Time to Reap the True Reward of your Labours?

14 April 2011

The government’s Office of National Statistics latest unemployment figures were certainly encouraging, with yesterday’s announcement of an overall reduction from 8 per cent to 7.8 per cent. 

Make no mistake – with the austerity measures just starting to translate into real cuts - there is still bloodshed to come, but this progress, albeit small, is good news. These are the very early signs that public sector job losses and slack could well be taken up, in part, by the private sector. And a powerful driver of this is the legion of entrepreneurial soles that are starting up in business, often armed with a redundancy lump sum and a staunch will to hold their destiny in their own hands - which is generally a safer place to be than in someone else’s at the moment.

Working for yourself, while having the obvious attraction of ‘being your own boss’ can be an exhilarating and extremely rewarding ride. At the same time, it will be daunting, bewildering and on occasion downright frustrating. So you have to be a certain type of person to carry it off. You need the courage of your convictions, a resilience to withstand the inevitable knocks that come your way and be willing to listen to advice.

There are real opportunities for new businesses as many of the big companies, such as Woolworths, have already crashed and burned. And as the mid corporate sector looks to get the best value out of every last penny, they are looking for suppliers who can deliver at lower cost – smaller players with smaller overheads, who can price accordingly. There are other doors opening for suppliers as big business looks to rationalise and outsource functions.   

Don’t get me wrong, it certainly isn’t easy. You need to surround yourself with good advisors and build a network of people you can do business with. Growing a business takes time so set yourself benchmarks of achievement and remember to celebrate your successes.

But before you start, take the time to plan it properly. Get the free help where you can …. HMRC offers free courses for start ups. You may as well take it as you’ll pay it back in the long run! Speak to friends and family by all means, but beware of those who don’t want to hurt your feelings.

So have a chat with an accountant, who won’t lose sleep over your emotional frailties but who will tell you if your idea holds water. 

This could be your chance to finally do something you’ve always wanted to do.  

Stuart Wilkin writes for Insider

Posted  14 April 2011


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