Starting your own business

Information and advice on starting your own business, issues to consider including what to put in your business plan.

Have you ever dreamt of starting your own business? Being your own boss? Working in an area that you have a passion for? If you think you have the drive and commitment to start your own business then it’s important to consider exactly what’s involved and whether you have the personality of an entrepreneur!

There can be a variety of reasons that motivate someone to start their own business, they may have been made redundant, identified a gap in the market or always had a burning desire to work for themselves and follow their own passion. In a time of economic uncertainty, it is vital to think a good business idea through and how you will make it a success.

A good business idea

Let’s assume you have your business idea, your vision, but how do you translate your idea into a good business. This means looking at practicalities of implementing your business idea. You should consider:

  • What product/service will I provide?
  • Is there a market for my business?
  • Are there competitors in this business and how good are they?
  • Equally, if there is no competition, is there a reason why?
  • Location – where will it operate from?
  • Will I need staff or start off on my own?
  • How will I finance my business venture?
  • What are the estimated profits of the business?

Are you the right type of person for starting your own business?

Personality

There is no right or wrong person for starting a business but particular skills and strengths are essential if you are to be successful. You will need to be self-motivated, hard-working, determined, enthusiastic, energetic and committed. Some of the best business successes come from people who truly believe in their business idea and are passionate about it.

Income

If you’re employed are you willing to take the risk of losing your regular income? Can you afford to go for it? Many businesses do not even make a profit in their first year and it may be some time before you are making a comfortable wage, are you prepared for this? Also, don’t forget that your new business will also need a financial investment.

Time

Are you willing to work long hours? New businesses are very time intensive and you will have to work long hours if you want to succeed. This will undoubtedly affect the other commitments in your life. Do you have family commitments? Will this new business put stress on those relationships? Do you have the support from your family? It’s important to consider the implications of how much time setting up a business will take. It’s unlikely that you will be working 9-5 hours.

Making a Business Plan

It’s essential to make a business plan for your new venture as this plans and predicts the future of your business. It also get to formulate plans for the business and keep you focused. A business plan is instrumental in securing financial support too. If a lender can see you have consider every aspect of your business, you have a better chance of their investment. Consider the following when putting together your business plan:

  • What is your business going to be? What exactly are providing? Be focused and clear.
  • Why are you doing it? Is there a need for it? Have you got evidence of this? Have you done your market research?
  • What are your business objectives?
  • What competition exists and how are you going to differentiate/compete? In other words, why are YOU going to succeed?
  • How will your product/service be delivered?
  • How will you promote and market your business?
  • What is your pricing strategy?
  • Financial forecasts – what are the estimated profits?
  • Costs implications – what will the business cost to operate?
  • Do you have a contingency plan?

Further information for starting your own business

If you are want to get more practical help and advice on starting your own business have a look at the following resources:

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