Starting your own business can be a daunting prospect but the rewards can be life-changing. In the UK, 8% of small businesses are owned by people from black and ethnic minorities but the aspirations to set up in business are much higher. So what is it that is stopping people from making their dream a reality?
Have you got what it takes?
Whilst running your own business allows flexibility in your working pattern, this doesn’t make it the easy option. You will need to devote a lot of time and hard slog to be successful and there will be setbacks (loads of them) so be ready for challenges, don’t panic and get a good network of people who can support you. You can’t be an expert at everything so acknowledge where you need help and find the people who will provide this.
What is your Unique Selling Point?
You have a great idea but what is it that makes it different from other businesses? Is it your people? Your expertise? Your price? Whatever it is, you will need to be able to communicate this in simple terms so that your customers can see the clear benefit of doing business with you.
Where do you go for information?
There is a wealth of information available to help you start your journey into enterprise so there is no need to feel alone. Examples include
- the British Library has a Business Centre providing a wealth of material including putting together your business plan, protecting your idea and networking groups
- HMRC website includes webinars with information regarding your tax and VAT obligations
- natwest.com/business incorporates an online Business Start-Up course and templates to help you with your financial planning and cash flow forecasting
These are just a few examples and there will be many more including organisations which are local to you that have programmes designed to help people set up businesses.
So, if you think that self-employment is the future for you, now could be the time to make the dream a reality and change your world.
For more information on starting a business and our free start-up surgeries, please contact email@example.com
Anne McPherson is Managing Director, Enterprise, at NatWest