Answers, answers, answers
If you're thinking of setting up a business, or have recently started a business in Northern Ireland, you’ve probably got a million questions in your head. How do I do market research? How do I write a robust business plan? What do I need to be aware of when employing people? How do I deal with tax?
Our website, nibusinessinfo.co.uk will give you all the answers through My New Business, a free online service that covers everything you need to start a business.
It has videos and tools, plus other learning resources - like tutorials and case studies. All of them are aimed at helping people like you get your business started.
It also offers a checklist that will help you plan and prioritise the tasks you need to complete, and consider key questions including:
What type of business am I starting?
You will need to decide of you will be setting up as a sole trader, a partnership or a private limited company. Your business structure will determine what tax you pay, personal liability and if you have to register your business.
What is a business plan and why do I need one?
A business plan explains your business goals and how you intend to achieve them. It is essential if you are going to seek financial support from banks or other potential investors.
How much money do I need to set up my business?
Money is crucial for a new business. It is vital to consider how much money you need to get your business off the ground and how to access finance, either through loans or grants.
Who are my customers?
Customers will define the success of your business - consider who your customers are and how you will get your product or service to them.
You can also develop your business plan with help from your local council.
Your local council will help you to:
clarify your business idea
spot potential problems
set out your goals
measure your progress
access finance to start and grow your business
Lots of organisations also provide great support to new businesses, such as the the Prince's Trust, Advantage, Women in Business NI, and Enterprise NI.