Starting a business… Is it for you?

By Shirley Hermiston

Shirley (right) with Catherin Hanlon who recently started her own business with support from the North East BIC

The start of a New Year is usually the time when we allow ourselves to take a step back and reflect on the year that’s just ended. A time to take stock of our achievements, note which ideas worked, bin those that didn’t and plan what we want for the future.

Here at the BIC, and I’m sure it’s the same for all Enterprise Agencies, January always seems to bring an influx of new business ideas and start-ups. We understand that starting a business isn’t for everyone, as it demands complete focus and dedication. However for those that are courageous enough to do it, they can find it to be a fulfilling and rewarding experience.

If you are considering self-employment, our advisers are here for you every step of the way, ensuring you have thought about all aspects of starting a business before making that life changing decision.

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 this: Are you financially and emotionally prepared for this? Do you have what it takes? Have you got a good support system around you, as this is vitally 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. Yes I said it, the dreaded business plan. Don’t worry, this is not to be feared. You just need the basics, 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 6149 or click here 

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