What essential tasks must financial start-ups do before trading?
Making your way in the big, wide world that is the financial sector takes plenty of effort, flexibility and attention to detail. You have to juggle the twin responsibilities of making a profit and keeping your customers happy, but before that, there’s the planning stage. There are some things you need to do before opening for business; here are five essential tasks for financial start-ups to do:
Join a financial body
As a trust signal and proof that your new business is above board, you should join a financial regulatory body. In the UK, there are two – the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). The former covers banks, building societies, individual advisers, mutuals and electronic money providers, whilst the latter is for a narrower set of companies.
A membership fee is required, ranging from £1,500 to £25,000, but it’s worth it. Without some form of authorisation, your business may find staying within the confines of financial law much more difficult.
Choose a niche
The biggest banks, building societies and mutuals are able to offer a range of services, but if you’re just starting out, it is best to stick to what you’re good at. To this end, work out where your skills lie and offer that service. Before doing that, you should see if there is any competition in your local area – a search engine and map is all you need for this task.
Set up a business address
To make your financial firm easier for customers to deal with, it makes sense to have a business address. Whilst you can still, theoretically, work from home, a virtual office from someone like BE Offices can make a big difference. Having a phone number and address without the stress of kitting out an office means that, in the start-up phase, you can work from your living room with no fuss.
Hire some experts
You might be an expert in some aspects of financial services, but what about those areas you want to move into but find hard to grasp? In such a scenario, you should consider hiring a member of staff (or more, depending on finances). This will broaden your scope and help to lighten your own workload in the process.
Secure some finance
No financial firm would be able to function without some capital in the bank. Many UK-based start-ups, regardless of sector, are eligible for some financial support in the form of loans and grants. One such source of funding is the Regional Growth Fund, which offers grants to businesses under the £1m mark. Funding is also available for such tasks as training, apprenticeships and research.
Have you started a business in the financial sector? How did you find it?