Starting a "new" company.

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Goingunder, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. Goingunder

    Goingunder UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    25 1
    Have been going for a few years now but am starting afresh.

    I repair vehicles. Body, mechanical and electrical.

    I don't employ anyone but I do sub work out and am determined to take on a member of staff in the new year.

    I rent two small workshops on a cash basis. I have the option of paying more (£800 currently, £1000 otherwise) to get proper reciepts. Yes the guy is dodgy but hey ho it's not bad units for what I want.

    The set up is this, we (me and the wife) usually collect and deliver vehicles. I always viewed the units as temp but they are working.

    I am not the most organised person, I am gutting the units and starting again, removing the divider to make one big unit.

    This will house a spraybooth and the ramp. I am going to get storage cabinets and get everything organised.

    My wife runs all the paperwork and bookings from home off-site.

    I recently got a VOIP number which is a godsend (see calls and texts to my mobile at 10PM on a Sunday eve!).

    We have a website in progress.

    We get a lot of work word of mouth and also via an advertising website (we pay per lead when we are accepted for a job).

    In peak times I'll quote 20 jobs a week on the websites and get say 4-5 but they are all very good money (i.e I'm not being hugely competetive).

    I'm not good at business. I am good at repairing vehicles. In the past I have gone into Land Rover main dealers and repaired electrical faults that their techs could not.

    I would like to go more into key programming, electrical repairs, general diagnostics and remapping. This would be done from a van but I can't stop working as I need the funds in the meantime.

    Ideally I'd like 2 staff doing the work and me doing more of the running around and diagnosing problems for other garages alongside the bodywork.

    I'm VERY thorough with bodywork and a spraybooth will really help as it is very profitable work.

    I also buy and sell vehicles occasionally.

    I would like more work on IVECO vehicles (the main dealer diagnostic kit is £3k and I'd love the work in to pay for this else I'll stick with aftermarket machines that are brilliant but not quite as good).

    I'd also like more BMW's, VW's and Audis in as I find them absolutely easy to work on. BMW have a timing chain issue at the moment and I really would like to hone in on this as it's profitable and I'm one of the few in my area that will fix them.

    I guess the idea of this thread is one for me to have a little journal and two for advice.

    I'm not great with keeping the books in check, the Mrs is better but at the end of the day I get the parts and I get the reciepts.

    I've started a new LTD company and applied for a new LTD bank account. I have also opened the first personal account I've had in about 3 years.

    I'm going to pay myself a wage into my account weekly. If cashflow is an issue and I don't pay myself would I pay it when the company can afford it?

    My sister in law is an accountant. She will do the books from now on and likes the software Xero so this is what I'm going to sign up for once I have the bank account open.

    On starting the company do I put in £1000 of my own money to get it off it's feet? I.e buy parts and start.

    With the rent issue, should I get proper reciepts or where we buy and sell vehicles (we put all these through the Mrs as self employed) should be just pay it out of that? I.e personally. I'm not sure whats best for me to do going forward. It is £200 more but I can claim it back.

    When it comes to reciepts should I just keep a file at work and force myself to put them in and give it to the Mrs or take photos of every reciept as they come?

    Sorry for all the questions!

    I also run 2 courtesy cars. Both 2006 VW Golfs, one manual one auto. Does these being this old affect the look of my company? Neither are sign written. The idea of the older ones is for a start everyone loves them as they are clean and drive well, there are a few marks around them but they are old! Also the fact they are old if they come back with little scratches etc I'm not overly bothered.

    A good friend borrowed one while I had his van and rather impressively fitted a tonne bag of builders sand in the back. He asked. It's an old car, I don't mind. He cleaned it to the point I haven't found a single grain of sand in it!

    It's either that or lease 2 of the cheapest cars I can find!
    Posted: Dec 2, 2018 By: Goingunder Member since: Nov 7, 2018
  2. Gordon - Commercial Finance

    Gordon - Commercial Finance UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,198 315
    All the best for your new start.

    For the 2006 Golfs, if they are in really good nick you could put private plates on them to hide their age.
    Definitely recommend paying the extra £200 a month to get everything official on your rent. Sounds like that could come back and bite you further down the line, and you will save on your corporation tax anyway by putting it through officially.
    Posted: Dec 3, 2018 By: Gordon - Commercial Finance Member since: Jun 26, 2017
  3. billybob99

    billybob99 UKBF Regular Free Member

    661 117
    Better than what most offer.

    I was offered a Ford Cougar when I dropped my car off, ending up walking home.
    Posted: Dec 3, 2018 By: billybob99 Member since: Apr 23, 2013
  4. Noah

    Noah UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,042 250
    This makes me nervous. As @Gordon - Commercial Finance says, you need to formalise this with a legal lease, if only to protect your investment in the units. Would have been better to do this before, but better late than never.
    Posted: Dec 3, 2018 By: Noah Member since: Sep 1, 2009
  5. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Ace Full Member

    2,697 755
    Well done for getting Jung’s off the ground and thinking this through

    I’d agree with others though, you should keep things as clean and transparent as possible - particularly with sales as this is a bit of a hot spot for HMRC

    You could outsource the books - many bookkeepers work from ‘shoebox’ paperwork

    Yes, make a virtue of the golfs’ age, as long as they are clean and reliable it’s no issue

    I’d suggest that you break down future questions and ask them individually- you will get more focused answers
    Posted: Dec 4, 2018 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
  6. Root 66 Woodshop

    Root 66 Woodshop UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,631 1,247
    To get to the standard that people will expect you to be (as it would appear you have a high standard of work due to your post) expect to fork out at least £50,000 for the correct equipment, don't go down the cheap end with it, as it will bite you on the backside.

    if anything, contact some of your local Autolocksmith's who cut keys and arrange a finders fee, find the best one for you and them to work with and get it set up... it doesn't cost you anything.

    This can work out better in the long run.

    This is how we deal with vehicle keys from the company that I work for:

    We have a contact who is very cost effective (i.e. not greedy) he pays us £10.00 per emailed job that we send to him that he wins the work for... up to now, we've had around £1000 from him in 12 months so not bad for 100 emails.

    Whenever we get asked if we do vehicle keys, we tell them yes, take the details of the car and a contact number and then tell them that the engineer will call them within the next hour to give them their price, if they're happy with the price they'll then arrange with the engineer to visit them and complete the work required - people love the fact that "we" come to them, they can be at work or home it doesn't matter, we don't interrupt on their normal working day.

    The added bonus to this is, IF a mistake is made, and the car's computer is blown/killed or any other issue is caused by the engineer... it's not OUR issue, its down to the Autolocksmith to deal with... We've only had one incident where the engineer was working on a brand new Fpace jag, and he slipped while soldering and killed the car... not only did it cost him over £1000 at Jaguar but he also provided 2 new keys at his cost... didn't affect our working day one bit. :)
    Posted: Dec 4, 2018 By: Root 66 Woodshop Member since: Nov 22, 2011
  7. MyAccountantOnline

    MyAccountantOnline UKBF Legend Full Member

    12,500 2,327
    If your sister in law is going to act as your company accountant you need to sit down with her and agree exactly what she's going to do and how she will work.

    You should certainly get and keep all receipts for company expenses (and make sure all invoices are in the company name) but how you file and store them is something I'd ask your sister in law as she will need them to do the bookkeeping.
    Posted: Dec 5, 2018 By: MyAccountantOnline Member since: Sep 24, 2008
  8. bodgitt&scarperLTD

    bodgitt&scarperLTD UKBF Contributor Free Member

    61 22
    Plenty of garages run an older courtesy car. A well presented older courtesy car speaks volumes as to the garage's skills, so I'd keep it. Cost effective goodwill from your customers.

    That said, your friend (and you) are muppets for abusing a Golf like that. That's double the payload and well over double on the rear axle loading. I'm surprised it took the abuse. He could have just had a ton bag delivered direct to site from any builders merchant.
    Posted: Dec 8, 2018 By: bodgitt&scarperLTD Member since: Nov 26, 2018