First-class Coach: Starting your own business

Getting a business off the ground takes both energy and staying power.

by Miranda Kennett

Q: I've recently been made redundant with quite a good pay-off, as I'd been at the company for a long time. Given how hard it seems to be to find a job, should I be thinking about starting my own business?

A: The right answer depends on you: your personal circumstances, your experience and, most importantly, your temperament. There are dozens of books on starting your own business, with excellent advice on how to write a business plan and where to look for funding, but almost nothing published on the crucial question of whether you should start one at all.

The first question to ask yourself is this: am I contemplating this because it's something I've wanted to do for a long time or is it more a case of finding myself with the wherewithal to do it? Getting a business off the ground takes both energy and staying power if you are going to successfully ride the peaks and troughs of the launch period. If your current interest and commitment to a new venture are less than 100%, then it will be worth undertaking a personal voyage of discovery into your own working preferences and the realities of being the founder of a new business to establish whether this new career is likely to suit you and lead to success.

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