How to start a business

Picking a fight with your boss is one way to ensure that your next appraisal is going to be hell. We suggest an easier path that will allow you to part with dignity. Start your own business!

Before you take the plunge and start ranting at your boss please read on...

Taking Back Control

Bosses are a bit like parents- you just don't get a say in choosing them. One way you can escape the tedium of too many pointless meetings, a lack of leadership and office politics is by coming up with a business idea, setting up on your own and taking joy in getting your business off the ground. Don't rush into it though, even a small business can be complicated to set up. Whatever type of enterprise you have in mind make sure your plans are well developed. Ideally do a spot of moonlighting first, to test the market. Consider the following steps:

Make your mind up

Start your own businessDo you have a good idea for the kind of business you want to start? If so, make a decision to set up on your own and commit yourself to the startup struggle. Decide if you want to be a sole trader or form a limited company (with limited liability). Consider different types of business models to see which works best for you. It will be hard work but if you keep your wits about you it will also be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

Either that or decide that you like the illusion of job security and stay put.

Pack your bags before you leave.

Planning on opening a shop or online business? Then it's time to dust off your Linkedin profile and sort out your social media presence. Get on top of the paperwork, dig into your finances and develop your product and service ideas. You can do all that while still holding down the day job. Working double time will be good practice for when you are running your own enterprise.

Become a Guru

fire your bossStudy your product and market like a hawk. Become an expert in your chosen field. If you have to- pack yourself off to night school and read every business manual you can lay your hands on. You need to become a domain expert in your chosen field.

Build a new network

Whatever your plans you are going to need contacts and friends in your new world so start cultivating them. Do it now. Start connecting with angel investors- you might need them. Make sure that you find some people you can turn to for help and advice. You'll be needing every bit of help you can get.

Prepare, prepare, prepare.

planning to start a businessWrite your business plan, produce your marketing collateral and design your website. Get quotes for business insurance and do as much as you can while you still have a regular pay check. Ok, so effectively you'll be holding down two jobs for a while but the idea is you'll have less planning time when you you set up. You'll start making money sooner. Think carefully about the pros and cons of your chosen venture while you still have the security of a salary. Pay off your credit card!

Scope out the office space you will need and nail down the detail for the kind of venture you want to start. Think about venture capital or how you will raise finance.

A word of warning- we're not suggesting you pretend to do the day job whilst progressing your plans of creating your own company. You will need to do all this in your own time. You won't get far unless you have ethics and you do not want to be taking a reputition for being dishonest with you...

Finally- once you are ready to get your venture off the ground you can fire your boss. Do it nicely though- there's little point in burning bridges!

Resign Politely

When it's time to start there's no need to stick the knife in and remind the boss about the time he had you working on a project for three months only to change his mind at the last minute. Or to give him a hard time for the day he docked your wages for that tooth extraction you had to take the day off for. Never burn your bridges. Thank him or her for their support and move on- a bright world of challenge and excitement awaits you!

A Bright Future Awaits.

starting a businessSmall businesses accounted for 99.3% of all privately held enterprises at the start of 2018. Small or Medium Enterprises (that's companies with less than 250 people) accounted for a whopping 99.9% of all private business. We're talking £2.0 trillion turnover. There are 2.2 million more small businesses today than there were in 2000.

Brexit, disruptive technologies and changing lifestyle habits means that for the canny entrepreneur the opportunities for starting your own venture are endless. Is it time to send your boss packing and watch your own business grow?

Working for yourself means being able to design your own career and do something that you love. Think of it as making an investment in yourself. Plus, you get to solve a problem for someone else too.

It won’t always be plain sailing, many startups fail, fewer than 65% survive beyond two years. By the time startups have been trading for five years the number that are still trading reduces to about half.

Self-employment isn’t for everyone.

It will be tough, stressful and challenging every step of the way. You will need to think long and hard before taking the leap. Try to bear in mind that the seeds of success or failure are mostly sown at the outset of the journey.

Mistakes can be avoided if you get help early on, if you follow a robust process and ask yourself the tough questions before you start wasting your money. It’s all about following a plan and taking baby-steps.

Twenty Questions before taking the plunge

20 questions for startupsBefore you do fire your boss run through the following brief checklist:

  1. Have you done your homework? Have you researched your market and validated the assumptions behind your proposed venture?
  2. Are you solving a real, everyday problem and making people’s lives easier?
  3. Is there real, proven demand for your products and/or services?
  4. Do you know your competitors inside out?
  5. Where will you position your business within the market?
  6. Have you drawn up a business plan that stands up to scrutiny?
  7. Do you have a plan for raising the money required to make you dream a reality? How long will you be able to finance your fledgling enterprise for before your run out of money?
  8. If you are short on funds how will to raise more? Will you access angels, loans or crowdfunding?
  9. Are you clear on what kind of business you will start? Will you form a limited company or use some other kind of vehicle to form your venture?
  10. What business model will you deploy?
  11. What will you call your venture? What branding and strapline will you use?
  12. Will you have the appropriate licences or permits in place before you start?
  13. Have you secured a domain names and started to build you web presence?
  14. Have you settled on the appropriate business processes? How you will you keep track of your income and expenditure?
  15. Where will you trade from? What kind of equipment will you need to kit our premises out?
  16. Who will make up your team? Who will perform what functions?
  17. What is your sales and marketing strategy?
  18. Will your friends and family support your mentally through the tough times ahead?
  19. Your will you develop the skills required to cover all aspect required of you to succeed in business?
  20. Do you have a business coach or mentor who can help guide you through the startup process?

If you can confidently answer all the questions above, then go ahead and give your boss the boot. If you struggled to answer them then take a bit more time to develop your plans before your fire your boss. After all- you’ll be wanting to get it right the first-time round.

For more interesting statistics check out the Federation of Small Business article on Small Business Statistics


At Startuptuition we are passionate about enterprise and helping people to achieve their full potential.

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