The financial sector is not the easiest to gain a foothold in. You have umpteen laws to comply with, are in a fiercely competitive industry and will have to keep a firm eye on the balance sheets. However, if you get it right, you could stand to be in business (and profit) for some time to come. To make sure this happens for your new financial firm, there are a few tasks to tick off.
First and foremost, you need to have some money. Without some form of capital, be it a grant, loan, personal funds, investments, your business is doomed to fail. If your company is offering loans, not being able to pay the bills will be, if nothing else, damaging to your reputation. Potential sources of income for financial startups include the UK government.
Right Side of the Law
Your new business should be up-to-date with all facets of business law. How can this be achieved? A little research can go a long way; spend time working out what you can and can’t do before your company is actually set up. For banks, there are a specific set of rules falling under the Banking Act 2009.
For non-banking financial businesses, authorisation with either the Financial Conduct Authority or Prudential Regulation Authority is advisable. It depends on the product you offer, but joining either will act as a trust signal to customers.
A Place to Call Home
Another essential for any financial company is to have an office space, permanent or otherwise. From the smallest accountancy firm to the biggest bank or building society, functioning without an office will be at best tricky.
Approaching someone such as BE Offices, it could be as little as one room, but having an address to speak of will give you somewhere to store paperwork, meet clients and receive mail. The location is up to you, but if it’s easily accessible by road, rail and other forms of public transport, then all the better.
What Will You Offer?
For your own sake, as well as that of your customers, you need to be crystal clear about what it is you offer. When going through your business plan, think about what you can realistically do – don’t think too big, as you run the risk of failing.
There are a number of things to think about – what competition is there in your local area, whether or not there is a gap in the market for what you want to do and what skills you have. Plan carefully and then decide what financial services your new business can provide to the wider public.