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Digital Company Formation

How to give a Business Start up a Professional Image?

Marketing can often be as important as a good idea!

A good business idea badly marketed can often lead to failure, whilst a mediocre business idea may well succeed based on good marketing. Every year multinational limited companies spend hundreds of millions of Pounds on marketing, advertising and image not because they have surplus funds to spend but because they deem it a good investment to help their business grow. The same logic applies but perhaps even more so with a business start up or growing business because they are not known, and need to distinguish themselves in the market.

Are there common principles that apply to all businesses?

Yes, absolutely all businesses must present themselves in the best way possible for their selected market. One great way of giving a good image is through virtual offices. These places can give your business start up a registered company address which can be posted to and even sometimes provide a secretary service to forward your calls. We would, however, first advise you to carry out out extensive competitor research. Try and be as objective about your business, fee structures and how it may be perceived by a 3rd party as possible – The best people to give their opinion are often not friends and family as they may not be as objective – ‘honesty is really the best policy’ where marketing is concerned! One very cost effective port of call is Companies House itself, where it is a good idea to identify ‘close’ competitor companies, preferably in your area, and literally print off their accounts and see how well they have done over the years – The information on small companies may not be that extensive as they normally need only submit abbreviated accounts but it will give an idea if your business is viable. In addition, try and compile as much competitor literature as possible and identify how they are marketing their products and/or services. If possible go through the process of being a potential client and see what, if anything, you could do to be better than the competition. Never be afraid to discuss your business venture with a certified or chartered accounting services as they often have many years of business experience and can help you prepare a viable business plan, often dramatically increasing your chances of success – if you feel you have a totally unique idea or product, you may wish to get them to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) - see our free resource section above.

Look the Part! - First impressions really are lasting

People need to feel that they are safe in your hands – they want to know that you are qualified to carry out/provide the business services/products you offer; that you have the expertise; and perhaps, most importantly, client care attitude to make them feel safe and valued, something all too often missing in British business. Something that is never wasted time is to go on some sales/customer care courses as many will let you see things from the clients’ perspective. What else? Well the following are also important to consider:

Marketing Your Business

 
  1. Have a good website – It doesn’t need to be large just professional looking. Getting your website on the first page of Google is more important; it involves the process of Search Engine Optimisation which can only really be done properly via professionals.
  2. Make sure your business cards and leaflets look professional and have a similar look and feel to your website especially in respect to your logo if you have one.
  3. Talk to a business start up adviser – Most UK banks are very proactive in this area and often can give useful tips. You don't need to form a company straight away, but with advice you'll know exactly when to do so.
  4. If your business does not need its own premises for clients consider using a virtual office service provider as it keeps office and staff costs to a minimum and provides a feel good factor for clients. Getting a registered company address is very similar to virtual offices, however, a registered company address will only take your post.
  5. Consider setting up a limited company or LLP to protect your non-business assets and also show that you are taking your enterprise seriously.
  6. Appoint an accountancy or business start up firm that can guide you through all the bureaucracy of running a business including company formation, VAT registration, bank selection and day-to-day management accountancy. Many people can deal with their own accountancy but generally it is best to concentrate on your business and not the administrative functions if success is to be assured. To form a company (register a company), you'll most likely need someone with expertise in accountancy to make sure nothing goes wrong.
  7. Try and join a trade or professional organisation related to your business area as not only does it give added veracity and prestige to your business but also these organizations can often provide invaluable advice, courses and back-up for the business start up.
  8. Look into joining the Federation of Small Businesses – It is the UK’s largest small business organization and has many helpful courses, resources and gives you access to like minded entrepreneurs.