Are you thinking of starting a business? Many people dream of becoming their own boss. The appeal of starting a business is easy to see. You can choose your hours, you get the satisfaction of building a company from scratch, and you only need to answer to yourself. However, for many would-be entrepreneurs, this remains just a pipe dream. 
Maybe you like the idea of creating your own business empire, but are unsure of the steps to take to get your company started. Perhaps you don't know if you have the relevant skills. 
Here's what you need to do in order to turn your business ideas into reality... 

What personal qualities does a business owner need? 

If you are concerned that you don't have the right qualifications to start a business, don't worry - formal qualifications are not a prerequisite of successful entrepreneurs! In fact, your personal qualities and strengths are far more important... 
Proactive - successful business owners are proactive rather than reactive. Instead of waiting until they need to make a change, they are actively looking for new opportunities. 
Tenacity - the ability to keep going and persevering even when your business is faced with challenging times (which trust me, will happen more than you think!). 
Strong work ethic - the success or failure of your business depends on you. Building a successful business requires time and effort, so you need to be prepared to work the hours required to grow your business. Being a business owner can leave very little time for a personal life, especially at the start. 
Flexibility - do you adapt quickly to change? Successful entrepreneurs need to be able to adjust their business to meet changes that are often beyond their control, such as changing market conditions, technological advancements, and changes to legislation. 
Positivity - all business owners face challenging times, so a positive attitude is essential to help you get through these. 
Decisiveness - running a company requires the ability to make decisions on a daily basis, so you need to be able to make decisions quickly and stick with them. 
Objectivity - having an eye for detail is crucial when running a business, but equally important is the ability to see things objectively. Being able to see the bigger picture, and look at your business objectively is essential to making informed decisions about its future. 

Research, research, research! 

Market research is essential when planning to start a business. The knowledge you gain from your research will ensure that you have the information needed to make fully informed decisions about your company's future. 
When conducting your research, you need to establish whether there is a demand for your proposed idea and how you will develop a business that meets this demand. Through your research, you will also need to identify your competitors: who are they? What do they offer? How can you differentiate your business from theirs to gain a competitive advantage? 
You will also need to clearly define your target market: who are your potential clients or customers? How big is your target market and is it growing or declining? You will also need to consider how you will ensure that your business appeals to your target market by identifying how much they would be prepared to pay for your products or services and how frequently they would use them. 
Researching your target market thoroughly gives your business the best chance of success, as it helps you avoid pitfalls, and spot opportunities that you can capitalise on. 

Planning for success 

Having a fully formed, thoroughly researched business idea gives your company the very best chances of success. 
Putting together a business plan is a crucial part of the process of starting a business, and is worth taking your time over to get it right. Having a strong business plan will act as a road map on your journey to success, enabling you to identify priorities that you need to focus your attention on. Based on your market research results, you will be able to formulate a business plan built on knowledge rather than guesswork. 
The information that you gathered will inform your business objectives and your strategy; you can then revisit these time and again to monitor your progress and to get yourself back on track if needed. 
Starting a business requires dedication, hard work, and an ability to think strategically. There will be challenges along the way, but ultimately, the satisfaction of seeing your business idea grow into a successful company makes all the time and effort worthwhile! 

Next steps 

We can help new business owners with all aspects of their accounting and financial needs, as well as more established companies. Feel free to give us a call or drop us an email. We’ll be more than happy to help advise you what you need to do, and if we can help you, we will. 
Written by 
Nicola J Sorrell - 
Effective Accounting 
Founder | Xero Champion | IR35 Expert 
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