It can be nerve wracking to start a business and take the leap from employed to self-employed. So what should you consider, before taking the plunge?
- Research, this is key, is there a gap in the market, do people want/need your service/product? This can be the key to failure or success.
- SWOT analysis, fully looking at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats can really help you plan. Look at where you are based, here in Cornwall you can face different challenges to those who are setting up in city.
- Write a business plan, if you need funds a lender will more then likely want to see this anyway. A template can be found here. It can also really help you with the direction that you want to go in.
- Find the money to start. Unless you are really lucky, you will need funds. You need to plan how you will pay yourself if you have left your job. Worse case scenario you may not be able to take a wage for the first few months and may have to find additional funding. Think of alternatives - can you build your business up in your spare time and then take the leap? Will your employer be supportive and let you reduce hours the busier you are? A service business normally means your costs are less. There's no stock to buy - you are literally selling your skills.
- Insurance, check thoroughly what insurances you will need. This will protect you in the long term. The cheapest is not always the best.
- Do you need to register with any official bodies for example if you will be working with peoples data you will need to register with the ICO. Definitely research this area. There are lots of brilliant forums on the internet, we would suggest finding one for your industry and getting advice from people who are doing it. They have been where you are. My experience of forums and facebook page is that they provide really valauble advice.
- A place to work, regardless if you are going to have premises or work from home, it is important to have a well defined place to work, this can really help you to focus.
- Self-belief, it can be tough running a business. From difficulty in finding customers to the first knock back. Believe in yourself and what you are doing. This can help you to overcome most obstacles.
- Realise your weaknesses. You may be a fantastic baker, hairdresser or gardener but websites, SEO or bookkeeping may not be your strength. Find someone to look after these things and concentrate on what you to do best.
Tidal Bookkeeping Cornwall offers a combination of business support services, from bookkeeping, end of year accounts for sole traders, payroll through to virtual office support. We can help look after many areas of your new business.
The information featured in this article is for guidance only, no liability is accepted for the opinions it contains.