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New year, new you, new business

This month business and marketing expert Alan Hemingway looks at new start-ups, and where to turn for the best business advice.

Did you know that the beginning of the year is the most popular time of year to start a new venture or business, I guess it’s because when we have our festive break and the new year comes around everyone starts reflecting on the year they’ve just had and what their plans are for the next year.

Starting a business can be both exciting and frightening at the same time, for lots of people it’s about moving into new areas where they have no experience whatsoever, for others it’s about no longer working for the boss anymore and taking control themselves.  Having your own business brings with it freedoms that you can not get anywhere else, you’re now free to spend your time however you want (you’re the boss after all), you’re free to pay yourself as much as your business can afford (don’t forget the taxes though), you also get to choose who you work with (no more awkward customers, if you don’t want them).

However with these freedoms comes responsibility. You now have the responsibility for your own income, no more pay cheques at the end of the month – it’s up to you to generate the business and income to pay yourself. When things go wrong (and they will, because something always goes wrong) it’s now up to you to fix it. This is when owning and running a business can become a burden rather than a pleasure.

The more successful business owners recognise that they are not good at everything and not everything will go smoothly, so look to get help as soon as they can. Where to get the right sort of help is the question that most struggle to answer. Here are a few recommendations of where to turn for business help and advice:
1. Look for groups in your area that specialise in helping businesses like yours. There will be “mastermind groups” made up of people in your industry all looking to help each other.
2. Many networking groups across the region have education slots specifically aimed at helping business owners generate more business. Google business networking groups to find them in your area.
3. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is very active in this region and offers excellent business support, education and networking opportunities.
Of course you can always contact your local accountant at Hemingway Bailey for additional advice and support on 01482 679333.

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