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When is it a good time to start a business?

PUBLISHED: 13:39 28 March 2011

It's a like trying to decide when 
to have a baby - if you think about 
it for long enough you can come up with all sorts of reasons why you should put it off. For many 
people starting a business is like giving birth, and so on most occasions, whether business or baby, we 
usually do it when the timing feels right.

No one can dispute that these are challenging times, with unemployment at the highest level since comparable records began in 1992, the cost of living is rising and there is less money to go round. Although we may be more selective, we may buy less than before and want better value for our money, we are still buying. If you are planning to start a business and can offer something that people want at a price they are willing to pay, the opportunity is there.

I was recently asked whether starting a business was something that anyone could do. The answer is simple – yes, anyone can start a business. Whether they have what it takes to become successful is another matter, and success can of course mean different things to different people. Another point to consider is whether your personality is suited to self employment.

One of the great attractions of self employment is the independence that it offers. You make all the decisions, you are in control. You can decide what hours you will work, who you want to work with, you decide how a task should be done and adopt your own set of standards. The best part of all is that you can personally take the credit for your work and accept payment as a measure of a job done well.

The downside of this is that 
while you are making your decisions you do this in isolation, often with no one to bounce ideas around with, 
no one to refer to or to offer an opinion. For many people with a background in a large organisation this is often what they miss most, being in business can feel lonely at times.

So why is it that with two people starting a similar business with the same opportunity and the same capital outlay and running costs, one can be a great success and the other not? It’s simply down to having the right attitude.

Self belief, confidence, self discipline, focus, these are all words that we associate with people who are successful in starting a business and best of all they are traits that can be developed.

Why not give it a go, you may surprise yourself.

Kate Wilde is managing director of Engage with Business.

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