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New Year, New Business!

More and more people are starting businesses or becoming self-employed in later life. A Financial Times report has shown the recent surge in UK self-employment, which is now at 4.2 million people, is largely due to entrepreneurs over the age of 50 – who account for 84% per cent of the increase. Starting a business can be a daunting experience at any age, some people feel that this is the natural progression for them, whilst others are left with no other choice as the prospect of going back into full time employment is diminishing due to the present financial market and the uncertainty, most recently, which Brexit brings.

Every new business begins with an idea; the question is where do you start? Think perhaps of something about which you are very knowledgeable or passionate, it could be a hobby or interest, or maybe you have spotted a gap in the marketplace? It is vital that you first research your industry /sector looking at the market, trends, future developments and more particularly how your services or products will differ to those already on the market. Is the market growing or declining and what will be your USP, (Unique Selling Point)? Also who are the current brand leaders, what are they doing and how can you do it better?

There are many other things to think about including: the legal structure for your business; how to source finance; developing a logo and branding; building a website, social media channels and other offline marketing to find clients and customers. An essential tool to use, to ensure that you are on the right track, is the business plan. This will guide and help you figure out where your company is going, how it will overcome potential difficulties and what you need to sustain it. Once you have completed your plan, you should know what the set up cost will be and whether you have the funds to cover the costs or if you need to borrow finance.

Starting a business can be risky and challenging, so it’s important that you start out on the correct footing with the right information so you can avoid costly mistakes and build a successful and sustainable business. Enfield’s local enterprise agency, Enterprise Enfield, offers a wide range of advice, guidance and support services for start ups including an introductory ‘Get the New Biz Know How’ seminar. Advisers can also guide you through the whole process of setting up - first 1 hour advice sessions are free for Enfield residents. To book a seesion call 020 8443 5457.

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