The stages of starting your own business

So you want to be your own boss – how do you go about it? What are the actual stages involved in getting started

Birth/Concept:

This is where the idea for the business first emerges. You may be in employment and seeking a new challenge. You may see an opportunity related to your current work experience that makes you think. You may be "pushed" into becoming self-employed because of circumstances. Whatever the origin - this is when you first start to explore your business idea. You will look at the competition, potential customers, and their needs. Or are you creating a new market – a brand new product/service? You research and do more research. It is still too early to approach an agency for support – the development of the concept or idea is done by you – and your drive to succeed with your own business.

Early Stage:

Now you’re actively planning to start your business. Possibly you’re saving to generate funds to establish the business. You’ll research your market further. Establish if demand exists for your product/service. Who are your customers? How are you going to get to them? What will you tell them? What’s unique about you? What value can you add? What equipment will you need to start? You’ll look at options for locations to operate from. Do you need help? What skills do you need? How many people? You begin putting your plans down on paper. You’re starting to work on your business plan.*

You are probably still in full time employment whilst carrying out these activities. You may also be planning an advisory session or specific training at your Enterprise Board to help finalise your plans.

Set-Up:

Time for the leap of faith. You may do this in phases and start by operating your new business part time. You may just jump in. Your business plan is finalised and you are working to achieve your business goals. If your business qualifies you may apply for financial support from your Enterprise Office for equipment, hiring people or further development of your product idea. You may also apply for 1:1 advice or other supports to help you through this critical phase from your Enterprise Office. You are now building your own business.

Business planning and the steps required for each phase of start-up will be covered in detail in later articles.

 

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