Starting your own business…

…just four little words.

Four little words that make up a whole that is much bigger than the sum of their parts.

Starting your own business is massive. It’s huge. It’s life-changing.

It’s daunting, it’s scary, it’s exciting, it’s exhilarating.

It’s all of those things and more.

So, if you have an idea for starting your own business and are considering taking the plunge – in the immortal words of Bon Jovi – buckle up baby, it’s bumpy ride!

Like a rollercoaster, starting your own business has its fair share of ups and downs, but if you are prepared to take the rough with the smooth, I believe there’s nothing quite like the feeling of being at the helm of your own ship called Destiny.

Here’s my take on what’s great about starting your own business.

YOU ARE YOUR OWN BOSS

This is the real crux of it – no one else can tell you what to do, you are totally and utterly in charge. You have the freedom to do it all your own way.

Of course, on the flip side it means the buck stops with you, you will have to make all the hard decisions.

It can be a lonely and scary place to be when your business lives or dies by your decisions, but ultimately it means you are in charge of your own destiny.

YOU SET THE PACE

When you work for someone else, the chances are they set the deadlines and tell you when you have to work and when tasks have to be completed by.

When you are your own boss, you get to set the agenda and can be far more flexible about what time you put in at the office.

Of course, you will still need discipline to make sure the essential work is done.

Depending on what you do, clients may dictate deadlines, but running your own business can be a great way of doing more of what you want to do when you want to do it, such as spending more time with family.

YOU GET TO DO SOMETHING YOU ENJOY

No one is saying that starting your own business is going to be fun, fun, fun all the way. There will be times when it’s a long, hard slog, make no mistake.

But if you are setting up your own business you have the chance to make a living doing something you love.

Of course, before you dive in and try to make a business out of your passion you need to ensure there is a market for it.

It doesn’t matter how passionate you are about crocheted shorts, if no one wants to buy them you don’t have a business!

EXPRESS YOURSELF

When it’s your business you can pour every ounce of your passion and creativity into it to build a brand that your customers can relate to and hopefully fall in love with.

Unless you are very lucky, you will probably still have to operate within some financial constraints, but that’s just another opportunity for you to put your creative genius to work to make the most of what you have.

IT’S NOT HARD TO DO

In recent years it has become a whole lot easier to set up a business, with support available from many groups and organisations, including the Government.

Financial help may still be quite tricky to come by but advice and other practical support is only ever a click or phone call away.

If you don’t know where to start when setting up your business, there are almost unlimited online resources but you can also call on The Prince’s Trust, your local Chamber of Commerce, or even your local council.

IT CAN BE PROFITABLE

Have a browse around the internet and you will likely to find a multitude of stories of stay-at-home mums who are well on their way to their first million after setting up their own business in the spare half an hour they had each day while little one snoozed.

It’s possible, I guess, but it’s much more likely that you will need to work hard and possibly long hours to build a successful business.

But if you are willing to put in the work the potential is definitely there to make a tidy living – and maybe more.

IT IS NEVER DULL

As the founder of a new business the chances are that every little task will fall to you, particularly in the early days until you grow big enough to hire a team to help you.

Some of those tasks in themselves may not set your world alight, but the variety means there is not going to be enough time to be bored.

They say variety is the spice of life – if that’s true an entrepreneur’s day-to-day is one very fiery vindaloo!

YOU CAN HAVE A SECOND CAREER

If you are willing to put in the hours, setting up your own business in your spare time can give you the chance to test drive your dream while still bringing in a steady salary from your current day job.

If suitable, you could make it a permanent arrangement, which can be very profitable, or you may find your new side hustle is so successful that the income from it more than covers what you receive from the 9-5.

It also gives you a safety net to test the market – and even whether you are actually cut out to run your own business.

CUT THE COMMUTE

It all comes down to you calling the shots again.

If your day job involves a four-hour round journey to get to the office, setting up your own business may be the ideal opportunity to “set up shop” much closer to home – if not actually at home.

However, you will still do well to remember, particularly in retail, location is everything!

THE DREAM CAN BECOME A REALITY

Your plans may only stretch as far as setting up a small business that brings in enough money to support your family or indulges your passion, but on the other hand you may have a MASSIVE dream that you want to realise.

When you start your own business your destiny is in your own hands and the sky really is the limit.

Even today’s biggest entrepreneurs – think Richard Branson and Anita Roddick – had to start somewhere!

Starting a Business Masterclass

Red Shoes has launched a new training portal, Red Shoes Training Academy, offering online courses and real-life workshops in a number of business and marketing related skills, including a How To Start a Business masterclass.