Starting a Business

If you’re looking to start a new business, take a look at our useful articles and guides to help you on your business journey.

Untitled design (20)Personal assistants have always been thought of as the backbone of the office, and until recently the idea of having your PA working from home was unthinkable. Technology and flexible working arrangements now make being a PA possible from home and many women have decided to go it alone, working for one or more companies on their own terms.


Your first task will be to research the idea, and find out whether you think it’s feasible for you to work from home – will you be able to get childcare sorted, for example? Although being a VA does take the commuting and stress out of getting to work, you still have to be available for the times you’re being paid for so it’s really not a job you can do if you still have little ones at home.

Get your skills up to date if you’ve been out of the office for a while, so that you know how to use things like Skype, content management systems, social media, scheduling apps and anything else you think you might need to do a PA job in or out of an office.

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Untitled design (79)Copywriting can seem like the ideal business to get into – after all there are very few overheads and you can do it any time of the night or day, all you need is a laptop or computer with a decent Internet connection and word processing software and you’re off. If you want to try your hand at being a professional writer, here are a few tips to get you started.

For brevity, we’ll assume you’ve done the necessary with setting up bank accounts and registering for tax. Once you’ve got the formalities out of the way, you need to work out how to build your business. If you have contacts from past employment, or anywhere else, use them shamelessly to network. Referrals and recommendations are worth more than adverts and self-promotion.

Website and Copywriting blog:

You’ll need a website so that you can showcase your work. If you don’t have any examples yet, start writing a blog. It’s really easy to get a free blog and website all in one, we recommend starting out with a WordPress site as they look very professional and Google loves them. Having a website with a blog attached makes it easy for you to add new content regularly, which in turn helps get you seen on search engines, which is what you need.

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Untitled design (100)As the infographic shows, small businesses are prevalent throughout the entire UK.

In fact, the UK thrives on small businesses, and it is clear that their growth and success impacts our economy considerably. Although the majority of small businesses are situated in the affluent city of London (17.8%) and South East (16.16%),1 overall, small businesses employ 52% of employees across the UK. Many thanks to Everline for providing this useful infographic which illustrates small business distribution in the UK.

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Untitled design (96)Our contributor Heather shares her top 10 reasons to start a home business.

  1. Be the best boss you’ve ever had!
    I’ve experienced working for some great bosses and some not so great bosses in my employed life, however I now have the best boss ever – ME!
  2. You can start immediately
    Most home-based business opportunities offer immediate start-up so you earn an income or commission immediately.  You also have the option to choose whatever business you like, however you have to have belief, honesty and passion for it to be a success.
  3. Low start-up costs
    Direct Sales businesses tend to have very low start-up costs so this is a huge advantage when you are starting up.  Other home-based businesses will also have lower start-up costs, however research should be done on all options before deciding which business to choose.

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Untitled design (97)Websites have become a vital tool in our modern world. They are utilized to share knowledge whether it is for formal purposes, such as business, or informal such as social.

When the Internet first came about, websites were mainly preserved for the few prominent companies or organizations that could afford the costs associated with owning and running a website. The trends have greatly changed today, however, and the process of starting a personal website is constantly becoming simpler and economically feasible. Almost anyone can get a website up and running at a small cost, which has made the web a new frontier for everyone wishing to share information with a large audience.

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Untitled design (98)Don’t wait until your business fails to realise that you got it wrong!  Business planning is a sure way to succeed in business.

It’s a common misconception that your business plan is only necessarily to apply for funding.  This is very far from the truth; in fact I would say that funding is the last reasons for writing a plan.  Your business plan is an essential document that captures exactly what your business is about, what is important to you and how you intend to make your business succeed.  80% of businesses without a business plan will fail within their first 5 years.
Writing something down is the first step toward making a dream a reality but sadly the number one business mistake is to skip the planning phase.  If business owners understood the importance of their business plan, they would spend more time crafting it, fine tuning it, pondering on it and even workshopping it with other business owners.

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Untitled design (99)Have you got a great business idea but unsure on how to best write a business plan? To make the most of your idea, you need to be able to communicate it effectively to potential investors, clients and employees – you need a solid business plan. Once you have a plan, you have the road map for your business and can clearly show anyone who is interested what your company is all about, your plans for the future and how you plan to grow revenues.

With this in mind, this infographic courtesy of SurePayroll will help you put together a great business plan, including everything you should include, as well as how to make it succinct and engaging.

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Untitled design (30)Six Things to Think about when Establishing A Virtual Assistant (VA) Business

A Virtual Assistants (VA) job can give you the following:

  • Job Satisfaction
  • Work / Life Balance
  • Income
  • Variety of Work
  • Diverse Mix of Clients
  • Self Respect.

A lot of “Mums” decide they want to become a VA in order to have a mix of the reasons above – others decide they have had enough of the corporate world and want it to go alone.   So, would you like to know more about establishing your own VA business?  Here are Six things to think about.

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Untitled designIf you are thinking about becoming self-employed there are quite a lot of things to consider, so it is important that before you start working for yourself, you make some clear plans and know your legal responsibilities.  Read our useful tips to help you to make the transition:

Plan your Self-employment

It is well worth putting some plans in place.  If you are starting a new business from scratch you have probably made a business plan?  It is a sad fact that as many as 70% of businesses do not survive their first year, but with realistic projections, planning and addressing issues promptly, you can avoid being a part of this statistic. Finances are going to be a key factor over the first 12 months of self-employment.  

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Untitled designGuest Article by Anne Livesey

Being a Mum is a very busy job, always on the go, a million things to think of at once. Then all of a sudden you have a great new business idea and you think, ‘I’m going to be a MumPreneur!’.

Don’t be shocked at how you feel. Many mums, of all ages are turning their dreams of running their own business into a reality, but it’s still a huge change in lifestyle, so feeling nervous and excited all at the same time is perfectly normal.

Child care costs are soaring and actually finding the right kind of reliable child care isn’t always straightforward. It’s certainly horribly expensive.

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