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Ever Thought Of Taking The Plunge?

In today's world, more and more people are not just thinking about setting up their own business, but are taking action.

There are a wide variety of reasons why people start their own businesses such as;

- Needing to take more control of your own life
- Having a great idea for a business that you think will fly
- Following a dream
- Getting a healthier, more balanced lifestyle
- Creating benefit for others in the community
- Creating an income when you are unable to continue in regular employment or need to look after family

Most people would of course like to make a lot of money, but many are content to create a business that fulfils a variety of personal needs that can be from supplementing an existing income to being able to work from home so as to balance other commitments.

More and more women are also starting businesses. In fact businesses started by women tend to survive for longer than those started exclusively by men!

However, starting a business is not to be considered lightly. There is risk of course.
Managing the risk is a key element in success and comes in some part from being able to more clearly define the likelihood of success and identifying and putting in place the vital resources that are needed to move the business forward.

For many, they feel quite competent to do this on their own. Others benefit from the support of a network of people and organisations around them to some degree or other.

However, there is substantive evidence to suggest that those people who start a business with the support of external advisors and skills training (particularly from Enterprise Agencies) have a more than 20% better chance of being able to grow the business and most importantly get the business to survive for longer.

Survival is a very important issue. Across the UK, nearly one business in every two closes by its third year!

Business closure can be by choice or because it is unable to continue. Almost invariably, closure will create some unfortunate consequences for the business owner and the staff of the business.

So how do you reduce the risk?

Well, firstly it is very unlikely that you can eliminate it entirely. In fact many businesses never get off the ground because the prospective business owner keeps looking for absolute certainty of success.

Here are some of the things you can do.

- Take advice from an experienced start up advisor or someone who has actually done it themselves.

- Do an analysis of your own strengths and weaknesses.

- Do an analysis of your own business ability and knowledge.

- Take training or advice in those areas of weakness.

- Do an analysis of the viability of your business idea.

- Take a course in how to start a business.

- Create a network of people and organisations that can support you.

- Find a mentor.

John Degroot.

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