Click here to view article: 7 Bullet Points On…Starting your Own Business In Ireland
Starting your own business can be both an exhilarating and daunting experience. Following the seven tips listed below can increase your chances of succeeding.
1) Choose the right structure
Being a sole-trader keeps revenue filing requirements to a minimum but means paying personal tax rates on profits. Partnerships create a binding agreement between business partners whilst also minimising legal reporting. Limited companies provide limited liability protection along with access to Ireland’s low corporation tax rate but come at the expense of greater compliance costs.
2) Make your business plan your roadmap
Make a plan that not only fulfils the requirements of potential investors but is something that you can relate to. It should define your strategy, tactics and specific activities for execution. Include key dates, budgets and cashflow. There are many standard business plan structures freely available. The key is creating one that is unique for you and your business.
3) Appreciate cash is king
Understanding the difference between profitability and cashflow is paramount to success. Poor cashflow management can stem from failing to anticipate a VAT liability, misunderstanding payroll taxes or premature capital expenditure. Many profitable businesses fail in the early years due to illiquidity.
4) Know when to VAT register
Registering for VAT may be a legal requirement, advisable or unnecessary depending on your business type and size.
If you make annual sales of over €75,000 for goods or over €35,000 for services, VAT registration is obligatory. Should your business be under this threshold, it may still be advantageous to register if you plan to incur significant expenditure.
5) Explore alternative funding and tax breaks
Availability of bank finance for SME’s is back on the rise following years of fiscal tightening. This traditional method of funding may well be your best place to start but there are other options. Contact seed capital incubators (e.g. NDRC, Startupbootcamp), get in touch with Enterprise Ireland for mentoring advice, and research the many potential tax-breaks for start-ups and entrepreneurs (e.g. CGT Relief for Serial Entrepreneurs, Unemployed Start Your Own Business, Startup Refunds for Entrepreneurs).
6) Network and market
Having a viable business idea is one thing. Getting people to find out about it and engage is another. Marketing is a key factor for any new start-up. If you are selling a service, old-fashioned referrals and word-of-mouth may still be your number one marketing tool. Supporting this through effective networking and marketing materials will help build your client base.
Product marketing is industry specific. Having a clearly defined strategy that fits neatly with your business plan will increase its effectiveness.
7) Implement efficient accountancy systems
Systems, systems, systems. Inefficient finance systems can lead to huge time losses, higher costs and crucially, misunderstanding of a business’s performance. In today’s fast-paced world, accuracy and speed of information is paramount for any successful business. Technology should be embraced. Cloud computing has revolutionised the traditional finance function. Move with the times or risk being left behind.
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