• The Supplier Central is now part of Business Data Group

    I’m pleased to let you know that this website has now become part of the BDG family and will be brought together with our existing UK business community under the banner of UK Business Forums. You can read the full release here

    Whilst my colleagues and I are working through the technicalities of bringing the two communities together we have suspended new registrations to this site and I’d encourage you to register on UK Business Forums

    I look forward to getting to know you and your business,

    Richard ‘Ozzy’ Osborne
    Founder of UK Business Forums

Starting Up A Business - A Guide For Newbies

Feb 28, 2016
Hi :)
Your post has been extremely helpful after spending the last 3 days trying to figure out how to put my business idea into motion, so thank you!

One thing that I hadn't thought about, I work full time and I don't intend on quitting until I am certain I can live off my business, in order to register with the HMRC will it mean that they will take my current job earnings into account when taxing me on my business earnings?
Very new to all this
Many thanks in advance.
This is super stuff Thanks Vicky. I'm new to the business trying to find retailers, trying to establish the whole supply chain, so far no luck with the retailers. ANd need so much more information on shipping etc.. which i hope this forum will help me with.

Thanks again.
Wow, thank you for a great post here! Your ideas are really useful for me, Now, I've got the interest in starting up my first business. I'm getting excited.
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This is a really great guide. Anyone that is starting out needs to take in any advice that they can get as it is so difficult.
Hie, the tips you have mentioned in starting up the business are really very useful. I also want to share a business tip which is very crucial for the proper startup of the business. Before startup, an individual should have uniqueness in the business idea in such a manner that it should not be similar to someone other's online business. If such happens, then both businesses have to suffer in the terms of revenue and reputation. So, one should be completely descriptive, clear and concise about his/ her business startup ideas. Rest, all the best for your business start-up!!
Lead Generation Ultimate Guide for Startups & SME

New niches/revenue streams:
Review your existing core products and services through revenue optimization and re-thinking of how your products are sold.
Capturing Existing Demand: The majority of your revenue may come from capturing existing demand instead of creating new demand. Starting from a baseline where your demand already exists for your product.
Creating New Demand: Connecting online and offline experiences can go long way in making a significant impact on your organization's overall goals. If demand doesn’t already exist in the market.
Lead Qualification: Identify leads with potential to convert, create a sales funnel that converts, track the result, create follow up sequences, ask for sale and repeat the process.
Converting Prospects into Clients: Work towards your prospects, Forester Research stated that Expertise in lead nurturing results in a 50% increase in sales-ready leads.
Lead Generation Tools: LeadLake and Growbots
Really interesting posts and received quiet a bit of tips from here. Thanks for sharing.
Jan 28, 2013
Thanks Gerrit,

I appreciate your kind comments :)
I was wondering if you have any advice for a Canadian? Finding suppliers here is impossible? please feel free to e-mail me @ (E-mail hidden for privacy).
Hi all,

I have written a few guides and posted them on TSC but I thought it was about time I collated all the info into one easy place. Here goes...........

What to sell

This is the million dollar question! Basically no one can sell you what to sell, you have to come up with that one on your own. The best piece of advice is to choose a niche that interests you and gets you excited. There is absolutely no point trying to sell something does doesn’t get your blood pumping and makes you jump out of bed in the morning raring to go! Once you have decided on the products you wish to sell then the next step is research........... and lots of it. Find as many people as possible that already sell the items and see how they go about it and find ways to improve on what they are doing. Remember being the cheapest does not always mean you are on the road to success, price is not everything! You can still be more expensive so long as you offer a good all round service, try and find a unique selling point that makes you stand out from the crowd.

The other piece of advice is don’t run before you can crawl. Start small and reinvest any profits you make into more stock. Gradually widen your product range but be careful not to overstretch yourself, cashflow is key!

Where do I get it from

Once you have decided on your chosen product range it is time to start souring. Your first big decision is do I get it from a UK wholesaler or do I go overseas? I shall set out some of the pro and cons for each avenue of sourcing...................

UK Wholesalers – There are still loads of wholesalers around the UK (although not as many as there used to be!) who will be willing to supply you but remember that you cant just walk in off the street and expect them to serve you. Many wish to preserve their lines of distribution by only selling to registered businesses and wont supply members of the public. To avoid being turned away make sure you go armed with information showing you are a legitimate business. Take headed notepaper, business cards, utility bill, company registration number or any other form of id you can come up with. I have compiled a large list of UK wholesalers that should help you find someone in your area - http://www.thewholesaleforums.co.uk...02257-list-uk-cash-and-carry-wholesalers.html. The downside of using UK wholesalers is that you may find the margins are not what you would expect and also that you might actually be competing against your own supplier as every man and his dog seems to sell on Ebay these days!

Overseas Suppliers – This mainly covers China as the vast majority of the worlds goods are made there but there are other countries worth looking at if needed. Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, India are all worth a look and even some European countries still have thriving manufacturing industries. It really depends on the type of product you are looking for. If the product you are trying to source is branded and you find a good looking Chinese supplier, STOP!! You will not get genuine branded products from China, they are pretty much all fake! If you do take the risk then fully expect your goods to be seized by customs or maybe not arrive at all. If a deal looks too good to be true then it probably is. Having said this there are plenty of legit suppliers out there it is just a case of researching the company to make sure you are happy with them. Start with sites like DHGate, Alibaba, Global Sources and see how you get on. If you are unsure about a particular company try posting their name on the forum and see if anyone has any experience of using them. For those of you with a little more cash in your pocket I would strongly advise getting on a plane and meeting some suppliers face to face. Read my guide here - http://www.thewholesaleforums.co.uk...191-guide-doing-business-face-face-china.html

Another very useful way of finding suppliers is to go to a trade exhibition and see what is on offer and try and talk to suppliers and build up a business relationship. Again go armed with info on your business and for gods sake, look professional! Too many times people come on our stand at trade shows looking like they just got out of bed and then wonder why they are not taken seriously. You are projecting an image of your business and if you look like you don’t care about your appearance then suppliers will presume you wont care about running a professional business either. If you cant make it to a trade fair then there are literally thousands of suppliers out there with websites that you can contact. I have compiled a list to make things a bit easier for you - http://www.thewholesaleforums.co.uk...ion/100067-large-list-suppliers-websites.html. One piece of advice I would give is not to email any potential suppliers as this can be easily ignored and most suppliers will pass you off as a time waster. If you are serious about purchasing from someone, send them a letter on headed notepaper, they are much more likely to take you seriously.

Where to sell it

Most people start with Ebay as it is the best way to get your goods seen by millions of people for relatively little money. Many people will moan about the fees (me included on occasion) but it really is a good place to start your business and gain experience in buying and selling. Ebay is very cut throat as everyone is trying to undercut each other, my advice would be not to worry about being the cheapest but instead concentrate on offering a good service and visually appealing listings. If you research the do and don’ts of Ebaying then you should be fine.

You can also try other sites like Amazon and Gumtree but depending on what you are selling you will probably find Ebay is still the best place to sell online.

Another option is to get out into the wide world and actually interact with fellow human beings. Car boot sales, indoor and out door markets and Christmas fairs can be great venues for selling goods. Research some local attractions and go along and find out about pitch costs and availability. Give it a go you might surprise yourself.

The next step is to aim at opening your own e-commerce site . Once you have established sales and built up a good customer base then it might be time to spread your wings. There are plenty of pros on the forum that can help you set up a site for relatively little money.

Registering your business, Tax & VAT

I have written a whole guide on this subject which you will find here - http://www.thewholesaleforums.co.uk...pany-registration-vat-tax-and-employment.html but the basics are this..............

When do I register with HMRC – Straight away. They used to give you 30 days to get registered but now you need to do it as close to your first days trading as possible otherwise you may incur a fine.

Will I have to pay tax? – Yes you will need to do an annual tax return each year and pay tax on any profit your company has earnt.

Do I need to register for VAT – No, not to begin with. You only register for tax once you have reached the £70,000 per year threshold. It is more hassle than its worth when you are first starting out so don’t let it worry you.

Book keeping

This can be the thing that confuses and troubles most start up businesses but once you become used to keeping records it becomes second nature. The most important thing is to keep EVERY receipt and bit of evidence that is pertinent to your business. If you pay for something, anything that is connected with your business then you can claim for it as an expense. When claiming for expenses you total them up for the year and deduct the total from your yearly profit thus paying less tax.

I have created a basic Excel spreadsheet for book keeping that should get you started - http://www.thewholesaleforums.co.uk...newbies-example-spreadsheet-you-download.html

This should cover most of the basics to get you started but if you have any specific questions then I am more than happy to try and answer them.

Vicky :)

Wow, the suggestion you provide is amazing. One day i'll start mu own business and i will keep your advice in my mind
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Jan 30, 2019
Thanks for sharing this useful guide about setup a business.
Feb 15, 2019
Thanks Vicky, have been in and out of running my own business full time for ages, since beginning of this year have quit the addiction to monthly salaries and just gone for it. Good news, money's way up, and every month I know what to do with the extra so make even more. That's a geometric progression, hoo-ah.
Steps to Startup a Small Business
  • Step 1: Do Your Research.
  • Step 2: Make a Plan.
  • Step 3: Plan Your Finances.
  • Step 4: Choose a Business Structure.
  • Step 5: Pick and Register Your Business Name.
  • Step 6: Get Licenses and Permits.
  • Step 7: Choose Your Accounting System.
  • Step 8: Set Up Your Business Location.
Amazing tips and really appreciate how you have explained everything in detail. A few pointers I believe would help like:
1) Setting up an online presence by getting a website created and social media pages for the business
2) Packaging and logo design is very important since that defines the business
May 26, 2021
Thank you very much for your help! I often come across threads like this, but yours was the most helpful. For about two years, now I have been planning to open my own business. But I don't know where to start. I developed a startup business plan, and then I'm trying to figure out what to do. I read somewhere that in addition to the business plan, it is also important to pay attention to finances. Without proper funding, the chances of business success are minimal. So now I decided to pay attention to this aspect. I have an amount that I set aside specifically for my business. But maybe I should still look for investors. If suddenly one of you can advise me something I will be grateful. So far, I am in confusion and am afraid that this will not affect my business in the future.
Dec 24, 2021
I also think that starting your own business should start with developing a business plan. You have to figure out where to go next. When I opened my business, I ordered a ready-made presentation SlidePeak and they made it very cool, because then I took further steps in forming my business after this presentation.