Starting your own business or becoming self employed can be extremely
rewarding. However, there is a thin line between success and failure which
requires the need for careful planning and forethought before taking the
To help you along the way, we have compiled a list of points you should
consider before launching your new business, followed by some other useful
And don’t forget, one-to-one personal advice is available at our free
Business Start Up clinics operated at all of our JobServe Live! events. Look
at our location list for a JobServe Live! near you.
1.Think about why you want to start your own business.
Consider if being your own boss is really right for you. What are the
advantages and disadvantages? Involve your family in the decision and ask
for their thoughts.
2.Define your product/service
What will you be offering to your customers? What is your Unique Selling
Point (USP)? Why will your product/service stand out from the others? What
will make your customers buy it?
3.Research your market
Who will your customers be? Who are you competing against? What are your
strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis)? Think
about the 4Ps (product, price, promotion, place). Ask your friends and
family for their thoughts. Do you need to alter your original
4.Audit your resources
What do you need to get started? Consider skills, knowledge and experience
as well as funds and property. Where can you obtain the resources you lack?
5.Begin compiling your business plan
Outline your marketing strategies and objectives. Justify any assumptions
and be realistic.
6.Draw up your financial projections
Cash flow forecast is particularly important at this stage. Again, be
7.Discuss your plans with your bank
Pay close attention to funding requirements.
8.Adjust your plans if advised
9.Ensure you understand your legal obligations
What are your tax, National Insurance and VAT obligations? Consider also
health and safety issues. These issues are particularly relevant if you are
10.Go for it!
If you are comfortable that you have met all of these criteria and your
advisers believe in your proposition then it sounds like you are ready for
action. Good luck!
Further information can be found on the following links:
www.businesslink.org for all aspects of starting your own business
www.princes-trust.org.uk helping young people to set up their own business
www.shell-livewire.org for 16-30 year olds who want to start up and develop
their own business.