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We are able to
provide you with an exciting range of products
and services that suit all levels of business
We do not stock
shelf or dormant companies. All of our Limited
companies are formed with your choice of
director(s) and shareholder(s) from the outset.
This means no other director or shareholder
other than the ones you appoint will appear in
the company registry. The best you could hope
for with a shelf company is documents next day.
That's without the time it takes for your
appointments to appear on the company record at
Starting up a new business - taking the plunge
Starting a new business
embarking on a new and exciting adventure.
It is fraught with excitement, with a little
danger, and lots of obstacles. But unlike a
proper adventure, starting a business is not
like blindly running into trouble without an
inkling of what the future will bring. The
wise would-be businessman or entrepreneur
can arm himself with information that can
increase his chances for success and be
prepared for any obstacles that he will
But the first hurdle of business is
the plunge itself. Are you well prepared to
open a business? Are you armed with the
right information, the ample knowledge and a
clear vision for what you want for your
Before embarking on a commitment to do
business, do yourself a favour and ask
yourself the following questions:
1. Why do you want to start a
Dedication and focus is
very important in forming and running a
business. It is a time consuming task and
the prospective entrepreneur must have the
drive to see his business through to the
next level. Although running a business
brings tremendous rewards, you'll have to
think carefully if you have the right "mind
space" for business.
2. What kind of company structure is
best for my business?
Would you like
to open a sole proprietorship where you own
the company yourself but you also assume all
the risks on your own? Do you want a limited
company or a partnership? What are the
obligations and responsibilities for each
choice? You must assess what kind of
business you want to set up and this is the
first of many choices you will make.
3. What are my skills and weaknesses?
The conscientious businessman knows his
strengths and his weaknesses. Ask yourself
what your strengths/weaknesses are and list
them down. Ask friends for their honest
opinion. By knowing your attributes you can
then hire people who are strong in areas
that you are weak in or can compliment your
4. What do I do with funding?
The best ideas in the world do not guarantee
overnight success. That is why you have to
be prudent when it comes to funding
estimates and using your resources. Ask
yourself how you will support your business,
aside from saving enough money, are you
going to take out a loan from either the
bank or from friends? These are business
decisions you will have to make.
5. Who will I compete with?
Starting a business is like preparing to go
to war. Your objective is to win over your
competitors in the eyes of your target
market so you will capture their pockets. Do
a thorough research on your competitors,
identify their weaknesses and ensure that
your product or service exploit these
opportunities as a way of presenting
yourself as a better choice. Never be
complacent when it comes to competition.
6. Is there a market for the product
or service I am offering?
Try to determine if there really is a demand
for what you are going to sell. There's no
use in starting a business if there's really
7. Do I have a business plan?
A lot of budding entrepreneurs underestimate
the power of an effective business plan in
starting a small business. A business plan
gives structure to the random thoughts and
ideas you have about starting your business.
By writing a business plan you not only
bring order to your vision, it can actually
help your ideas evolve further. A business
plan is also important when seeking funding
or new business partners.
8. Where can I seek professional
It is an important step in starting a
business to consult with a trusted adviser.
Try to identify a person you can ask advice
about the business you want to start. You
can also hire a professional to fulfil this
function if you are so inclined
Guide to working from home
Starting a business is a very exciting time
for budding entrepreneurs and businessmen. A
great number of opportunities are just
waiting for them. It is also a time for
making many, many choices.
As part of
starting a business, one of the choices a
businessman or entrepreneur has to make is
the issue about the office. For some,
setting up a home office or working from
home is an attractive proposition. First, it
is a good way of saving some of the initial
start-up expenses. Working from also gives
you a good alternative to the antiseptic and
noisy office environment. It can also save
you money because you won't have to commute
to and from an office. But before seriously
considering putting up a home office try to
ponder some of these points:
Question your motives. A home environment
is relaxed, comfortable and can even be good
for your disposition but it is also for
these reasons that you have to ask yourself
why you want to work from home. Don't think
that work at home situations is an easy
option because it is not. Also make sure
that your physical absence from your
business will not have a detrimental effect
Keeping a work/life balance. A work at
home situation enables you to experience
full flexibility when it comes to managing
your time but it also means demanding
self-discipline and organisation from you.
If you do decide to work at home make a
physical and mental distinction between your
home and your work life. Do this to avoid
any kind of distractions like television,
the garden or some other
entertainment-related activity, and
alternately to prevent work from consuming
your whole life.
Try to set up a dedicated work area to
help you maintain that invisible boundary
between "work" and "home".
The right working environment. Set up the
right working environment for your office.
It should be well-lit, comfortable, and
properly equipped. A work space at the
kitchen table is not entirely conducive for
the right work-related frame of mind. Keep
in mind that you might have to revise your
insurance policy to cover the office
equipment you are putting in your home.
The right support network. There is no
use to have an exacting self-discipline if
the people who live in your home do not have
it. You need the complete support of your
family if you do want to work at home. They
should not constantly interrupt you. A
simple but effective tip is to put a simple
"Do Not Disturb" sign on your home office
Here are a few tips that can help you
when decide to work from home:
* Always meet your deadlines and plan
your daily tasks
* establish and stick to a daily routine
* Always stay in regular contact with your
* Don't sleep late during work days
* Refrain from eating too much
Setting up a website
Company registration also means doing a lot
of preparations in terms of the tools you
will need to sell your products and services
as well as to promote the goods you sell as
well as your company. Generating corporate
equity - that is developing your company's
reputation is a vital part of business
One of the mot effective ways of
generating interest in your goods as well as
your company is by setting up a website. An
effective website can clearly bring across
your message to your customers as well as
work seamlessly with your company's
strategic business plan.
Here are some reminders to help you make
the perfect website:
Do not forget your objectives. Ask
yourself what the purpose of your website
will be. Will you use it to sell products or
attract new customers? Do you want to
provide customer-centric information? List
down what goals you want to set for your
website and try to achieve them. Look at
your business plan to see if your goals are
complementary to your business objectives
and your company's vision.
Always use fresh content. Encourage
repeat visits to your website by vigilantly
keeping your website up to date. Offer fresh
content so that visitors will have something
to look forward to when they visit your
Make it easy to load. Websites that
take ages to load turn off visitors.
Make your website load swiftly by using
small graphics or small clusters of
graphics. Don't use complex graphics
that will just bog down load times. Also
be conscious about your text. Eliminate
dense text blocks or overly long lists
that would require a visitor to scroll
down too much.
Stress important information. If
possible, put as many listings of your
phone number, address, email address,
and/or order information for your
products throughout the website. That
way, visitors won't have to look around
for a way to contact you.
"Under construction" is a no-no.
Refrain from using "under construction"
pages. If a page is not yet finished
then don't put it online. If you want to
put a little excitement for a feature
that will soon appear on your website,
use a "coming soon" icon instead.
Keep your audience in mind. Design
and build content for your website with
your audience in mind. Your website's
look and content voice must be
appropriate for the market you want to
penetrate. There's no sense in having a
zippy, MTV-style website when you’re
selling canes for senior citizens.
Present a "clean" website. Remember
that your websites visitors are not beta
testers. Meticulously look for dead
links, proofread your content, identify
typographical errors, poor grammar and
amateurish sentence construction. These
errors can affect the professional image
you are trying to project to your
How to attract backing in your start up
of aspiring businessmen and start-up
entrepreneurs are out there right now
peddling their ideas in the hope of getting
the much needed capital to get their
prospective businesses off the ground.
According to one fund manager, there are so
many business plans and proposals that land
on his desk, but from all of these plans
only five per cent actually get the funding
they are asking for. The reason for this is
two-pronged. One, fund managers are very
conscious about the plans that they study.
Only the real business gems get the kind of
attention that would eventually result in
funding or capital infusion. The second is
that the sources of development capital for
small and medium sized businesses are
getting harder and harder to find.
But even with such a reduced number of
opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs and
businessmen there are still certain things
that can be done to increase the chances of
a business plan to be noticed and eventually
get the nod of funding managers.
One of the first reminders came from the
fund managers themselves. According to them
the firs thing to bear in mind is to be more
selective in sending out the business plan.
The worst thing that you can do is to send
your plan to hundreds of venture-capital
firms. By sending the plan to many firms
immediately, you will not have the
opportunity to fix the business plan if ever
you get some useful feedback before sending
out the next batch of plans.
In the event that the management team
gets an invitation to present to a potential
investor there are a few points that should
First of all, it is quite common to see
management teams looking for finance commit
the same mistakes. That is, they parade
about clichés in their presentations that
are meaningless to venture capitalists and
funding managers. One of the favourite
assurances that is made is how a business
plan is prudent. This means nothing to fund
managers and offer no comfort. Another
favourite line is that chief executives are
working on a "three to five year horizon for
exit". The reason this is mentioned is
because they think this is what fund
managers want to hear.
Fund managers advise not using these or
any clichés as this only highlights
inexperience of the management team. Be
confident in presenting the plan and have
faith in your plan.
But faith also means being sure of your
business and its capabilities. Fund managers
recommend that the management team have a
clear vision of what their company is
capable of doing given the funding that it
is looking for as well as a clear
understanding how that funding is going to
Finally, the management team has to
remember that venture capitalists invest in
teams not individuals or business ideas.
They have to be able to show that the team
has a breadth of experience in a number of
disciplines that will be beneficial for the
business. It is also of utmost importance to
act like a team when doing their
Tips to keep a healthy cash flow
the biggest reasons for most business
failures is the inability to generate a good
cash flow. Maintaining a good cash flow is
the key to success for most small and
medium-sized businesses. A decent cash flow
will enable the worry-free purchasing of raw
materials for your products, acquisition of
new equipment and payment of staff wages. A
problematic cash flow is a situation that
will further breed other problems.
are some tips that you can follow to help
keep your cash flow on track:
1. Make a credit check. Always
make a credit check on your
customers/clients. Set realistic credit
limits for your customers. Try to seek out
worthy companies to trade with. These are
companies that not only have a solid credit
reputation but also has a track record for
paying bills on time.
2. Set clear conditions. Formulate
your terms and conditions and make sure that
your customers know about it. For example,
if your terms are for 30 days, make it clear
to your clients. One way to disseminate your
terms and conditions is to include it with
your invoices, contracts, order forms, etc.
3. Be on top of your administration
Don't forget to always check your invoices.
Avoid invoices from being returned by
addressing them to the proper department as
well as a named individual. Also include the
job details, a purchase order number, the
proper amount, the business terms and the
4. Invoice ASAP. Issue your
invoices immediately upon completion of a
job. Follow it up with a phone call to see
if the customer has received it as well as
to check whether the details you have put in
are all correct.
5. Always be observant. Always
observe and be diligent about what is
happening around your company. Do you notice
that your customers are behaving strangely?
Have they suddenly become hard to get hold
of? Have they begun issuing post-dated
cheques to you? These and other inconsistent
behaviour can be a sign that something is
happening with your client. It is up to you
to decide on what to do given the signs.
6. Control your credit. Always
have a follow-up system in place. Have
statements and reminder invoices ready for
sending at given intervals. Do not hesitate
to call your customers if ever their
payments are late.
7. Keep an eye on your stocks.
Take control of your stock levels. Always
plan ahead and don't carry too much stock
because too much also costs you money. What
you can do instead is to arrange for more
frequent deliveries from your suppliers in
order for stocks to be kept at a minimum.
8. Manage your suppliers. It is
possible to get a better deal if you shop
around among different suppliers and
negotiate longer credit terms as well as
volume discounts. This will give your
company more reserve cash that you can then
reinvest on your business.
9. Keep communication lines open.
Always give up to date information to your
banks, suppliers and customers.
10. Remain solvent. Always look
for alternative ways to manage your cash as
well as other alternatives to find sources
Tips to avoid late payments
your online company registration has gone
through, it is said that one of the biggest
headaches of businessmen comes in the form
of late payments. Delinquent suppliers and
customers who habitually delay payments for
the products or services they received from
your company, or have to be continually
followed up to pay is bad business. It is
taxing on the company's resources, it
jeopardises the company's cash flow, and it
can negatively affect morale.
entrepreneurs and businessmen should
institute certain policies to lessen, if not
totally eliminate, this habit of late
Here are some tips to help you in
managing late payments:
1. Always remember to check your
new customers creditworthiness before
drawing and signing a contract with them.
One effective way to do this is to ask for
the services of a credit-checking agency.
But credit-checking should not be limited to
new customers though - it is good practice
to periodically check the credit worthiness
of existing customers too to lessen your
exposure to risk.
2. You should consider refusing
the orders or obtaining down payments if a
client has a poor payment record. You can
also stop the delivery of supplies to
customers who are not paying. Make it their
"responsibility" and liability if they want
3. Draw clearly written contracts
that also contain the terms and conditions.
The usual business practice is to expect
payment within 30 days - but whatever terms
you and your customer agree upon, make sure
that the payment period is clearly
4. Always keep close contact with
your customers and always follow up on
5. In case a late payment occurs,
always attempt to politely obtain a
settlement for the overdue invoices before
taking any further actions.
6. If the problem still persists,
you can consider putting an interest on the
overdue amount, or - in the worst cases –
threaten the delinquent client with legal
action. It would be a good idea to also
stipulate these actions on delinquent
payments on your contract.
7. One way to discourage late
payments and encourage clients to pay
earlier is to offer early payment discounts.
8. Try to use other avenues to
make payments, like the internet, to make
payments easier for your clients. Four out
of five companies have indicated that they
now accept payments by electronic transfer
from their business clients. According to
two-thirds of the companies interviewed -
they have found that making payment options
reduces the incidence of late payments.
9. You can consider factoring your
invoices if payment collection is still an
ongoing problem and is already affecting the
liquidity of your business.
10. Always thank and show your
appreciation to the customers who pay on
11. Think about offering early
12. Make use of the internet for
payment. Four out of five companies now
accept payment by electronic transfer from
their business customers. Two-thirds of
these find it reduces late payment.
13. Consider factoring your
invoices if collection is an ongoing problem
and is affecting the liquidity of the
14. Remember to thank those
customers who do pay on time.
Signs of bad credit management
Maintaining a business while faced with
cut-throat competition is a challenge for
most entrepreneurs and businessmen. But
challenges are not solely external, there
are also internal factors that must be
overcome to ensure success in business.
One of the more important aspects of a
business that should be managed is the
company's credit management policies. With
over 10,000 businesses failing every year
because of late payments, businesses should
be more alert about their credit management
and be diligent in looking out for signs of
a failing credit management policy.
Here are the most common early warning
signals that a business' credit management
policy needs to be improved:
1. Extended aged-debtor lists. If
your debtors are always paying invoices way
beyond the agreed credit period assess your
collection methods and try to identify areas
that could be improved.
2. Reaching the overdraft limit.
If your company almost always reaches or
breaches the limit of your bank's credit
facilities and services, you must review
your asset management policies and credit
management in detail to see where the
problem may lie.
3. Customers using complaints at your
expense. Your clients may begin to take
advantage of your business' inefficient
system by making specious complaints and
queries to extend the credit period in order
to improve their own cash flow at your
4. Conscientious payers getting
scarce. If your customers who have a
reputation for being prompt payers start
slowing down their payments to your business
they may have recognised that your
collection system is very slack. This is
quite a negative development.
5. Customers becoming insolvent. A
credit insurance or a reliable internal
system of credit risk assessment can help
protect your company from poor credit
management particularly if your company is
very heavily reliant on the business of one
particular customer or if you have a list of
customers who have a vulnerable position in
terms of cash flow.
6. Administrative excuses. Such
excuses as a "computer failure" is also a
tell-tale sign that your customer may have
recognised that your credit collection
system has a flaw and thus could be
exploited to there advantage.
7. Credit ratings and market rumours.
A bad credit rating or a damaging rumour
about your business can do a lot of damage
to your company and business. It can affect
your chances of attracting new business and
could, in the long term, affect your cash
8. Suppliers stop their service.
If at some point your business stops paying
its bills there will come a time when you
would have exceeded your credit limit with
your suppliers and they will stop their
services or deliveries to you.
9. A drop in staff morale. Your
staff usually has a feel for what is
happening to the business they will notice
if the business is showing signs of
difficulties. A bad environment like this
means you risk losing your best employees.
This would make your situation even worse.
Keeping a well-oiled office administration
Forming a company is a very rewarding
experience. With record numbers of start-up
companies being recorded by the UK government
last year, more and more entrepreneurs are
getting encouraged to join the bandwagon.
forming a company also means facing a number of
challenges. The challenges an aspiring
entrepreneur is even more numerous because he is
building his business from the ground up. One
potential challenge would be in setting up an
efficient office administration.
Below are some valuable tips that will help
you set up and keep an efficient office
1. Keep things clean. It’s a simple
tip but highly effective. Working in an office
that is untidy is not a very conducive
environment. Eliminate any kind of dirt or mess
at the earliest opportunity. Keep your desks and
work surfaces clutter-free. If you are working
at home, try to find an area that is dedicated
just for running your business.
2. Efficient paperwork. Pick a filing
system that you are comfortable with. Also,
organise your paperwork into logical and
manageable piles. Sort and file them as soon as
possible. A growing pile of unsorted documents
gets harder and harder to sort out as the day
progresses. It could also happen that an
important piece of document (maybe a payment
notice) will accidentally get buried in that
growing pile of paper.
3. Don’t forget your accounting. Many
businessmen agree that accounting related tasks
and functions should always be given utmost
attention. Keep an up-to-date and accurate
record of your income, expenditures and other
expenses on either an accountancy software or on
spreadsheet. Always be on time in posting off
your VAT returns, filling out your Annual
Companies House return or making Inland Revenue
liability payments. If you have hired an
accountant, he can surely help you in fulfilling
4. Take care of your emails. The
Internet now plays a very integral part in
running businesses – be it large or small. In
fact, e-mail communication is now the main form
of communication and has replaced the previous
archaic forms like snail mail and fax. It is a
good idea to reply to all e-mails sent to you
within 48 hours. It is not only more efficient,
it also frees up your time to do other important
business functions. There are times when this
may not be possible because of the hectic pace
of running a business but you should also
remember that clients hate waiting for a reply.
A prompt e-mail reply would also give a
favourable impression to clients.
5. Create a good system. Each person
has an idea of how to best organise their time
and duties. Try to identify which areas of
office administration is giving your problems or
difficulties and devise a system to solve the
Tips for choosing an Office Location
An entrepreneur has to make a lot of choices and
decisions most especially during the start-up
phase of his business. There are so many
concerns, items, and scenarios that needs his
direct involvement and supervision.
One of the
first choices that he has to make is in choosing
a location for his office. This is one of the
more crucial decisions because an office is not
only the headquarters for your whole business
operations, it is also a big investment. A bad
decision would also mean a useless drain on your
start-up capital and expenditure.
Here are some tips and reminders that you can
follow that will help you make that crucial
decision in choosing an office location:
1. Check the rent. Calculate if the
rent you are going to pay for the office space
is just right for the space and location. A lot
of start-up businesses usually overlook this
simple fact and end up paying premium rentals
for an office space that could have been rented
at a lower rate. Also a bad decision on rent can
create cash-flow problems for your business
further down the line.
2. Ask about the anchor tenants. All
office buildings have what are called anchor
tenants. These are tenants that collectively
give the good or prestigious image of the office
building to the public and thus could generate
the initial customer interest and traffic for
your company. Their presence in the building can
sometimes be factored in the quotation for rent.
It is crucial that you ask about them to the
building management and find out when their
lease will end. There’s no use getting a
prestigious office building and pay premium
rates only to find out that one of the most
important anchor tenants in the building will
leave a few months after.
3. Ask about office supplies providers in
the building. Ask if there are tenants in
the building can supply your office with office
supplies that you need for daily operations.
This can include printer cartridges, general
office stationary and paper. An in-house tenant
that can provide these supplies will mean
savings for you because it can save you company
time in making runs outside the office to
replenish resources. You can even leave your
company fliers in these tenants’ offices as a
4. Consider any office renovations the
should be made. A number of buildings would
refuse if any significant changes are done
because it can run contrary to the uniformity of
a building’s looks and image. Ask yourself if
the building’s image is one that you want to
associate your business with.
5. Take care of client needs. If your
business is the type where a lot of your clients
would have to frequently visit your company then
factor their needs. Make sure that the building
has adequate parking spaces and is near stations
for public transportation.
6. Look for a bank. Find out if there
is a bank located in the office building or in
the vicinity. A bank that is near your office is
extremely helpful especially in terms of the
daily banking activities that you have to do.
PR Tips for Small Business Part 1
Attracting new customers who will buy your
products and services is one of the most
important goals of a business – more so for a
start up business. There are many different
methods that you can use to entice customers and
attract their attention. But one of the best
ways of doing this is to use tried and tested
public relations skills. PR can give some
excellent results for your online company
formation with the added benefit of using very
little financial resources.
(PR) is, quite simply, the relationship your
business has with the public. The kind of
relationship you will establish with your public
is bound to have a significant effect on the
future of your business. This is where public
relations can help. PR is when you publicise and
build interest and enthusiasm for your business
among your public. Successfully doing this would
create more awareness for your business and its
products and services as well as driving sales.
Following are tips that would help you make
effective PR efforts:
- Before you start planning any PR efforts
make sure that your product or service is
ready. Ensure that your product is primed
for public consumption. Bring it out, make
sure it works and that it does something
that people will care about. Because PR
drives customer demand, you will miss out on
important sales or even drive your customers
away and to your competitors if they do come
to you and your products are not ready.
- You must get to know your market. A
successful PR thrust is based on reaching
the right audience with a message that is
appropriate and meaningful to them. If you
are not familiar with your target audience
as well as the publications that they read,
chances are, implementing the rest of your
PR actions will be completely useless. There
would be no point of trying to get your
story printed in a financial paper when your
audience primarily reads the regular
- You should learn all about the media to
more effectively target your efforts. When
you define your audience you will also have
to know their reading habits (what
publications do they read), the radio
programmes that they listen to, the TV
programmes that they watch as well as the
websites that they visit. Take the time to
familiarise yourself with the media outlets
that you plan to target. You will need to
get a good idea of that type of stories that
you will need to present to optimise your
chance of coverage.
- The most integral part of your PR
campaign is your message so make sure that
it is clear, concise and brief. If you
cannot sum up your message in a few
sentences then it is too complicated and
editors won't probably read it.
PR Tips for Small Business Part 2
Using public relations (PR) techniques to
publicise your business as well as your products
and services is not only effective but also
Here are a few more PR tips
that can help you in your business:
- Being able to get newspaper coverage or
a mention of your new product or service can
be a great start to creating a buzz for your
company. You can aim for local and national
press and even your industry’s trade
publications. More often than not, the kind
of coverage you get in a trade publication
will create more of an impact because it is
read by all of your competitors and
investors. The market is targeted to your
- A good way of getting media coverage is
to gauge the kind of stories that are
getting a lot of attention, it could be
current events, breaking news or even the
latest controversies. You can then attempt
to tie your business in with them. Every
journalist is looking for a different spin
(a different angle) on a hot story. If you
can devise a way of presenting the story
with a fresh angle, even use a human
interest link, and then associate it with
your business you can be sure you will get
maximum coverage for your business.
- Try to establish and nurture a
relationship with the media. Your
relationship with journalists is quite
important and serves as the basis of your
interaction with the media. A good
relationship would mean easier access to the
media’s facilities. These relationships take
time to develop though and the time you
spend building that relationship should be
seen as a long-term investment.
- Establish a relationship with the local
media by first reading the local
publications and then getting the names of
the journalists who cover the specific
subject you are interested in. You can then
give them a call and then introduce
yourself. Journalists are on a constant
search for news so this is a great
opportunity to introduce yourself.
- When your business gets relatively
significant news (a new big-time customer,
new offices, winning an award) do not
hesitate to call the appropriate journalist.
Even if you do not get coverage out of the
call you still get to nurture that
- You can decide to write a feature
article that is related to your business. A
well written article that is specifically
targeted to the readers of the publication
you submit to can bring you good publicity.
- Writing a blog would be a great way to
position your business in the eyes of your
clients, the industry you are in and the
press. A blog paints a picture of your
business as a leading authority in the
industry. It also serves as a vehicle to
engage customers and potential clients and
- You can give talks about your business
or teach classes about your profession to
local groups or during industry trade shows,
conferences and seminars.
If you have any questions and wish to book a
free no obligation consultation, call us now on:
Tel: 01277 725252