Starting a business can be a daunting prospect and many entrepreneurs are unaware of the rewards and advantages available to them. However, the formula for a successful enterprise in the UK is surprisingly simple.

–Funding options

Having ready-made startup capital is not essential, as there are several financial pathways open to entrepreneurs. If funding is required in the initial stages of a business for testing and developing an idea, there are a number of government support schemes available.

These include publicly backed finance and loans, government grants and funding for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). Selling shares through friends and family is an excellent way to fund a business’ growth, as is applying for a bank loan, as financial institutions are now offering increasingly competitive rates.

Crowdfunding is also experiencing a surge in popularity, with large groups of people investing in a commercial enterprise, usually via the internet.

–Digital marketing

The internet is a key tool for garnering revenue and exposure, and businesses are coming to realise the increasingly vital role played by digital marketing. The secrets of search engine optimisation, social media and email marketing are crucial for securing sales and site traffic, while many businesses are also investing in video to increase brand exposure.

This form of self-publicising is both cost-effective and time-effective, with potential customers able to grasp the concept of a business through a short, fun piece of media rather than having to scroll through pages of text.

–Intellectual property (IP)

Securing IP protection for products, designs and branding is vital, but is too often overlooked by SMEs. It is crucial for protecting assets and encouraging financing from potential investors, as it significantly increases the perceived value of a business.

–Reap the rewards

Revenue isn’t the only way to profit from all the hard work that is put into running a business, as credit cards also offer valuable advantages for small business owners.

With American Express UK business cards, like the Gold Business Charge Card, business owners can benefit from cash-flow protection, travel and purchase protection, and account servicing – all the things that make running a commercial enterprise that little bit easier.

There’s even a welcome bonus of 20,000 membership rewards points if £3,000 is spent in the first three months, which can provide crucial funds for office equipment or be spent on business meals and corporate gifts.