Is it time to set up your own business?

By Sayeh Woodman — Maybe you’ve come to a realisation seeing as it’s the New Year, maybe you’ve thought about doing this for a long time, and haven’t put it into practise yet, what better time than now.
I’m a great believer in thinking and doing things for now!  Why put something off?
Here are some tips and questions to think about and to help, if you’re thinking about setting up your own business.
Second guess yourself and refine your concept —Don’t just assume your idea is viable, try and prove it, that it will work.
Pick at every angle and look for flaws.
Conduct some decent market research (customers, competitors and everyone in between) what will you do differently, better, cheaper or faster than your competitors?  What do your customers want, that they’re not getting elsewhere?  Define your target customer.
What business structure are you going to use?  Will you set up as a sole trader, or are you planning to scale quickly and recruit employees, in which case a limited company might be a better option.
There are pros and cons to all business structures, so finding the right one for your enterprise needs careful consideration.
Licensing, legal, insurance and protecting your intellectual property — Are you ready and have started with your idea, or are there legal implications to what your doing?  Do you need specific insurance to protect you if the worst happens?  Consider protecting yourself in every manner.
Plan, plan and plan, and even some more plans.
Your business plan is your new best friend and a critical document that will assist you in working towards a sustainable business model.
There are plenty of business plan templates online to help you get started.
Think about funding and finance, whether you’re planning purely organic growth brought about the revenues you’ll generate, or you need to purchase stock, machinery, premises or even sale up quickly, you’ll need to get a grasp on your finances and the vast array of funding sources available.
Create an identity — Choose a name and choose it well.
It’s going to define your business for along time to come.
Check the rules for naming a company.
Design a logo and register a domain name and build you own website or social media page.
Think about business premises, it may well all be about location, but the nature of your business will clearly affect your setting and premises requirements.
Ask for external help if you need and keep asking!  You will soon realise and appreciate the support of true friends, and family are always there to help.
Get out and about, and network —  you need to make time to get out and meet with other business owners to share ideas and potentials.
All these questions and thought processes are vital in starting your own business… yes, I am thinking about starting my own… that’s why I thought I would share what I’ve learnt so far!  Go for it!

— sayehwoodman@outlook.com

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