Article by Emma Wimhurst
More and more people are seizing the “business bug” and the UK is seeing a significant increase of start-ups as a result of the current economic climate; more and more people are eager to discover new sustainable ways to unleash their creativity for a business they can call their own, to be their own boss and to reap their own rewards. These desires are not ageist and therefore, being over 50 cannot and does not prevent you from setting up and running your own business – and achieving amazing results. In fact with decades of successful experience (paid or not), you would be mad not to act on your ambitions and strike up on your own!
The most common barrier to starting a business is not being sure on what type of company to start. You have energy, commitment and experience and probably don’t want to risk your financial security.
At every stage of business, you need to Review, Plan, Do and Review again – and deciding what sort of business to start – is no exception. Consider the following 5 areas – apply a huge amount of self-honesty, and you will find that your business dream can become a reality:
1.Make sure you are passionate about your industry. Working for yourself becomes totally time consuming – if you truly love what you do – you will spend the majority of your waking hours nurturing it and watching it grow. So be absolutely sure you want to work in your chosen area, that you enjoy it and that you are going to want to part of it for the foreseeable future.
Prepare a solid financial plan
2.Prepare a solid and realistic financial plan and take into consideration your personal financial needs. This sounds so obvious, but now is not the time to risk your financial security – so you need consider carefully every single cost and ensure that the expected income revenues meet your expectations and needs. A well thought-through and realistic financial plan is a vital part of planning your business venture. Don’t be afraid to seek financial guidance from a reputable accountant.
3.Be confident that the physical demands of running a business match your energy. Running a business is demanding – both physically and mentally – so consider how much energy you have and how much you will need! The difference between gardening design and garden landscaping is quite considerable – although the sector is similar!
4.If you agree that variety is the spice of life – then don’t chose an industry where you will be doing the same thing over and over again. Look for change. Look for an industry where you can be involved in lots of different areas – you need to maintain your high interest levels to engage with your customers. People buy from people after all.
5.Do you embrace technology? Nearly all businesses today work with technology to some extent or another. Social media sites are a good way to promote your business and generate new clients and raise awareness. To some extent or another you will need to overcome any barriers in this area – however, if it really does concern you, you will need to allow for outsourcing this function in your financial plan.
These five steps should be an important part in your own Business Planning. When you have determined your industry, assessed your levels of passion for your chosen industry and have considered the financial investment involved, then congratulations!
In my next article, I will reveal the 7 key business disciplines which enabled me to achieve financial freedom with the sale of my cosmetics business. The business grew from a single idea into a runaway success from year 1 – achieving a turnover of £1m at the end of year one and growing into several millions by the end of year 4 with impressive profit margins too. These disciplines – a system which ranges from planning to money and marketing to self-development – worked for me and they can do the same for you too.