What to expect in your first year running a business

9 things to expect in your first year running a business

Becoming a new business owner for the first time is exciting, but it can feel a little daunting too. To help you get prepared, here’s a list of things you could expect from your first year of running a business.

Setting up a business

Whether you want to start your business as a sole trader or as a limited company, you need to register your business to HMRC to let them know you’ll be paying your tax.

Whichever status you use to start your business is up to you, as there are pros and cons to both. Find out more about becoming a sole trader or starting a limited company.

Writing a business plan

If you haven’t done so already, writing a business plan and budget are important ways to get your ideas on paper and create a real plan for how you can bring your business to life. For more information on how to make a business plan and what you need to include, check out our guide.

Finding customers

Whether you’re offering a service or selling goods, you’ll need to find customers and spread the word about your business. Word of mouth, marketing and PR are all ways to let people know about your business and gain new customers. Read our tips for marketing your small business to find out more.

Adjusting your pricing

It can feel challenging to set your pricing for the first time. There’s a lot to consider, from covering your expenses to how you value your time and skills. If you don’t get it right the first time, you can always adjust your pricing as you go. Find out more about how to price your goods in our guide.

Turning a profit

Turning a profit is a sign that your business is starting to succeed! If you don’t already know, then a profit is when you make more money than you spend on expenses. The step before making a profit is known as ‘breaking even’ - when your business can pay its operating costs without making a loss. Find out more about how to measure profit.

Hiring your first employee

As your business grows, your team may need to grow too. If you haven’t started your business with employees, you may need to hire them in future. There’s a lot to consider when hiring employees, and several steps you need to take to make sure you’re a legal employer. Find out more about hiring employees in our guide.

Finding work life balance

As you settle into life as your own boss, it can be hard to know when to switch off from work. It’s up to you to figure out a work life balance that suits you and your business. If you’re struggling, read our tips on how to bring some balance to your business.

Doing your taxes

When you run your own business you’ll need to do your own taxes too. If you’ve chosen to run a limited company, you will have different tax obligations to if you were working as a sole trader. It’s important to understand which taxes you need to pay, and which tax returns you need to submit.

Make sure you register before the deadline, keep the right records, and have everything ready when the time comes. It’s also a good idea to get to know your allowable expenses which can be deducted from your profit on your tax return. To find out more about which taxes could affect your business, read our complete guide to UK taxes and rates here.

Getting to know accounting

Accounting is an important aspect of running your business, especially if you’re setting up a limited company. You need to do your accounting in order to submit tax returns and be compliant with HMRC. But, accounting has a lot of benefits for your business too!

From getting the information you need to work strategically to having useful tools to run your business, doing your accounting with online software can help make the process simple.

Whether you choose to do your accounting yourself or to work with an accountant, Bokio accounting software is a great solution for new business owners.

With bookkeeping and invoicing in the same place, we have everything you need to help you manage your finances. Our automated reports let you keep track of your business performance, be Making Tax Digital compliant, and prepare for your Self Assessment tax return.

Bokio helps you get your accounting sorted so you can get back to running your business.