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Has the new year allowed you some time to reflect on your current vocation and state of employment and found you wanting more?

This natural response is often the catalyst for many a small business to be started early in the new financial year as individuals seek to take control of their own destiny. There are numerous studies and surveys that are widely available that will tell you that starting a new business is fraught with danger and that the majority of new small businesses fail within the first five years. We can testify to the fact that the waters will often be most turbulent at the outset, but with the proper planning, advice and strategies this could just be the year that you set sail on a solo voyage to become the next “overnight sensation”.

Before even contemplating the business planning stages and going down the path of setting up companies, brand names and so on, the most critical step is to ask yourself, “Why do I want to start my own small business?” It can almost be guaranteed that your response to that question will fall into one of about ten different categories. Each one should be carefully analysed and discussed with trusted people who know you and your personal circumstances well enough to provide you with clear and honest feedback. Your business may be a one man show, but never ever interpret that as meaning you shouldn’t seek advice from mentors, family and industry experts. Let’s see if your answer to the question raised earlier is covered below.


The lure of being told you can make much more than your current salary by working for yourself is one of the biggest factors in this decision making process. The get rich quick schemes are full of false promises, and only a considered amount of hard work and long hours will allow you to build up a small business that is able to replace and build upon your current salary. Often it will take up to two years of dedicated hard work to reach this level. Can you afford to support yourself and your family during this period?

Work from home/ No more commuting

As our cities continue to expand and traffic reports fill the airwaves the frustrations of spending “wasted” time in traffic can build up and add weight to the argument of working from home. It may well be that the time spent in traffic is the perfect opportunity for you to spend formulating your business strategy before taking the leap. Working from home has many benefits but is not without its risks, making sure you are able to focus and actually be at work, even when in our own home, will be vital in determining your success. Are you able to ensure a dedicated work space at home will not be interrupted by the gardening, housework and kids?

Flexibility and freedom

The flexibility and freedom of being able to work when and where you want can be a breath of fresh air for some. It can also be a stressful situation for those not disciplined enough to dedicate specific time and resources to ensuring their business success. Perhaps ask yourself and an honest friend, if they believe you are the right type of person to be self-disciplined enough to make this work. Working for yourself means you can escape the nine to five grind, but doesn’t mean you won’t need to do the same hours of work. The flexibility may also be determined by your customers and their demands, rather than what you want.

Be your own boss 

Some people just don’t take instructions well and hate being told what to do. This doesn’t automatically make you a prime candidate for starting your own business, but some of the biggest success stories in business come from driven people who had the courage to step out of the shadows and take charge at the coalface. Closely examine your ability to make critical decisions, on a daily basis, without stress levels rising to determine your aptitude for success.


If you have spent more than a few years in your current salaried role then you will most likely have some great ideas on how to improve your role and the business you work for. If your boss is receptive to these ideas it can be a real win-win scenario resulting in business growth and new challenges in your current role. If not, and your employer just wants to do things the way they’ve always been done, then perhaps taking your fresh ideas and applying them to a brand new business model is a great formula for success.

Challenge/Relieve the boredom

If you feel like your current skill set is getting you nowhere in your current role, then perhaps having the opportunity to apply your current skills in a business of your own is just what you may need to become re-energised about your chosen industry.

Dreams can come true!

There are numerous resources available for anyone wanting to start up their own business, but ultimately it is your business and you need to ensure that the drive, passion, skills and abilities you bring to the business are going to be sufficient for a successful business to move from your dreams into reality. Trusted professional advisers can then help you with the rest of the planning and logistics of getting the business up and running with the best chance for success.

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John Corias

John Corias

John Corias is a senior partner at m.a.s accountants. He has specialised in small business accounting since 1987, including new business structuring and taxation advice, as well as new business development.

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