Seven key questions you need to answer before starting your own business

With the right support and a little guidance, deciding to become your own boss can be the best decision you will ever make – provided you are not afraid of a lot of hard work along the way that is!

The key to being successful is treating your new business exactly as that, a business. Once you are working for yourself you are no longer simply “doing a job” and everything you do should be geared around making your business a success.

It is rarely enough just to be good at what you do.

Many businesses start on the basis that the owner/manager is skilled in their own area. Sometimes, they see how much their employer is charging for their services and think that they will be better off cutting out the “middle man”. Alternatively, some find themselves out of work and take the decision to set up on their own as a good way to pay the mortgage.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with either of these reasons, but working for yourself is not the panacea that many believe, and it is critically important that you go into it with your eyes wide open.

Financial considerations such as “Am I earning enough to pay the bills?” are obviously important but there is so much more to be aware of.

Terms such as ‘business plan’, ‘cashflow forecast’, ‘VAT’, ‘PAYE’ can appear daunting. Indeed without careful consideration these issues can cause real problems but they are nothing to fear and are the traditional areas where a little support and guidance is all that is needed.

The best advisors, however, can go far beyond simply making sure you don’t fall foul of the authorities – but only when you are completely happy to do so and never without your absolute agreement to any costs involved in advance.

We would strongly recommend that you consider the following before committing to your venture:

Are you passionate enough? No, we don’t mean in your personal life! Are you passionate about the project you are about to undertake?

Without passion at best you will get mediocre results. With passion, the world is potentially at your feet!

There are however practical issues to consider as well and, to give yourself the best chance of long term success, you should ask yourself and be able to answer these seven questions:

1. Is there demand for the service/product I intend to provide?

2. What price/rate can I hope to achieve?

3. What competition can I expect to face in the area in which I intend to operate?

4. How much investment will I need for things like equipment, tools vehicles, rent deposit etc?

5. Where can I obtain that investment?

6. Which bank should I approach for my business account?

7. What form should my business take, self employment or limited company?

Once you have answered these questions there will be other issues to consider such as establishing the minimum records you need to keep; and once you are up and running, keeping them up to date. It might seem like a chore at the time but that is nothing compared to having to catch up if you get behind!

It is also important that every business owner should set Goals for their business. This will include:

  • deciding what constitutes success for you,
  • writing that down and,
  • regularly reviewing your results against your goals.

These are all areas we can help with and our passion is to help people in any way we can – within reason!

However every business is different so it is difficult to give generic advice that provides real value and this is why we encourage people to meet with us to discuss their plans.

For anyone we haven’t dealt with before, we offer a no obligation meeting completely free of charge either at our offices, your home or office, or at any reasonable location that is convenient to you.* The purpose being to give some advice and to decide whether a working relationship is a viable proposition.

If that sounds interesting to you please contact us to arrange a mutually convenient time.

*We also provide this service to existing clients considering new ventures.