Have you ever wondered about setting up your own business?

Many of us have and the challenges are many. Where  do you start, how do you check if it will work, how much should it cost and many, many more questions, but there is that age old question… How do you eat an elephant? One piece at a time! Well it’s just the same for this challenge. We’ll take it small steps at a time and over the next few blogs, offer practical helpful advice to setting up abusiness.

Perhaps the first thing is to get a grip of all those fluffy ideas that are spinning around in your mind, into some sense of order. Of course there are many who will tell you that you have to plan and of course you do, even just to establish a start point, but I’m stepping back a little from that and suggesting you give thought as to what kind of business, asking yourself what may hold you back or even what you would be most suited to and that’s rather more a process of giving yourself some quiet thinking time.

Ok, everybody’s different and I accept fully that what works for one person might not work for another, although in the same vein I share these thoughts and experiences with you as perhaps they might be helpful. Sometimes, when I was involved in running my last company, the hustle and buzz of the office demanded my attention on day to day operational issues and I found it a great help to step out of the office for a little “me” time, a time to think and strategise. Therefore if you’re employed, perhaps you could arrange a day off just to spend time thinking and making a few notes to get the whole ball rolling.

Setting up and running your own business can be great fun and rewarding. Trust me on this, I have done so three times and sold the last 2 companies. But at the same you can expect it to be stressful at times and incredibly hard work. I have known many good business people (note the political correctness there!) and the one thing they had in common was some very long working weeks, way beyond the norm.

To help the process, let me suggest a few questions to ask yourself –

Why do I really want to set up my own business? Yes, the most basic of questions that many will scoff at, but an important question that you need to answer from the heart.

How will your family take to your new working hours? Do you have their full support? Ok, two questions, but if setting up your new venture will cause you relationship problems, are you prepared for that as it will be extremely difficult to set out on your own without the emotional support of your family.

What’s the end game? Yes, you read that correctly… getting your mind around what you intend to do when the company is successful is really important. Statistically, few small limited companies survive more that 10 or 15 years so what are you going to do when the company is thriving after say… 8 years? Are you going to sell?

My next blog will be on the same subject and I’m going to initially look at what makes the business idea a good idea.

avatar Name: Alexandra Eager
About: Alex has worked as a Financial Controller and Finance Director for many years for a variety of companies across a range of industries but more recently she has moved away from accounting working for an internet marketing agency as Finance and Operations director, primarily overseeing the finance functions and search engine optimisation (SEO) for clients. Follow Alex on G+ and on Twitter @Alex_BusDirUK
Alex runs her own company with two fellow owners developing a suite of e-commerce web sites and promoting them directly. “I found that SEO and finance were quite compatible both needing an eye for detail, research and analysis as well keeping up with new developments and changes.”

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