How to set up and run your business
Use our at-a-glance guide to see some of the key steps you need to consider when starting and running your business. You’ll find tips and tools to make your business better from people who know what it takes.
Royal Bank of Scotland Business Banking is available to eligible customers, over 18 who have the right to be self-employed in the UK.
Get your idea off the ground
1. It's all about you
You are what drives your business – from your first idea to your first sale, and every other milestone you hit along the way. And because it’s people that make businesses work, it’s important to think about you and the community you’re creating.
2. Do your research
Have you thought about who your competitors and customers are, or where your business will trade? For your business to succeed, you’ll need to do some market research so that you’re sure you’re offering something that people want.
3. Plan everything
A business plan is a document that sets out your ideas and goals and says how you’re going to reach them. It’s also the place to put your strategies, sales and financial forecasts. Your plan is what can convince a bank to lend you money, or investors to invest. It’s the backbone of your business.
Get set up
4. Register your business
This is an important step in the legal set-up of your business. You’ll need to think about what type of business you’re registering (sole trader, limited company or partnership), and your responsibilities as a business owner when it comes to things like business rates.
5. All the admin
Get your business off to a great start by opening a business bank account. (We might be able to help with that.) Can you manage your own accounts, or will you need to think about hiring an accountant? Business finance can be pretty admin heavy, but there are people and tools to help you make life easier.
Grow your business
6. Do your sums
Money, money, money – it’s probably the thing you think about most when you’re running your own business. Common money-related questions include thinking about where it comes from, where it goes, and how can you make more of it. Find out more about ways to get investment and take out loans.
7. Adapt your ways of working
As your business grows you may need to consider all sorts of things that didn’t cross your mind when you started out. Employing staff, paying them and day-to-day management all need lots of thought.
8. Plan for your future
Collaborating with other businesses, expanding your network and learning from other people can all help your business grow. We’ve got specialist programmes to help you and your business succeed.