Thinking about Starting

Why Start My Own Business?

Whatever your reasons for starting up, be clear about your business and personal aims and set yourself goals. Thousands of new businesses fold because their owners did not set up, or even identify, either business or personal aims.

The key aims of a business are known as 'the business mission statement'. You may be surprised at how useful your own business mission statement can be in keeping you pointed in the right direction, because if you have a firm idea of your aims and where you want to go, you are more likely to succeed.
These are some examples of the points you might make in a business mission statement:
Example of a business mission


What goods and services am I going to provide?

You have probably already got some plans about what you want to do. Even so, it is worth looking into other business ideas. And remember, you don't need a bright new idea to have a good business. However, usually it is better to stick to what you know when deciding which type of business to start.

Start from scratch or buy an already running business?

The business that needs most careful thought is the one you start from scratch. No matter how thoroughly you research your market, you are never going to be sure how good the idea is until you are actually up and running. If you are offering a service or product with a difference, you will probably grow slowly at first, while your market learns about you. To look at it positively, an entirely new business may be the best way to take advantage of a gap in the market, and there would be no price to pay for "goodwill".

If you are worried about starting from scratch, you might want to think about buying a business that is already running. If you decide to buy a business, get professional advice before you make any commitment, as it could involve a great deal of money!! Alternatively there is the option of operating a franchise. A franchise is when you buy the right to use the trading name and system of a business that is already running.

Have I the right knowledge?

As an employee you are dependent on your employer. But when you start a business, you are dependent on your own ability.

If you can honestly agree with each of the 16 characteristics and points below, you have got what it takes. If not, don't be too worried. At least you know your strengths and you can work on your weaknesses.


Have I thought about the practical realities?

Think about your exit strategy, if you need to/want to sell you business. Look at your business assets and whether it would be easy to sell them if necessary. If you have a specialised business, even if it is doing well, you might have to wait a long time before you find a buyer.

Although there is no doubt that running your own business can be very satisfying, there is also an enormous amount of hard work involved and problems to be encountered. As a potential business owner it is important that you can foresee these problems so that they can be dealt with as quickly as possible.