Kick start your business

Are you ready to go it alone?
Are you ready to go it alone?

The pros and cons of being self-employed were analysed by NatWest's Nick Howe at today's Kick Start Summer Business Academy event, hosted by B Consultancy in London.

Howe opened his talk with a warning - the UK can be a relatively easy place to set up a new business but, at current rates, it can be difficult to stay afloat for even five years.

The first thing to do when thinking of starting a business is to ensure that the lifestyle is right for you.

Of course, there are plenty of reasons SME owners and the self-employed turn their backs on working for other people or organisations:

There are of course downsides to being self-emplyed as well:

Are you ready to be self-employed?

So with this in mind, you have to make sure that you have the support you need before you get started.One example Howe gave was of a florist whose husband's birthday falls on 13 February.

Naturally, this is prime time for flowers, and any florist who isn't up until midnight the day before Valentine's Day is not making the most of their business. This particular florist's husband was prepared to celebrate his birthday every year a week later than his birthday, because he supported his wife's passion.

Years down the line, the business is still going strong. It may sound obvious, but especially when your new business is starting out you may be forced to work unsociable hours, and the backing of your nearest and dearest is key.

You also need to be prepared to step outside your comfort zone...

In the end, it could all be worth it...