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Starting Up Your Own Business

By: Lucy Debenham BA (hons) - Updated: 23 May 2017 | comments*Discuss
Business Start Up Tips Business Start Up

There are different reasons that people set up their own businesses. While some feel that they're wasting their time doing a job for someone else, when they could be reaping the benefits for themselves, others simply want to have more control over their working lives. Whatever your reason for wanting to setting up your own business venture, there are some basic tips for to make it a success.

Make Sure You're Ready

Starting up your own business can be a huge commitment. If you don't already know someone who runs their own business, you will be in unchartered territory and may not realise the time, effort and pressure that you will be under.

You may be working extra long hours, which can affect personal and family relationships. You may incur periods of financial instability, which may require that you have a financial and/or employment contingency plan to fall back on. If you become ill, there will be no sick pay. If you're starting up on your own, the chances are that you'll be fairly isolated and will be working independently for the majority of the time. Make sure you have people to talk to and develop ideas with.

You'll need to be an extremely motivated and determined character. You should have initiative, confidence and the ability to overcome any setbacks that may – and usually do – occur. You'll need a great deal of organisational and entrepreneurial skill, be competent with finances, and have a knack for marketing and self-promotion. Above all, you'll need to have a passion for your work that will help you to persevere.

Research Your Idea

You should have a thorough idea of whether your business venture is viable. There is, of course, the option of undertaking some 'dry' market research, but you should also seek the honest opinions and advice of friends and family, as well as professionals. It's important to get advice from the right people – services such as the DTI and Business Link will offer advice.

Ask yourself some basic but important questions. Do people other than you think your idea is viable? Would they purchase your goods or use your service? Do you understand your customers' needs? Is there room in the market in your current location? What's your unique selling point (USP) that will set you aside from the competition?

If you can comprehensively answer all these questions, you may be on the road to starting up a successful business venture.

Consider Extra Training

When starting your own business you'll need a plethora of skills, from accounting and bookkeeping to IT and marketing. It is rare that someone is so well-rounded that they are an expert in all these areas, so it may be worth your while considering some extra training to get yourself up to scratch.

There are plenty of online tutorials that can help, but for more in-depth skills it might be worth taking a short course. This can be done through Adult Education Classes, distance learning, or simply learning from a professional! For some tasks, however, it really is worth delegating and hiring a seasoned pro to carry out the work for you.

Network, Network, Network!

When starting a new business, it is vitally important that you know where you can source your business. Networking with other professionals and businesses may present you with work opportunities. There are often local networking meetings organised to help this aspect of business development.

You should start locally, and secure a solid client base before looking farther afield. By concentrating on a local customer base, you will be able to ensure a quality delivery of goods or services for your clients, which in turn will encourage loyalty and repeat custom.

Starting up a business can be a fairly complicated and stressful venture, but if you have the basics in place, the chances are that you'll be able to make a good start at establishing yourself quickly and successfully.

Further Reading

Going it alone may be a daunting prospect, but it can offer you the freedom and flexibility that many people yearn for in life. Take a look at our article Working For Yourself to help you decide if this is the right option for you.

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Himanshu - 23-May-17 @ 7:52 AM
Steve - Your Question:
Would I be eligible to get a grant for a business start up? I've been a plumber and bathroom installer for ten years now and wish to start up my own business, how do I find out whether I would be able to get a grant?

Our Response:
Your local council should be your first port of call. They will have details of help available for anyone wanting to start up a new business in your area.
ACareerChange - 11-Sep-15 @ 2:02 PM
Would I be eligible to get a grant for a business start up? I've been a plumber and bathroom installer for ten years now and wish to start up my own business, how do I find out whether I would be able to get a grant?
Steve - 10-Sep-15 @ 5:55 PM
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