Thanks for the answers to my previous questions, I have managed to move on a little way now - but inevitably that has led to more questions, I have made a list so as to not keep posting. Thank you for takingthe time to read this.
I am setting up an online surf and boardwear store, am still really at conceptual stage but wish to sell a wide range of brands, popular and up and coming. I have very little capital to start, but do have premises sorted.
1. I have managed to get on the ticket list for a couple of surf trade shows in February - can anyone give me a run down on what to expect, what to say, or not say, to potential suppliers (bearing in mind i am not yet trading, nor have even registered my business at companies house). Also, they are for strictly trade only, and one said they may need proof on entry such as business cards etc - am i breaking any rules if i simply get a few printed up? will this be enough to get in? i don;t want to burn any bridges with future allies.
2. how much should i expect to pay to get my company (i want to be ltd.), registered and set up from companies house? are there any ongoing costs? how long could it take?
3. can someone provide a bit of an idiots guide to VAT in practice? i've read all the guides, but don;t quite understand it in application. for instance, as a mail order business buying and selling apparel, do i need to register for VAT right away? any help on this generally would be appreciated....
4. i have opened an account at PC world for all my equipment purchases (though these are not much), but i am not a fan as a consumer of pc world, and reckon even with business discounts, i can get stuff cheaper on the net. i only need a laptop, phone system and relevant software as far as i can see... are there better places to go? and VAT issue again, how does that work?
5. website. i have to have this designed, built and hosted for me. what is the normal process for this, will one company offer me the whole package. i need a very slick, ecommerce site, hosted and managed, with the ability to change bits as and when required. what would i expect to pay for the initial design and build and then hosting and maintenance/updating from then on? can anyone make me an offer... (check out www.shore.co.uk
for a simialr kind of site, but i want a better looking one!)
6. i am 23, just out of uni and have just about cleared my overdraft, so basically i have nothing to my name except a van. i know banks are not keen to lend unless i can match the money to some ratio (i've heard about 4 to 1), is there somewhere i can go to raise finance with very little behind me. i etimate i may need 7,000 initially to get office equipment and website installed, and then god knows how much for my starting supply of stock... which i doubt , as a startup, i can buy on credit.
7. outsiders. is there a case for hiring an accountant or similar from day one, i think i can handle the books of a small business, but want it all properly done from the start, especially if to be a limited company. maybe software can help?
sorry to have such a list, but i have been saving them up over several weeks. i hope i can get soem help from some of you guys, and am greatly looking forward to sharing my mistakes and triumphs with other start ups.
thank you very much.