Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Go it alone - be your own boss

There’s a common misconception that starting up your own business during the current economic climate is an extremely risky road to travel, but according to Start-up Britain, there couldn't be a better time during which to do so.

With Northern Ireland in particular reliant on the public sector for employment — which is set to be the target of Government cuts — there’s never been a better time to secure you future while doing something you love.

And if your business can get off the ground during a recession and succeed then the chances are you have a very profitable future ahead of you.

Starting your own business has huge advantages;

1 - It allows you to be your own boss. There’s no more answering to the big man, just yourself.

2 - Practice your passion and earn from it. When interest and work combine, passion and determination flourishes.

3 - Set your own deadlines. While it can be difficult to do so, you will hone your ability to be self-disciplined.

4 - Work from home dictating your own business hours. This allows you great flexibility to combine your personal life and work however in the beginning be prepared for your personal life to be eaten up.

5 - Produces immense job satisfaction and rewards.

6 - Allows you to utilise and earn from your creativity.

7 - It’s an opportunity to live a dream.

It is important to bear in mind that there are personal attributes that are essential to becoming a successful start up business.

Going alone demands:

  • Commitment and focus.
  • Intensive research into your chosen market to identify demand and predict success.
  • Influential contacts to make up a database of potential clients and prospective investors.
  • Creativity to ensure your service or product has a USP to make it profitable (especially during a time when consumers are more discerning than ever).

The first things to consider when starting your own business are: the nature of your enterprise, the product and/or service you wish to offer, the current state and demands within this industry, marketing requirements and most importantly financial support.

There are a wealth of organisations locally, such as Go For It NI specifically there to support your new venture taking the alone out of the ‘going for it’. This can range from business plan advice, finance provisions or direction in sourcing start-up funding.

Go For It NI and other business start up organisations also provide a wealth of free seminars where you can learn the core necessities to put in place when starting up. Think PR, marketing, social networking and human resources tutorials to networking days.

The vital starting point for initiating your own company is putting a business plan in place.

A business plan not only allows you to put your thoughts on paper but it forces you to analyse your chosen market, foresee your pitfalls, acknowledge the legal issues involved with setting up your own practice and anticipate the work ahead of you.

An articulately crafted business plan also illustrates your determination, knowledge and commitment to potential investors who need to feel confident before allocating finance.

If you are currently in full-time employment but keen to start up alone, it is essential to maintain income levels in the planning process.

You might have to burn the candles at both ends — working in your day job and planning in your spare time — but with a little patience, hard work and vision, going it alone could prove to be the best move you ever make.

Useful websites

www.startups.co.uk

www.goforitni.com

nibusinessinfo.co.uk

investni.co.uk

enterpriseni.com

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