping and Self-Assessment Workshop
You can do this whether you have or have not registered your business.
These workshops are conducted by people whom have already been successful in starting a business, giving you access to people who know the pitfalls to avoid and allows you to network with like minded people who are exploring similar avenues as yourself.
We have met people on these courses who have just started their business and want to learn how to move it forward, we have met people who have an idea for a business but are not sure where to start and we have even met people who know they want to start a business but are undecided as to what they want to do!
So whatever stage you are at, the course can be relevant to you.
In addition to this, Menta also have patrons, other businesses who are there to offer an initial meeting or phone call offering free advice. Including;
- Atkins Thomson – Solicitors
- Box-it Storage – Document Storage Specialists
- Ensors – Chartered Accountants
- Hugh J Boswell – Insurance Broker
These are invaluable relationships which puts you in touch with experts in their field. I would highly recommend speaking with Hugh J Boswell and Ensors.
The business plan is great for many things. It challenges you to turn an obscure idea in your mind into a detailed vision of what it actually looks like on paper. This is no mean feat!
Your business plan is going to make you realise, if I do this then I can’t do that and the big one is going to be hang on, how much? Well that will be on the back burner!
The point, I think anyway, is that the business plan gives you a chance to put your idea down on paper;
- What is your dream?
- How will you achieve it?
- What makes you better than what the market already has?
Whilst answering these questions and completing your business plan, you will realise the challenges that are obvious. The other ones will be a surprise!
There are many templates available online. Those are just a few but have a look around and find one that fits your style. This link also gives you more information on business plans!
Be prepared to be adaptable, the business plan is your ideal scenario and as with almost all the best plans in the world, something is not going to go the way you hoped!
This is a very big generic term, research what??
Everything! Research everything!!
What are the compliance requirements for me to meet in my specific industry?
These are but a few, I have added links to point you in the right direction, but have a look around and see what/who fits for you.
There is so much to learn about starting a business and to be able to write a comprehensive business plan with good financials, you need to have done your homework.
Doing the research is going to allow you to see previously unforeseen cost and allow you to adapt your plan to be successful.
Check out other start up blogs, go to networking events and learn from other peoples experience.
Banking and Funding
There are many options when it comes to funding your business and finding the right one can often be the difference between being sustainable and not.
- Find an investor
- Ask friends and family for investment
- Take out a loan
- Take out a start-up loan
Banking is another area where there are many different options with banks having various offers available and support available to start up businesses.
Here is a comprehensive list of bank offers currently available with features and benefits.
Best of luck with your venture!
I hope that you have found this article valuable! Follow the links and hopefully that will reduce your research time!
It has taken a great deal of time to get to where we are, but it has been completely worth it to this point. We are looking forward to starting our journey and wish you the very best of luck with yours.
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