What to Consider When Starting a Business

For some people, myself included, nothing beats the challenges and excitements of running my own business. If you are considering taking the life changing step of starting your own business, then congratulations! The first few years starting up are an adventure you will never forget. Compared to working for someone else, you will have more freedom to organise your time and the opportunity to fulfil your potential and make far more money than you could when sharing the fruits of your hard work with an employer.

On the other hand, the early days of running a business come with huge responsibilities, a hefty dose of stress, and the financial insecurity of not having someone else to pay your regular salary, pension, sick pay, holidays and so on. The butt stops with you in other words. If I haven’t put you off, read on for a few fundamental considerations you will have to bear in mind as a start-up company.

A market niche

All successful businesses start with a big idea. The place to start is by making a list of what you are good at and what you enjoy doing. Next, you need to do a bit of research into whether or not there is a market for your products or services. What prices can you realistically charge? Who are your competitors?  The internet makes it easy to carry out some pretty decent market research, so this stage shouldn’t cost you anything, but it pays to spend some time thoroughly researching your market in advance of starting out.

Realistic Expectations

I would like to dispel some illusions from the start. Running your own business is not ‘being your own boss’. That may come at a later date but at the beginning you will probably be called upon to wear many different hats; sales person, administrator, office cleaner – as well as your core business. Moving from being employed to running a business is like exchanging one demanding boss for fifteen. Think carefully about whether your lifestyle allows you the time for all the additional workload.  What changes will you need to make before you can start your business?

Investment and running costs

All businesses cost money to set up and to run. Your first cost is likely to be setting up a website and buying the tools and stock required to see you through the first ‘hungry months’ before your business starts turning a profit. Think about what additional costs you are likely to have. For example you might need the services of an accountant or a designer, or you might need to employ a member of staff from the very beginning. In this case you will need to seek out a suitable office environment to house your team.  On top of all this, there is the not insubstantial question of how you are going to support yourself and your family until your business can afford to pay you a wage.

My advice when considering starting your own business is to speak to someone who has been through the process before, as there are so many little details that are easy to miss. Join a couple of online forums or tap friends or family for advice; and make sure you have a thorough business plan in place before you set your plans in motion