Start up your own small business
16:06 16 June 2010
The makers of Guinness are introducing a social entrepreneurship programme to the UK, inviting people with a business head and a social heart who are aged between 25 and 35 to enter the Bring It To Life Awards.
The Awards, with UnLtd and Rathbone, will work with people who have a brilliant urban regeneration idea* that makes a positive difference to their local community and provide recipients with the support, skills and funding to create positive social ventures.
The Guinness Bring it to Life Awards honour Arthur Guinness commitment to supporting local communities and his philosophy from one to many.
Two levels of Award are available for entrepreneurs. 13 Catalyst Awards, each worth up to £2,200, are available for those who need the running costs to get their idea off the ground and 6 Development Awards, worth up to £15,000 each, are available for established social entrepreneurs to get their ventures fully operational.
Applicants can apply for an award at http://www.unltd.org.uk/guinness-bring-it-to-life-awards/ from 27 May and the deadline for entries is 23 July.
But what do you need to do to make a success of a small business?
Here are 10 tips to make sure your enterprise gets off to a flying
- Do what you love. You are going to be putting a lot
of energy into your own business and building it into a successful
company. Therefore its really important that you enjoy what you do,
whether it be running golf holidays or creating pottery.
- Write a business plan. The main reason for doing this is that it can
help you clarify exactly what is needed. More importantly business
partners and the bank mangers will know that that the business can
- Don't depend on your business as your only source of income at the
beginning. Have saving or another job as you start out so that you can
have money in your pocket as you build up the business.
- Insure your business first. You are entering unknown waters - so
make sure that you have a comprehensive plan and advice from an
insurance company. It will help your piece of mind.
- Get clients or customers before you start. Dont wait until
youve started your business to line these up. By doing this you will
help establish that your target market exists. You cant start marketing
too soon so sell or even give away your products.
- Do your research. You need to become an expert on your industry
products and services. Joining related associations before you start is
- Get the money lined up. Save up if you have to. Approach
potential investors. Figure out your financial fall back plan. And
remember to secure outside finance you will need to provide a concise,
- Be professional in everything you do. That means organising,
business cards, a work phone and email address and treating people in a
- Get the right professional help. If youre not an accountant or a
book-keeper, hire one. If you need a contract writing, get a lawyer.
- Get the legal and tax stuff sorted at the beginning as it is
always expensive to unsnarl a mess afterwards. Learn what your legal and
tax obligations are and if you need to be registered for VAT.