When it comes to starting a business your personal attributes are as important as your financial resources. It's worth standing back and looking honestly at your strengths and weaknesses as part of the overall business planning process.
Many people under-estimate the level of commitment required and the impact, both emotionally and financially, starting up a business can have on those around you.
The intention of this article is not to put anyone off going down this route! It's about stressing the importance of preparation and, in particular, not ignoring your own personal characteristics in the planning and assessment phase.
So, before you start, have you had a think about the business skills and knowledge you will need to move the business forward? Do you know what they are and if they are lacking? Can they be developed or will you need to "buy in"? How are you with working in an uncertain world?
Ideally, your business will be a resounding success from day one but, in reality, there will be setbacks and problems to overcome which will require resilience on your part.
Obviously, there are many other personal characteristics that could be included in the checking process. One way of assessing these in "real life", and getting a feel for the market and how your business would operate, is to work part time. For example, can you spend two days a week on the new business and retain ongoing income? This can reduce the financial risk and provide you with valuable, real information on how you cope and the prospects for the business.
If we move on from you to the business, have you rigorously checked that there is a market for your product or services? How much market research have you done? Have you the required financial resources to make the buisness work - including emergency funds to support you if cashflow dries up? If required, is finance actually available from, for example, the banks?
What's the best business structure for you - sole trader, partnership? Have you taken all appropriate advice from accountants, solicitors, HMRC etc? Is the business plan robust?
Finally, the majority of business start ups are characterised by enthusiasm, energy and a real passion for what they intend to achieve. The purpose of the above questions is not to dampen this enthusiasm, more to stress that enthusiasm plus good 'due diligence' prior to start up can do nothing more than increase your chance of success. Taking advice improves the chances that you will make the right decisions from the start. If you wish to speak to an LGBT-friendly financial adviser, please enter your postcode under the map on your right to find an adviser near you.
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