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...to start up a new business in this current economic climate?

(13 Posts)
semi Mon 03-Oct-11 20:58:28

ie taking a risk at being responsible for my own company, its strategic direction, objective-setting, delivery and ultimately profits...or should I stick with being an employee?

BeingHumum Mon 03-Oct-11 21:06:09

It depends on how well you've tested the market, done your business plan etc. Some businesses are doing very well in this climate, there's an excellent new 'trendy' booze shop near me making a fortune, because people are staying in rather than going out.

The question to ask is, are you selling a product/service which people currently want to buy??

wicketkeeper Mon 03-Oct-11 22:52:24

We did - and we're on track for a £100,000 turnover in our first year's trading. BUT - we knew exactly what we were doing, had previous experience of running our own business, had important contacts in our chosen field, and a known track record.

Have you produced a business plan? If this is to be a 'proper' business (and not just a hobby that happens to make you some money) then you need to start at the beginning.

What is the bare minimum that you can live on? That is the amount that your business will have to be making from the get go, unless you have savings you can live on.

Don't be under any illusions about how much it will cost to set up - we had spent £6,000 on the business (this figure doesn't include any rent or stock!!) before we got our first payment in. And we had been trading for 6 months before we were able to pay ourselves a penny.

To answer your question - yes, it can be done. But it isn't something you should enter into lightly. Get advice (accountants are your friend!!), don't be afraid to ring HMRC if there's anything you're not sure about (I find them much easier to get hold of on the business side of things), read 'Setting up your own business'-type books, and if you don't know how a balance sheet works, start learning. As regards the present economic climate, some industries do better in a recession - on a trivial level, people buy more baked beans!!

What line of work are you wanting to get into?

AuntiePickleBottom Mon 03-Oct-11 22:55:00

what business are you planning to set up.

lesley33 Mon 03-Oct-11 23:26:58

A friend set up a business providing sanitary bins etc recently and is doing very well. Businesses can still flourish during a recession. I think a key thing is market research. Don't ask friends/relatives if your business is a good idea. You need to talk to potential customers.

If you post about what your potential business is some posters may be able to give you advice.

semi Wed 05-Oct-11 20:18:24

Thanks all. PR - with a twist is the easiest way to explain it - sounds like a drink though! My preference is commercial communications, initiating conversations for companies with very high-growth potential with relevant companies, partners, investors who can then propel those companies forward. like a model scout of sorts, I see my role as spotting 'talent' and generating through my own network of contacts and of course research - options for growth, leveraging my knowledge of how the big league play to broker talks. Wow, I make it sound like I'm some sort of an ambassador for growth don't I? Very focused on the commercials. Trouble is, I'm working for a rather large firm at the moment which is a giant - that moves at a giant's pace - read slow, and is risk-averse, plus lacking in innovation. My company would be the antithesis of this (fast, innovative, ambitious are all key characteristics of mine). I agree, the business plan is key and it's currently being worked on, simultaneously though, I am seeking to test and proof the concept as a viable revenue generator. And have so far found myself one client that I am working on a pure investment basis - yes no revenue - but I need case-studies.
The go-forward idea would be to use technology to make the service scalable and product-led going forward. (Not figured this out as yet - licensing, subscription options perhaps) Right now I am working on bottling/protecting the methodology (drawing up worksheets as we speak). If I can prove the concept and generate viable revenues first this will help me to secure external funding if required at a later date. I really do welcome your thoughts - so thank you for feeding back.

Ragwort Wed 05-Oct-11 20:24:12

Are you sure you would have enough customers to support this sort of business? We run our own (very small) business and are often approached by companies offering something like you are suggesting (if I have understood it properly) - there is no way on earth that we could afford this sort of PR support

Ragwort Wed 05-Oct-11 20:26:20

sorry ... posted too soon. I am sure you would be much more professional but so many 'service providers' don't do their homework - ie: phoning up and asking for our 'Director of Marketing' or 'HR Manager' - when there are just two of us in the company - at least I can give myself a grand sounding title grin.

ViviPru Wed 05-Oct-11 20:31:28

It sounds like you really know what you're talking about OP On top of as all of the excellent advice contained in wicketkeepers post, I'd add that really, you just need to do whatever your competitors are doing way more effectively than they are for a price your customers are wiling to pay. As WK says, this is much easier if its as you describe, in a field you've a proven track record and experience in, .

When I quit my job to set up my own company everyone said "oh you're so brave, wasn't it scary?" but to me, more scary was the prospect of remaining an employee in a business that wasn't being guided well.

4 years on and I can honestly say I've not regretted it for one minute. I would never go back to wage slavery.

Good Luck!

ReindeerBollocks Wed 05-Oct-11 20:58:08

YANBU

DH is in the process of setting up his own business, in an industry which he knows backwards. The country may be in difficult economic times but as long as you have done decent market research then you will be able to estimate the amount of business you would be looking at generating. Also do you have savings in place to support yourself when you get going, as you might not be able to generate a wage for a while.

Finally, I'd look at what the competitors to your current firm are doing - just for inspiration and tips.

Good luck with everything.

wicketkeeper Fri 07-Oct-11 19:16:22

Not wishing to pour any cold water on your idea at all semi - but can you tell us again what your business idea is, in a maximum of two sentences? And without the business-speak?

Your clients will not be PR people (if they were, they wouldn't need you) - so you need to be able to talk their language.

Ragwort Fri 07-Oct-11 19:20:50

My thoughts entirely wicket but you have put it more forcefully than I dared to grin.

ChippingIn Fri 07-Oct-11 19:28:55

Semi - it's Friday - I feel I need to agree with wicket & rag grin

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