Running a business and being your own boss is liberating for most. It enables you to create an idea from scratch and turn a dream into reality. There are no boundaries when deciding what you really want to do, just as long as it’s within the law.

It is interesting that a number of business owners seem to forget about previously acquired skills or experience by seeking external assistance for what they already know.

Is starting a business really that dissimilar from being employed? No, when starting a business you are the boss of what you create. If you work to your strengths, identify the areas that you are not familiar with and buy in those services when required, this will prevent you wasting resources.

You might want to spend some time looking at your competitors and learn from their successes. Don’t forget... they have started their business, tried a few manoeuvres and probably made mistakes along the way. They have tested the market and identified what works for them and what doesn’t. The end result is a blue-print that you can modify, improve on and make unique to you.

Research everything. Start with a clean sheet of paper and write down your ideas. The format is not important at this stage. Try putting together a spider diagram or a mind map of all that you know. Consider identifying a business plan template that you can follow and pull together all the relevant information.

Be realistic about how much it really costs. What is more important to you: rushing to start the business or delaying your start date to make sure that you can afford to get the business off the ground? You might have the money to buy a business, but unless you start from the beginning by spending time to find out if people really want what your business offers, you will be wasting your money. Complete a business plan and cash-flow forecast, so that you can see your business idea on paper, before starting the business.

Connecting with other like-minded people is key to kick-starting your new venture. You cannot start a business and expect to survive unless you connect with key individuals and do all the necessary preparation.

You need to be realistic, open and flexible before jumping in to start a business. Take your time, conduct the relevant research, do the maths and create a following of potential customers before parting with your cash. Remember: do research, determine the costs and execute.

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