Run your own business

Starting a business

Although there are thousands of great jobs here on, maybe you’re one of the thousands of people in Britain who are actually thinking about becoming your own boss rather than working for somebody else again. If you’ve got a great business idea that keeps coming back to you or even if you simply want to get out of the rat race, then becoming self employed or starting up a business on your own may be for you and this section gives you advice and information on how to go about it.

Setting up on your own can bring great rewards in terms of job satisfaction, flexibility, quality of life and financial benefits, however it can also be extremely challenging and demanding. You will often have to work long hours – probably a lot longer than you have been used to working for somebody else and your finances may be very tight, especially for the first few months.

About you

To start up a business you need to have certain qualities and skills. Before thinking about going any further you should be able to answer ‘yes’ to most or all of the questions below:

  • Are you disciplined and motivated?
  • Can you work without supervision?
  • Have you got bags of energy?
  • Do you have a lot of self-belief?
  • Do you enjoy taking responsibility?
  • Can you work well under pressure?
  • Do you learn quickly?
  • Do you have good communication skills?
  • Are you willing to work extremely hard?
  • Are you decisive?
  • Do you have the support of family and friends?
  • Do you have some savings that you could invest to start a business?

About your business idea

Even if you’ve got the personality, skills and abilities to start a business, you obviously also need a good business idea or gap in the market that you have spotted. Can you answer ‘yes’ to most of the following questions about your business idea?

  • Does your idea have a unique selling point – eg. are you unable to find the product or service that you will find anywhere else, is it cheaper than everyone else, is it better quality than everyone else?
  • Do you already know any customers who would buy your product or service?
  • If you’ve told anybody about your idea, has anybody told you that it’s a great idea and that they would use it?
  • Is the idea something that you are passionate about?

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to most of the questions above, then read the other pages in this section to find out more about how to go about setting up on your own and some of the organisations that can help you along the way.