Do You Dream of Setting up Your Own Business? 

If you’re desperate for a career change and tired of the rat race, it might be the time to start thinking about creating your own business.  You don’t have to rush to give up your day job.  Instead, you could begin in your spare time and use your home as a base until you can see that you have the right money-making idea.  Before doing so, you should notify your home contents insurance provider to ensure that you’re covered for theft or accidental damage.

What are your first steps in starting up a business?

You should begin by thinking about your strengths, skills and interests.  Often, a hobby can be developed into a money-making opportunity.  You should also carry out some informal market research and see that there’s an opening in your area for the goods or service you wish to provide.

You could begin by advertising your business in your neighbourhood by ads placed in the local newspaper or on the noticeboards of nearby community centres.  Once you’ve found your first customers or clients, you’ll probably find that others follow as you benefit from word-of-mouth recommendations.

Once you’ve gradually built up a clientele, you could investigate the possibility of expanding your business further.  You should ask yourself the all-important question of whether it’s time to take the plunge, give up your job and devote all your time and energy to your new business.

Where can you receive funding and support?

There is funding available from the government for start-ups so you should do some research to see if you would be eligible.  Many of the grants and loans available are often accompanied by a mentoring programme.  The advice and guidelines you receive can often be as valuable as the financial aid.

Cash flow is often a major problem for start-ups in their initial stages especially if you have to deal with suppliers.  If you prefer not to apply for state funding, you can apply for loans online from a fast, direct lender.  Their quick application and approval procedure means your business will survive even when customers are slow in paying you.

The British Chamber of Commerce is better known for its consultancy role in aiding governmental departments to form policy decisions as they affect British business.  However, its 53 accredited chambers across the whole of the UK play an important role on a grass-roots level in advising and guiding local businesses as well as encouraging networking among its members.  Fees are calculated according to the type of membership and the size of the workforce.  If you’re a sole trader and apply for standard membership, it only costs a few hundred pounds but entitles you to a number of benefits which could mean the difference between a thriving or a floundering company.