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Start your own business

For many people, starting your own business sounds like a dream come true - you are you own boss, you set your own hours, and if you get it right you make lots of money! However, if you talk to self-employed people out there, you'll find that there are both ups and downs to starting your own business.

Escaping the mundane nine-to-five existence is certainly a goal worth shooting for, but it's also true that many entrepreneurs end up working seven days a week. However, the upside for most people is that you spend your working hours dedicated to something close to your heart.

This is a key part of starting your own business - it has to be something that you are passionate about, that you believe in. Why? Because as a start up business you will be asking other people to believe in you - and if you don't believe in it, how can you expect anyone else to do so?

Make no mistake, getting started will be a huge amount of work. You'll typically find yourself working all hours to get the venture off the ground - are you the sort of person who has the dedication to do whatever it takes, sacrifice time and money in order to see it through?

There's also the issue of support and company. While right now it might sound wonderful to escape the office, but after a few weeks battling away by yourself to get things organized you might find yourself longing for a few inane moments of chitchat around the water cooler!

In addition to the personal traits you'll need to get started, you'll also find there is an awful lot to learn. Even if you are an expert in your field, with the technical skills to meet all the demands of your clients, there is also a lot to learn about the business side. For example, you'll need to learn about things like:

  • Financing and grants - is there seed money available to help you get started?
  • Health and safety
  • Human resources - the law as regards to employing other people.
  • IT - essential for almost every business these days.
  • Payroll and accounting
  • Premises - where will you work from?
  • Sales and Marketing - how do you find and grow your business?
  • Taxes - you have to get this right!

It's a lot to learn, but if you get it right, the rewards - whether spiritual or financial - can be enormous.