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Thinking about starting up a business?

Thousands of people set up their own businesses every year. Some do it because they want to work for themselves, others because they have a great idea and have spotted a gap in the market. And of course there are those that think they can make lots of money.

Although enthusiasm is important, good planning is a must. Without a good business plan you could struggle to make a go of it.

First things first: What you need to think about

What will the business do?

Where can it operate?

Will I need premises?

Do I need people to make it happen, or will I be flying solo for some time?

Can I fund the business myself, or do I need financial support?

How long will it take to get the business into profit?

Have I got what it takes to make it work?

Start with an idea

If you’re thinking of starting up a business, you’ll first need to come up with a realistic idea that you can turn into a product or service.

Register your idea

You might have already come up with an idea for a business you think there’s a market for, or invented something you think people will want to buy.

Turn your idea into a business

Research, Research, Research! Identify who your potential customers are, talk to them about your idea, and get as much feedback as you can. Don’t be afraid to make changes and take your idea back to the drawing board. Any weaknesses at this point will cost you money in the long-term. Then, use your findings to write a business plan. This needs to clearly show the results of your customer research and explain how you can turn your idea into viable business.

Obstacles and setbacks

There will be many of these but how you overcome them will be critical to deciding whether or not you will ultimately succeed. If you are not the sort of person who responds well to setbacks, you ought to ask yourself whether you are the right person to be trying to get a business off the ground.


You need good advisers – usually an accountant and a lawyer – when you are handling complex issues such as finances, tax and business law.

All businesses require a certain amount of administration and you will have to spend time going through paperwork. If you tend to bury your head in the sand and ignore detail, you need a good right-hand person who will concentrate on the detail. Not all great business leaders were good at the small print, but all good business people have someone close to them who is.