This page has a bunch of tips that I am building up for my Udemy course on setting up a small business in the UK. Not all offers and tips are likely to be around forever.

1: Free Business Banking:

If you use the code: JONENCZF at Tide, Not only do they offer you some seasonal benefits, but I get £20. If you sign up and start using the account, I’m happy to split that as long as you let me know within a month of setting the account up and qualifying. I found the setup process really easy for DHJ Ventures and I did it all from las Vegas! So the benefits are:

  • No Monthly or Annual Fees ever
  • Only 20p to transfer money into or out of the account
  • A bank card and a nice app that lets you invoice direct
  • No need to go to a branch to set up

Tide claims that 1 in 12 new business bank accounts in the UK was set up using Tide last year. However – they do not yet have FULL FSA regulation. Don’t worry – they ARE regulated, but until they have jumped through more hoops, you’ll be limited to having £100,000 in the account at any time… #FirstworldProblems!

2: Virtual Office Options

I was asked about tips on getting an address in the UK. If you are not in the UK, then you will need a UK office address. Simply go to your favourite search engine and type in “virtual office [cityname]” to get a great selection. Personally, I have an office at an incubator at a university because I like to be near brainy people, but if you are outside the UK:

  • Choose a place near an airport or port that you can get to reasonably cheaply.
  • Check the postcode of the address in search to work out what kind of company I am keeping
  • Use Google Streetview on the postcode to again see the look and feel of the location… your customers probably will as well!
  • Look at the costs of the office forwarding mail to you. This can easily end up costing more than the base fees.
  • London looks good as an office address, but other cities are generally easier to get to and have lower overheads, reducing the overall costs.
  • Choose a location that will allow you to grow into a hotdesk or full office. Changing your mailing address is a pain as I have found out to my cost. Home addresses are legal in the UK, but people move house!
  • In the same vein, try and choose a virtual office company that looks like it will be around for longer than you will be.

3: Keep Control

When I am at conferences, there are lots of budding entrepreneurs who have a business idea and are “currently looking for funding”. If you know why you are looking for funding that is fine… but raising money is often a full time process for some people. You do not always need to raise money! Oftentimes it is not about money, it about whether you have the confidence to take the next step. VCs will dramatically change your life. Rand Fishkin’s book, “Lost and Founder” has a very pertinent (and personal) chapter on VCs. Read that before you raise money.

4: Arrive First

If you are going to a networking event where you do not know anyone, here’s a tip. Arrive first! Chances are, most other people also do not know each other. By arriving first, you have a few minutes to talk with the organizer. Clock their name, you’ll need it in a minute… also make sure the organizer knows your name. When the next person arrives, they will (hopefully) introduce you by name. Now you are one step ahead of the next person. Clock the next person’s name as well. Now as person three arrives, you can introduce yourself AND introduce the person you just met. Suddenly, you are the one withe the connections and influence and people will want to start knowing you!