Being self employed can be a very rewarding and exciting thing to do. But it can also be stressful and many businesses fail in the first two years. What can you do to increase the chance that your business is one that thrives?
Right at the beginning - think about why you want to do this and identify the gaps in your knowledge. A useful strategy can be to defer running your own business for a couple of years and go and work in one similar to one you’d like to have and learn from both their successes and their mistakes. When you are ready to go it alone then good planning and a sound financial base are key to success. Many good ideas turn out not to be profitable, often through poor pricing and control of costs. You also have to generate a market for your product and selling is demanding. If you are passionate about your idea – are you as passionate about persuading others to buy it?
Once you are sure that this is what you want to do then there is a lot of information around to help you get started and much of it is free.
In the Careers Service we have both reference materials and information to take away, in our Special Interest section.
Here at the University of Surrey the local point for support for potential entrepreneurs is our Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Nigel Biggs. Nigel has started two businesses, is active in local business support, runs seminars on Starting Businesses and is available for 1-to-1 interviews. Contact Nigel on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Business Link Offers practical advice to business, especially when you are setting up. They have branches throughout England, the Surrey branch is in Woking, and are linked to similar organisations in Scotland and Wales. They are at www.businesslink.gov.uk.
You can also come and discuss your ideas about self employment with a careers adviser, in complete confidence, either while you are a student or after you graduate.
See the useful links and resources sub-page to see other good sources of information.