Are you thinking of setting up a business this year? Sage UK's Nicole Anderson-Mort reveals the top 10 things you need to know first…
‘Its fantastic that we have so many passionate and talented young women planning to start their own business. There are few things as exciting as creating your own business and if you can tie it to an interest you are genuinely passionate about there are few careers as rewarding,’ explains Nicole Anderson-Mort, Business Development Director for Sage UK and Ireland. ‘Starting a business can also be daunting, but young entrepreneurs shouldnt let that stop them. Whether its a clothing line, games developer or graphic design service, with the right support and advice, everyone can realise their business potential.’
Click on for Nicole's top things to know about launching your first business...
Each year, more than 500,000 people in the UK start a business. Some want to earn more money, others want to be their own boss or dislike their current job. Some seek greater flexibility or a more favourable work-life balance. Many people have no alternative, perhaps after being made redundant.
Although you'll face many challenges and things might not work out, many new businesses survive beyond their first two years (when most fail). Being your own boss could give you more money and a better life. You can gain greater job satisfaction or a better work life balance. There will be hard days, sure, but opting to do your own thing could be one of the best decisions you ever make.
Coming up with an idea and developing it into a successful business is hugely rewarding. If you haven't done it before, starting a business can be a fantastic journey on which you pick up lots of useful knowledge, as well as doing new things and meeting new people. You might even uncover skills you didn't know you had.
Not everyone has what it takes to start and run a successful business. You'll need passion, enthusiasm, ambition, self-confidence and resilience. If you're disorganised and ill disciplined, your business will suffer. Running your own business will probably mean having to work harder and longer, especially early on. And you might have to go without weekends off, holidays, sick pay and even wages. Although you might be your own boss, sometimes it might not feel like it.
You might spot a gap in the market that isn't currently being served or your inspiration might come from a desire to solve a problem that affects you or others. If you come up with a great idea for a new business you'll greatly increase your chances of success. Even if your idea isn?t particularly unique, ideas can help you to stand out from the crowd.
To become a sole trader (ie 'self-employed') call the HMRC Helpline for the Newly Self-Employed on 0845 915 4515 or register online. It?s quick and there's no charge. For more information visit the HMRC website. Setting up a limited company is simple, too, although it takes longer, involves a fee and you might need help. Visit the Companies House website for more information.
If not, you'll struggle to make your business as successful as it could be or your business could even fail. You won't be able to let customers down or just walk away when things get tough. If you don?t put a lot of effort in, don?t expect it to be successful.
Most people use their own savings to launch their own business, while others borrow from family members. You could stay working for someone else and start a business as a part-time venture until it becomes established. Don't expect to get financial help from your bank or a grant or loan from a public sector organisation.
There are many websites that offer free advice and resources to would-be entrepreneurs, including Business Link, Start Up Donut, Smarta and Startups.co.uk. Your local enterprise agency or bank might also be able to provide information. Also get tips from others who have successfully started their own business - often the best way to learn about starting up is from those who've done it.
Even if you work hard, are totally committed, have a great business idea and have the right qualities and outlook, your business could still fail. Otherwise, it could take time before your business is profitable. However, many new businesses do succeed - and yours could be one of them. If you come up with a good idea, test it properly, know your market, and address each start-up challenge properly and in sequence, work hard and remain enthusiastic, soon you could find yourself in charge of a highly profitable business.
For more information, visit the Discover Your Business Potential website.