engage magazine issue 001 spring \'06 - Page 46

46 ASK ENGAGE Quick Guide HOW TO PART 1 Start a Business Engage’s Business Management Editor Colette Machado gives would-be entrepreneurs some basic (but worthy) advice: You are at the stage where you are not enjoying your full-time job as an employee and you have had a (good) business idea floating around in your head for months. You have now decided that you are going to go for it and pack in your job. However, before you do take that leap (and it is certainly a big one) and hand in your notice, make sure you have decided that going into business is something you really want to do; are prepared for.... and most importantly prepared to put in the hard work. Make sure that you have decided to set up a business in an area that you know a lot about and enjoy working in. No matter how great the idea is, don’t decide to set up a nursery if you dislike children or even if you like your nieces and nephews, but can’t wait to give them back at the end of the day. Make sure you have worked in the particular field you have decided to set up a business in for at least several years. Make sure you have your own finances. Banks and other bodies that may give you money will take you more seriously if you have some money of your own to start the business. Once you’ve decided on the type of business you are going to go into, do your market research. Questionnaires, ask friends and family their opinions, focus groups - whatever you can to get that initial feedback. Clearly write down on a piece of your paper your reasons for going into business, the pros and cons, what you think you will achieve/gain by running your own business, etc. Seek business advice. There is no shortage of places where you can seek advice on how to start your business - Business Link, your local chamber, local enterprise agency, networking club. Prepare a business plan. A business plan is a written document that describes the business, its objectives, its strategies, the market it is in and its financial forecasts. It has many functions, from securing external funding to measuring success within your business. 2 3 4 5 6 1 If you have a business – become more visible – register it Free on www.engagemagazine.com. Larger organisations want to work with Diverse Suppliers. engage SPRING ISSUE 2006