Guest blog post from The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME). We asked PRIME for tips on starting a business and advice for startups.
The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (The Prince’s Initiative) was established in 1999 by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales due to the huge amount of letters he was receiving from people over the age of 50, desperate to find work, but unable to find anyone to employ them, because of their age.
Recognising the wealth of skills and ambition of the over 50s, The Prince’s Initiative supports people over the age of 50 to get back into the labour market, re-gaining the dignity of financial independence and the satisfaction of self-fulfilment by starting their own businesses.
Since inception, the charity has supported over 25,000 people over the age of 50 to explore self-employment, through the delivery of training, mentoring, advice, development support and networking opportunities.
The Prince’s Initiative is the leading authority on the issues and barriers over 50s face in setting up their own business and works tirelessly to help people over the age of 50 to use their lifelong skills to turn their business idea into reality.
Top Tips to start in business
Martyn Lewis, best known for his 32 years as a television journalist, moved into the world of business in 1999 and has teamed up with The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise to give his six top tips on how to go about setting up your own business:
1. Test and research your market
Don’t base your business on anecdotal experience, it won’t work. You need to do research amongst your target audience, to see if your business is viable and people will actually buy into it. Having a new business idea can be exciting, but don’t let your passion take over, research the feasibility of your idea first to see if it will even work!
2. Make legal advice a priority
A key step to setting up your own business is to get some legal or accountancy advice. You need to make sure you have all your legal boxes ticked from the off.
An accountant can help you figure out some basics straight away, such as whether you are a sole trader or what financial benchmarks should you put down in your first year of trading.
There are so many different tax schemes you may be eligible for such as Entrepreneurs tax – but unless you do your research or get an advisor you won’t know these benefits exist for you.
3. Get a website set up
These days you have got to have a website. A website is today’s version of a business card – it is the place you can direct people to and can act as your marketing tool for what you do. Your website is your shop window and is a necessary, but in some instances, relatively cheap investment.
You can read more tips from Martyn on the PRIME website.
If you’ve set up your own business, what are your top tips?
Discover your business potential
For some other top tips on starting a business, visit the Sage UK website.