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Exchange Lends A Helping Hand To Start-Ups

Exchange Lends A Helping Hand To Start-Ups

Lisburn-based digital accountancy specialist Exchange Accountants has launched a ‘Start-Up Business Package’ (SBP) to provide a much needed ‘helping hand’ to local entrepreneurs on their road to starting up a new business.

The launch comes on the back of recent research* by NatWest Group and Beauhurst revealing that Northern Ireland was the fastest-growing region in the UK for newly registered companies in 2023.

In total, a staggering 14,000 new companies were set up in Northern Ireland last year, an increase of 59%, with Belfast named as the fastest-growing council area in the UK on the back of a whopping 123% rise in the number of new businesses.

“There is certainly a very strong entrepreneurial spirit in Northern Ireland which has seen the number of start-up businesses here grow exponentially,” said Exchange Accountants director Conor Walls.

“However, while starting a new business is an exciting and exhilarating challenge, it is also requires meticulous planning, strategic foresight, and as much help as you can muster to get things up and running on a sound and sustainable footing.

“Over the years, Exchange Accountants has helped hundreds of Northern Ireland entrepreneurs to launch and grow their own businesses – so we thought that we would put this wealth of experience and expertise to good use and create a ‘Start-Up Business’ package, to provide much-needed support, advice and reassurance to anyone embarking on this exciting but daunting journey,” he added.

From just £99 per month**, the Exchange ‘Start-Up Business Package’ offers a range of services tailored for new businesses navigating their initial stages – providing not just accounting services and advice, but a collaborative and bespoke partnership, committed to helping new businesses thrive.

Experts will guide entrepreneurs through the intricacies of HMRC and Companies House filings, tax registrations and legal structures, ensuring compliance, robust financial practices and a solid foundation for your venture from the outset.

As businesses expand, the package also includes effective payroll management and administration, including monthly payroll services for up to two directors, as well as overseeing tax return submissions.

Other features of the SBP include ongoing, real-time financial advice and guidance, with a premium subscription to cloud-based accounting system Xero to facilitate streamlined cash flow tracking, access to financial dashboards and simplified bank reconciliations.

“Embarking on a new business venture is a monumental task, involving a labyrinth of financial and regulatory complexities,” continued Conor Walls.  “From inception to legacy, our SBP is designed to be the wind beneath the entrepreneurial wings of new business owners in Northern Ireland and a beacon of support in their growth journey.

“Obviously, new businesses come in all shapes and sizes, so our package is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution and we recognise the diversity and unique challenges faced by startups across a wide range of industry sectors. In this respect, our team is adept at providing bespoke services, ensuring that your specific needs are met,” concluded Walls.

Exchange Accountants Top 10 Tips for Launching Your New Business Successfully

Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or a seasoned professional venturing into a new enterprise, Exchange Accountants have put together some tips to guide you on the path to a successful launch.

Craft a Solid Business Plan

A well-thought-out business plan is your roadmap to success. It outlines your goals, target market, competition, and financial projections. Be detailed and realistic. Include market research, a marketing strategy, and a financial plan. This document will be your guide and a tool to attract investors.

Understand Your Market

Knowing your target audience and market trends is crucial for making informed decisions and tailoring your products or services to meet customer needs.  Conduct thorough market research. Identify your competitors, understand consumer behaviour, and be adaptable to market changes.

Choose the Right Legal Structure

Your business structure affects your liability, taxes, and regulatory obligations.  Consult with professionals to choose between sole proprietorship, limited company or other structures. Consider factors like liability protection and tax implications.  If more than one person is involved , partnership agreements and shareholder agreements should be considered.

Secure Funding

Ensure you have the necessary funding to get your new business up and running.  Consider the costs of opening your business and operating expenses such as rent, wages, utilities and cost of materials. Calculate how much money you’ll need on a monthly basis and create an annual budget. Potential sources of funding might include personal savings, bank loans, loans from family or friends, Government grants for start-ups, online crowdfunding or outside investors.

Build a Strong Online Presence

In today’s digital age, an online presence is non-negotiable. It enhances your visibility, builds credibility, and provides a platform for customer engagement. Create a professional website, leverage social media, and optimise your online content for search engines. Consistent branding is key.

Focus on Financial Management

Effective financial management ensures the sustainability of your business. Hire a reliable accountant, keep detailed financial records, and budget meticulously. Regularly review your financial performance against your projections.

Invest in Marketing

Marketing is how you attract and retain customers. Develop a marketing strategy that aligns with your target audience. Utilise both digital and traditional channels. Consider social media advertising, content marketing, and networking.

Build a Stellar Team

A great team is the backbone of a successful business.  Hire individuals who align with your values and bring diverse skills to the table. Foster a positive work culture that encourages collaboration and innovation.

Adaptability is Key

The business landscape is dynamic, and adaptability is crucial for survival. Stay informed about industry trends. Be open to change and continuously reassess your strategies. Embrace innovation.

Legal and Regulatory Compliance

Compliance ensures you operate within the law, avoiding legal troubles. Understand local and industry-specific regulations. Consult legal professionals to ensure your business practices are compliant.

For more information on Exchange’s Start-Up Business Package, and other digital accountancy and tax support services, visit, email or call 028 9263 4135.

Established in 2011, Exchange Accountants provides premier accountancy services and tax advice to a wide variety of locally based SMEs and individuals. Exchange was the first accountancy practice in Northern Ireland to be recognized as a Xero Gold Partner – and in 2021, the company achieved Platinum Partner status with the market-leading cloud accountancy software provider.

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