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Starting a Business in 2014?

January is the time that many people start reviewing where they are and how they feel about their current employment. More people review their CV’s during January than at any other time of the year.  Many people begin looking for a new job especially as negotiating salary for a job which is being offered is generally a lot more rewarding than negotiating for a pay rise.  However you may consider that running your own business is an option.  Now we are into February are you still enthused or have those thoughts fallen by the wayside along with your Gymn membership?

If self-employment seems like a good idea then it is important to take a really good luck at yourself first.  There are employees, employers and the “in-betweeners”; which are you?

The type of person who could consider becoming self-employed.

  • Someone who sees every difficulty as a challenge that needs to be overcome.
  • Knows where he/she is going.
  • Is pro-active; looks for work.  Self-starter.
  • Is seen by his/her employer as one of the top 50% of employees.
  • Is the person that colleagues go to for advice.
  • Avoids being involved in the “blame game”.
  • Team player
  • Rarely has time off.
  • Physically and mentally tough.


If you have these traits then you are already a good employee who could consider self-employment.  First though think about the benefits of being an employee.

Benefits of employment and often not initially available to an entrepreneur.

  • Generally has a start and finish time.
  • Finishes work when he/she leaves the office.
  • Can call in sick if not feeling too well.
  • Gets paid holidays
  • Gets a regular pay check.
  • Has a contract of employment which limits the type of work required.
  • Can plan work, finances and family life.


If you currently have a fairly senior position one of the most challenging aspects of self-employment is the need to do everything for oneself.  Initially no assistant, no secretarial support, no one to make the coffee!

Are you looking to buy and sell or are you looking to hire out your services?  In both cases it often looks as though there is a big gap of potential profit which is often not so easily realizable.  Whatever you decide to sell, initially there is only one requirement and that is the ability to sell a product/service to a market that is willing to buy at a price which will give you an adequate profit.  A business plan can be useful but has limited merit until you have actually proved you can sell something.  Its main benefit at the initial stage is to act as a discipline to check out what you may think is a great idea.  It can save you a lot of money and pain if it enables you to realise that what looked like a good idea will not actually work out.

Some initial things to consider:

  • Who are your customers?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • Why should people buy from you rather than the competition?
  • Will there be sufficient profit to enable you to grow the business?
  • Do you have access to enough cash to fund working capital as the business grows?
  • Will it be just a “life style” business or will you grow and employ people?
  • Are you happy to depart your comfort zone in order to succeed?


Above all how much do you want to succeed in self-employment?  We can all achieve what we want but we need to want it badly enough.  Sometimes we have to fail initially in order to learn and then re-launch.  We have to recognise failure as an opportunity to learn but we can reduce the likelihood of failure by seeking the help of people who have had a measure of success in running businesses.


Whatever you decide; good luck whether in advancing your career as an employee or leaving your comfort zone and becoming self-employed. 

Have a Happy and Prosperous 2014.


Peter C Smith

Bracknell Chamber President

Associate TVBA

Call 077 222 333 04


Posted by Experience Exchange on February 1, 2014