Be your own boss

Whether you’ve always fancied being your own boss, or your side hustle is beginning to demand more of your attention, the New Year is a great time to start a business. Turning that idea into a reality takes hard work and dedication, but the rewards can be attractive.

Running your own business gives you more control over what you do, as well as when you do it. You could also get the buzz of seeing your hard work pay off – and as it’s your own business, you may well be doing something you love. If you’re tempted to start building your empire, you’ll need a plan to get it up and running. Here’s a handy checklist to get you started:

  • Have a business idea

You might already be doing it in your job or as a side venture, but you’ll need to start out with an idea that can be turned into a money-making product or service.

  • Do your research

You might love your idea but will your potential customers? Research what’s already out there, what competition you might have and whether you’ll be able to turn your idea into a healthy income.

  • Put together your business plan

This lists your business objectives and how you’re going to achieve them. It will help you focus when you start out, and help win any financial backing, but it’s a living document so be prepared to change it as your business grows.

  • Make it official

With your plans in place, it’s time to sort the paperwork. You’ll need to register with HMRC for tax and, if you’re setting up a limited company, you’ll have to tell Companies House. You may need to get licences and permits, depending on what your business does, and you should also check what insurance your business needs.


Support for small businesses

There’s plenty of support for starting your own business. Government-backed business support lines are available throughout the UK and, if you’re in England, you can also tap into the expertise of your Local Enterprise Partnership. The British Chambers of Commerce is another potential source of support, with local chambers bringing together businesses to build relationships and share best practice. You may be able to get free support from private companies too. As an example, Google offers a mentoring service, training and tools to help you develop and market your business online.


Insurance solutions for small businesses

At Co-op Insurance, we can help you take care of your insurance requirements. As a business owner, you face a variety of risks that can potentially derail your plans. These include theft and flood, as well as business-related legal liabilities.

We offer five different business insurance products: Self-Employed and Tradesperson Insurance; Shop and Salon Insurance; Office and Surgery Insurance; Residential Landlord Insurance; and Commercial Landlord Insurance.

These are all flexible so you can build your cover to suit your business. And, because every business is unique, we’ve partnered with specialist insurance broker Miles Smith to help you arrange the right cover for your new venture. So, whether you’re launching an interior design consultancy, opening the first branch of a hairdressing chain, or setting up a rabbit hotel in your garden, check out how Co-op Insurance can help you protect your business.