Business planning advice

Are you thinking of starting a business? Here's 5 great reasons why you should make the leap.

5 great reasons to start your own business

1"I want to do something I love"

As the saying goes "Choose a job you love, and you'll never have to work a day in your life." Actually, people who run their own businesses do work really hard, but if you enjoy what you do and have a stake in making it a success, then it doesn't seem like such a chore.

People with an enthusiasm or passion for something are usually very appealing to both investors and customers. Being interested in whatever your business is about should mean you understand your customers and what they want better too.

Just make sure that doing what you enjoy will actually earn you some money. And be realistic about having to do some of the more mundane admin and less pleasant tasks too. You may love the idea of running your own beach café, but remember someone has to add up the takings and take the rubbish out.

2"I really need to make some money"

It may not be the ideal way to start ‘living the dream', but if you find yourself unemployed or unable to find a job, then starting your own business can be a great way of making money.

Think of it as an opportunity. Whether that's simply to put cash in your pocket or to fill a space on your CV and prove to future employers that you have the drive to take on something new and work for yourself.

If you're struggling to get into the career you want, starting your own related business is a great way to prove that you have the determination and skills.

If you've previously been working, then a redundancy pay out may help you to get started, but many businesses start with little or no cash at all. If start-up costs are a worry, try considering alternative ways to finance your business such as crowdfunding.

If you're over 18 and getting certain benefits, the New Enterprise Allowance can provide money and support to help you start your own business. Jobcentre Plus should be able to talk you through the details.

You can also get local support to help develop your business idea from:

3"I want to be my own boss"

Having no one to answer to except yourself can be very appealing. Being the boss means you make all the decisions and you reap the rewards. It can also mean that your business can be more agile and do things quicker, smarter or better than others in a similar line.

Finding a better work life balance is often a reason for going into business. And while it's true that you may be able to dictate your own hours, working for yourself can mean you rarely get time off from thinking about your business.

You may have to work long hours to get started, and get your hands dirty doing all sorts of different tasks. But, if you're prepared to take the lead and jump on in, then the rewards can be hugely satisfying.

4"I'd like to do something that  makes a difference"

If you've ever thought, "I wish there was…" or "There's got to be a better way of…," you may be on to a great business idea.

Your business idea could make a difference by providing employment for other people. You could help revive, or attract people to a particular area, or change lives by offering a service or supporting a charity through your business too.

Filling a gap for a product or service in your local area is a great way of putting something back into your community. And those local connections can provide your first, all important customers.

5"I want to make my mark and do something"

It's exciting to create something from nothing but your ideas and hard work. You'll find people are usually really interested in what you do and why you chose to go it alone.  Some may be envious, others may even be inspired.

It does take persistence and self-belief to set up your own business, but when it takes off, you can take great pride in saying...

"I did that."


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