Is starting a business right for you?

BIC Business Adviser, Ron Anderson, with start-up client, Klaudia Malolepsza

By BIC Business Support Manager, Shirley Hermiston

As the New Year approaches we can allow ourselves to take a step back and reflect on the year that’s about to end.

It’s a time to take stock of our achievements, note which ideas have worked, bin those that didn’t and plan what we want to do in the future.

Here at the BIC, and I’m sure it’s the same for all enterprise agencies, the start of the New Year seems to bring an influx of new business ideas and start-ups. It could be largely due to a different mindset we have in January; we tend to set resolutions and try new things and it’s easy to see why we get so many budding entrepreneurs coming through our doors in the New Year.

This year, we’ve helped 150 people go self-employed and as always, our experienced business advisers will be here to help people every step of the way and ensure people have thought about all aspects of starting up.

If you think self-employment may be for you, there are a few things you can do to get the wheels in motion.

Decide on what kind of business you want to start. Don’t just choose a business that can make you lots of money. Yes, I know you’re thinking that’s the whole idea, but you should also like what you do. If it’s something you enjoy and are passionate about, your customers will pick up on that and it will make running your business a lot more satisfying.

Evaluate your current circumstances. People start a business for various reasons, maybe because of redundancy or a need to work around their children, or even just because they want a change. It may be that the time just isn’t right. Ask yourself the following: are you financially and emotionally prepared for this? Do you have what it takes? Have you got a good support system around you? Having the support of family and friends is hugely important too!

Examine your personal finances. This will give an indication of how much money you will need to make. It’s particularly useful if you are currently employed and are contemplating leaving your job to run your business. It has to be worthwhile. Do you know what your start-up costs will be? Will you need a business loan? We can help you explore the options and make the right decision for you.

Think about who your customers will be. Accept that not everyone will be your customer and don’t rely on friends and family to be your only clients.

Finally, don’t be frightened to write down your ideas in the form of a business plan, but don’t worry, this is not to be feared. You just need to write the basics down and our business advisers can help with the rest.

Remember you are not on your own. With a range of free workshops and one-to-one business advice, the BIC can help get your business off to a flying start.

Arrange your free appointment today. Call 0191 516 6111 or click here to book an appointment online.

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