Guide to the first steps

There's a lot of issues to consider when starting up for the first time and this short guide will help clarify what those are.

1. An unusual aspect of starting your own business is that you make the decision yourself that you have the necessary qualities and abilities to make a success of it.

2. Analyse what you expect and hope to achieve from your own business.

3. Do not underestimate the problems and difficulties, which emerge for business owners.

4. Use the checklists – Is starting a business for you?; Your business idea; Your family; Your finances; Your skills) to identify your weaknesses and strengths.

5. Use the many training courses and advice agencies available to help improve those weaknesses.

6. Do not be dissuaded from launching a business because you do not have an original idea. With the right management and a promising marketplace, a well-worn idea can be successful.

7. The market can be crucial in determining success or failure (rated second most important factor after management by providers of finance). Carry out detailed market research.

8. Develop brief descriptions of a couple of ideas before researching more thoroughly. Select the favourite and make up a detailed business plan before setting up the business.

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