Factoring: Start-ups Have a Funding Shoulder to Lean On

Sema Fongod of explains how factoring can be a useful business tool for start-ups in this difficult economic climate. To be successful in your start-up venture, initial capital investment is the major issue to be focused on. New business owners tend to depend on the banks to raise capital. However, banks and other financial institutions are making life difficult for start-up owners as their credit terms are getting more and more stringent. Start-up capital isn’t just about raising finance to get your business off its feet. It’s also about ensuring a healthy cashflow for meeting the daily operational costs of your business once it’s launched. Where do you raise funds to kick-start your business and provide on-going working capital? Factoring is a funding solution t... »

Students and Over-55s send Start-up Figures Soaring

Students and retirees are turning their back to the traditional job market to set up their own businesses, two new pieces of research have highlighted. The first, a survey of 500 small businesses carried out by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, found that nearly a quarter (23%) of over 55s had set up their own business after being made redundant, while 12% had decided to become an entrepreneur on retirement.   More than a million so-called ‘older-preneurs’ had used redundancy or retirement as an opportunity to go it alone, according to the bank, with many turning a lifelong hobby into a business venture. Saga spokesman Paul Green said older people were more experienced and could often raise significant capital with which to start a business, saying: “They’ve ... »

Starting Up Your Own Business: Overview and First Steps

Planning and organisation are crucial in the early stages of setting up a new business. You have a far higher chance of success if you take the time to prepare. This section will guide you through: The first steps of business planning Who you need to inform about your new venture How to make your mark The first steps of business planning Before you contemplate putting time, money and effort into a new enterprise, weigh up the pros and cons on a personal level. Be clear about your goals, your strengths and weaknesses, and why you’d rather set up your own business than work for someone else. Ask yourself: Self-employment: is it right for you? Do the market research Successful businesses rely on knowledge of the market. Within your chosen field, consider what the market needs, then look... »

Quarter of Startups Created Through Redundancy

Redundancy continues to drive the creation of business start-ups in the UK as new research has shown. According to small-business insurer Hiscox, 17% of new businesses are started by people who have recently been made redundant. With economic conditions remaining tough and the unemployment rate at 7.7%, starting up could be the best way forward for many recently unemployed. According to their research, 28% of respondents cited wanting to be their own boss as the key reason for starting up, while 20% wanted to “live their dream”. Three-quarters (77%) admitted their business idea was not new, merely “an improvement on existing offerings”. “Entrepreneurs are starting businesses to take control of their future, whether they have experienced redundancy or want to p... »

10 Top Tips for Start-ups

Starting up a business can be hard, with a multitude of different things to think about, not least of which is where you’ll be hosting the new venture. While many small businesses and one-man band start-up’s opt to choose working from home as a focus for their idea, this isn’t always suited to everyone. After all, working from home can often be cramped, there can be family distractions and while it may work out as a cheap route to take, the solitary lifestyle can also be off-putting to some. For a chance to get out there and start your business in a ‘proper’ office there are now plenty of options to choose from and this can also be a great way to grow your new venture too. Location, location, location The place where your business is situated could prove to be... »

50,000 New Startup Businesses Established in difficult 2010

The number of startup businesses in the UK increased by 48,000 in the 12 months to January 2010, bringing the total number of private sector firms to 4.5 million, government statistics have highlighted. The figures in Business Population Estimates for the UK and Regions, released by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) showed there was a 1.1% increase in private sector businesses from 2009 to 2010, despite difficult economic conditions. Business and enterprise minister, Mark Prisk, said that it was “encouraging” to see this growth during the recession and that he hoped it would continue, commenting: “This was a difficult period, and these figures show the resilience of British business.” Prisk added that the Government would attempt to help existing companie... »

Starting a Business: Why Do People Take the Plunge?

People choose to take the plunge and start their own business for various reasons. Be it financial gain, frustration in their current role, lack of job opportunities, or the big business idea – perhaps they have designed the next best thing to a bread slicer. In addition to people’s inner drive or motivations, the UK government is also trying to encourage more of us to go into business. One example is George Osborne increasing the bank levy by £800 million for 2011 to persuade lenders to finance small businesses. To better understand why people start their own business, professional indemnity insurer, Hiscox ran an online poll asking entrepreneurs what motivated them to turn their idea into reality. Possibly surprisingly, the main reason wasn’t financial gain. Rather, Hiscox found 32... »

Leasing Business Premises: FAQs for StartUps

If you’re about to start your own business, then one of the most important steps is choosing the right premises to operate from. Get it right and you will have a solid base from which you can start to grow, but get it wrong and it can turn into a big, expensive distraction. The best way to avoid potential future problems is to make sure you understand everything about the premises before you sign the lease. Here are the main questions you should be asking your property agent: Who is responsible for what? Maintenance: Ask what maintenance you are expected to pay for, and what your landlord pays for. Also find out what standards of maintenance you are expected to meet if it’s your responsibility. Meeting standards: Whatever type of business you plan to run, the building you choose will need ... »

Startups: Have You Got the Retail Factor?

Shopping-centre owner The Mall has launched a competition for small retail businesses in each of its 13 centres nationwide, with prizes including free trading and small business mentoring. Start-up businesses that want to trial new products in their local shopping centre should submit their plans online or to the "Ask Me Point" in their nearest Mall centre by the 20th February. Entries to The Retail Factor will be judged on innovation, commercial viability and relevance of the product to the local market. Businesses that make their region’s shortlist will be given free use of a retail merchandising unit for two weeks through to April. Following the bi-weekly trials, a panel will pick a winner from The Mall centres in Barnsley, Blackburn, Camberley, Luton, Maidstone, Middlesbrough... »

Simple Steps: Starting Up your Own Online Business

Michael Norton, managing director of offers his top tips for entrepreneurs looking to set-up their online venture With e-commerce growing by 14% in the UK and online shopping at an all time high, there has never been a better time to think about starting up an online business. As the winter draws in it’s understandable that many office workers are feeling the strain of their current job and considering other options available to them. Our research showed that as many as 50% of Britain’s office workers are frustrated entrepreneurs, who have considered setting up their own business – with the most popular choice of a business start-up being an online venture. Many would-be entrepreneurs can face a range of obstacles when trying to join the e-commerce revolution and some fail to ... »

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