Many people in todayís society dream of being their own boss and
have their own business. Some toy with the idea for years before
they finally do it, whilst others never take the plunge and continue
to simply think about it.
If you are amongst those people who are considering whether or not
to start their own business, the tips below might be useful to help
you make a decision.
1) Identify the reasons
why you wish to start your own business
Some individuals are fed up of routine office work and taking orders
all day long. Some others are fed up to work hard and see their
bosses get richer whilst they are on a low salary compared to the
contribution they give to a business and would like to rip the
financial benefits of their hard work. Others still wish to start
something that is creative, or that gives them more flexibility with
their working hours and work location (many people wish to work from
home or near their homes so that they donít have to spend hours
commuting to and from work every day).
There are many reasons why people want to set up their own business.
But there is a key question that everyone should ask themselves: how
hard are you prepared to work to make your business successful?
Setting up and running a business is a time consuming task that
requires complete dedication and focus. If you think that starting
up your business will give you an easier life than say,
office work, then you may have to rethink this assumption.
Just to give you an example, most workers in todayís job market
receive paid annual leave, paid sick leave, maternity (and in some
instances paternity) leave, some receive health insurance and some
also join good pension schemes. What will happen to these benefits
if you start your own business?
The rewards of starting up your own business can be great, but you
may need to think carefully as to whether or not you have the
attributes and right sort of personality to cope with going it alone
and face all the ups and downs for a new business to get
2) Company Structure
You will need to decide what business structure you will trade under
(sole trader, limited company or partnership) and what obligations
and responsibilities you will have as the owner of a new business.
This goes without saying. You really need to be honest with yourself
and identify your strengths and weaknesses. You may even want to
consider asking friends, family and colleagues for their opinion and
views. If you find out that you lack some of the skills that will be
necessary to make your business a success, then you will have to
think whether you can learn those skills in a reasonable timeframe
or whether you will be better either hiring people with those skills
or simply seek professional advice as and when needed.
All businesses take some time to establish themselves. This means
that your income may be relatively limited to begin with. You will
therefore need to be conservative with your funding estimates and
either save enough money to keep you going while the business goes
through its initial stages, or present your bank manager with a well
thought out business plan and request sufficient start up funds.
Also, donít forget that it is unlikely that banks will provide you
with 100% of the funding to start up your business and that you may
have to find some of the initial funds elsewhere (e.g. your savings;
loan from family etc).
Never underestimate it. Thoroughly research the competitors in your
chosen industry. Indentify any weaknesses they may have and try to
ensure your product or service is a cut above theirs. Competition is
a very healthy thing, but you need to do constant research and never
Make sure that there is a market for your product or service and
that it is not already provided by other businesses. A startup
business really must ensure that the market for buyers or users is
strong in the area he intends to set up. The consequences of not
doing your research properly in terms of competition, market forces
and location of business could indeed be very serious.
7) Business Plan
Never underestimate how helpful this stage can be. Even if you never
consult the plan again, it is amazing how many thoughts and ideas
can evolve if you put all your thoughts down on paper in a
structured format. Not only will you require a well thought-out plan
when seeking funding or new business partners, but a decent plan
will help you focus on your goals and ensure you are less likely to
stray from your real priorities. Some tips for writing a business
plan are given
As your business expands, you may well need to hire people to manage
certain aspects of your operation. You need to ensure they have the
right skills for the job. Above all, you need to be able to trust
and get on with the people you work with - this simply cannot
9) Seek Professional
When running your business, a few words with a trusted adviser
(accountant, lawyer, business adviser) can make the difference
between success and failure. Before hiring a professional, you
should speak with several in order to choose the one that is best
for you, which does NOT necessarily mean the cheapest.
10) Biggest causes of
The biggest causes of failure for starting up new businesses are -
not doing the ground work thoroughly, setting your sights too high,
not researching your market properly, hiring the wrong staff and not
putting enough funds aside for contingency. Keep an eye on these
potential pitfalls at all times!