Important questions to ask yourself before starting up a business

choose a name Hello aspiring entrepreneur – this is your common sense speaking. Sorry to interrupt your daydreaming but I’m here to bring you back down to planet earth and ensure that you’ve considered a few important factors before launching into your start-up business idea. When you get the entrepreneurial itch, it can be easy to disguise the boring small print in the shadow of your brilliant lightbulb moment.

However, while starting your own business is a truly exhilarating prospect, it’s important to make sure that all of the vital prerequisites are in place before embarking on this courageous journey. So without further ado, let me urge you to ask yourself the following questions:

Can you really afford it?

Unfortunately, we are material girls (and boys) and we do live in a material world so a healthy cash flow is something that we must ensure before even thinking about starting up a business. There are a whole host of expenses and overheads that you’re going to have to cover along the way so you need to make sure that you have access to the financial means to do so. As the saying goes, you need to spend money to make money so the first thing to do is gather a substantial nest egg to fund your start-up venture.

Do you feel that burning desire?

However, as a famous songstress once told us, it’s not all about the money, money, money so forget about the price tag for a minute because now it’s time to consider if you’ve got the right level of emotional commitment that you’re going to need to invest into this ambitious project. A genuine passion for what you do and devout commitment are going two things that you simply cannot afford to scrimp on when starting up and maintaining your own business. It is this emotional drive that will pull you through the inevitable trials and tribulations that come as part and parcel of the competitive territory.

Have you considered your day job?

Whilst being one of the most rewarding things you will ever do, the whole process will require you to make a fair few sacrifices along the way, including the safety net of assured financial security. Being a part-time entrepreneur certainly isn’t ideal in the long run but a regular day job might be just what you need at the beginning to supplement the expenses attached to building your enterprise. Maintaining both will develop your time management skills, allow you to gain first-hand experience in leadership enable you to be confident when you finally do decide to take the leap of faith.

Have you done your market research?

Market research is the most important part of the planning process so it is absolutely paramount that you go the extra mile to ensure you have investigated thoroughly enough. Doing so will help you understand your audience, gain insight into consumer behaviour and establish vital information about the cultural, social and economic climate you would be trading in. It will also enable you to scope out the competition and see how they’re doing business and use their strengths and weaknesses as inspiration for your own approach.

If the answer to the question ‘have you done any market research’ is a sheepish no then stop reading immediately, bookmark this page and be gone! Go away and do some serious, thorough research into your target market and assess whether you have access to the resources you’ll need to become a strong contender.

Are you prepared to take on taxes?

While outsourcing might seem like an unnecessary expense that you simply cannot afford during the start-up process, keeping accurate tax and finance records is definitely something worth investing in. Failing to meet the strict HMRC deadlines that apply to business owners could leave you lumped with a crippling penalty that might be the kiss of death for your business.

If you lack confidence in numbers and want to ensure that your business is running tax efficiently and you meet those all-important deadlines, enlisting the expertise of a qualified accountant is a great way to go about it. The great thing about creating your company for free with us is that fact you also bring on board the excellent services of The Accountancy Partnership to look after all of your business accounting.

Have you got a knock-out business plan?

So last but by no means least, ask yourself if you can perfect a smashing business plan that is going to capture the attention of the investors that will help make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality. No great building has been built on top of fragile groundwork so think of your business as an Egyptian pyramid and your business plan is the sturdy base on which you can grow something unforgettable!