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10 things you should ask yourself before starting your own business

Posted on 21st April 2016 by

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1. Are you able to conceptualise/describe your business idea easily?

The success of a business venture is often as much about being able to communicate clearly and concisely what it is rather than the idea itself.


2. What problem, need or aspiration does your business solve or satisfy?

To be successful your business idea needs to help solve a problem for someone, satisfy a need or create an aspiration or desire.  If it doesn’t, success may be hard to come by.

3. Is there a market for your business idea?

Most businesses fail because they have failed to understand or really know their market.  It is vital that you really assess what your market looks like and what the real potential for your business is.

4. Will your business idea make you money?

The ability to assess whether your business relies heavily on knowing your true costs, including how much you need to live off along with the profit you can make. Knowing your break-even point, the point at which the profit you generate covers your costs is a vital part of this process.

5. Does your business model or process stack up?

All too often most people starting a new business try to do everything themselves or over complicate the way in which they operate.  In essence the focus should be on what you do best and need to do; keep everything simple and use others or processes to do the rest.

6. Does your business have or need scalability?

If your business is a lifestyle one, then perhaps the ability to scale it up is not important. If however, your businesses or rather your financial returns are reliant on you being able to grow it then it is important you know if or how it can be made larger or scaled up.

7. When should you seek professional advice from an accountant?

The rule of thumb is that it is best to talk to an accountant whilst you are in the process of preparing your business plan or business idea.  Their past experience and commercial acumen can play a key part in shaping your idea and ensuring success.

8. How will an accountant help me?

An accountant will advise you on a host of issues  including the most appropriate trading entity for your business,  VAT registration,  treatment of income tax, what expenses you can claim, funding your business and the possibility of grant aid, other assistance and business support. 

9. How do you ensure you are on track?

As part of our work with start-ups and early year’s businesses we will advise you on the need to set up simple and effective financial reporting and monitoring process/systems to ensure your business is on track.  This can range from a simple spreadsheet through to monthly management accounts depending on the complexities of the business and your specific needs. Keeping on top of your cashflow and ensuring the business is profitable are probably two of the most important aspects to monitor.

10. Do you have the entrepreneurial flair?

Starting and running a business can be tough to say the least, the ability to keep going, keep focused and to generate the returns can be challenging for the best of us. Knowing you have the resolve to carry on is vital and worth asking yourself as well as those near to you.

Our start-up and small business team across practice nurture, advise and support start-ups, early years and small businesses. For more information please email

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