Finding a Gap In The Market: Starting-up A Small Business
Since her time at University, Zinaide has been aware of a gap in the market when it comes to supporting businesses to manage their environmental impact.
Now that the government is increasingly urging business owners to embrace more environmentally-friendly processes, Zinaide has recognised that businesses need the support of environmental consultancy services to help them meet their new requirements. And she’s planning to do this through her own start-up: EnviroSP Consulting Ltd.
We talked to Zinaide about her decision to set up her own Limited Company during the pandemic and how she’s found the experience.
Have you always wanted to start your own company?
Until I went to University to study for my degree in Oil & Gas Management, I had never really thought about starting my own company. The first trigger for me happened during my Masters’ degree (Environmental Management and Energy) when I was invited to attend a meeting in the House of Commons. Listening to discussions at this meeting got me thinking about opportunities where I could help the Government’s environmental goals, but I wasn’t ready to act straight away.
Once I finished my Masters’, I decided to go into teaching. But I knew pretty quickly that this wasn’t my dream. I kept thinking about that meeting at the House of Commons and planning ways I could use my skills to help companies tackle their environmental issues… If I could work with them as a consultant, I could analyse their data and implement strategies that would help them save energy, reduce their water consumption, and ultimately save a lot of money too.
Where did you start?
Once I had my idea, I started researching the market needs and how I could use my skills to bridge the gap in the market. Then I began looking into how to work for myself and settled on a Limited Company structure because I knew this is what would allow me to continue to grow my business in the long term.
I decided to register my business with Companies House and set myself up as a director. I had a friend who had studied accountancy at University and they helped me to do this properly. But when I started formulating my business plan, I realised that I needed more specialised help with the financial element from someone who understands the ins and outs of working for yourself, including all the tax and legal requirements with HMRC and Companies House.
“I knew very early on that I’d need the help of an accountant and some accountancy software – luckily, Clever Accounts offers all of this in one completely stress-free package.”
How did you find Clever Accounts?
The company who helped me to set up with Companies House recommended Clever Accounts, but I wasn’t going to choose them purely on this basis. I did my own research and looked at other outsourced payroll companies, comparing prices and offerings. I ultimately found that Clever’s prices were fantastic and the package for a start-up business was perfect.
As I’m still getting things prepared before I begin trading actively, Clever’s option to set up without paying fees until I begin trading has been unbelievably helpful.
What impact has Clever Accounts made?
I’ve never done anything like this before, so this experience was extremely daunting for me. I didn’t know what it meant to be a director of a Limited Company or the responsibilities I would have and I wanted to make sure that I was doing everything in the right way, meeting all of the compliance obligations.
From my first conversation with Clever, I could sense they would look after me. My accountant at Clever explained everything to me in detail, advising me on how to approach my salary, the various options available, and how to pay taxes. She’s cleared up so many questions for me that I would never have been able to tackle myself as I’m not proficient in accountancy and have never worked for myself before.
“If I could meet my accountant in person, I would give her a hug.”
The initial paperwork was easy and they provided useful training to help me get to grips with their online portal. I love their online feature as despite not being able to meet face-to-face, everything is on track and working well. It’s very easy to monitor.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m a problem solver, and my dream is to help solve the issue of commercial environmental impact on a national, if not, global scale.
I hope that I can keep employing more consultants who are specialists in different aspects of environmental management and I have a vision of growing in the long term, as I know countries like Tanzania and parts of Asia could really use these services.