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Start Your Own Business in the Heart of England

 

If you’ve ever dreamt of working for yourself and starting your own business, then there’s no time like the start of a new year to focus your mind and resolve to do it. It might seem daunting at first, especially in the current economic climate, but with careful planning, there’s no time like the present.

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Do Your Research

You might think you have a brilliant idea, but if no-one else agrees, it doesn’t matter how hard you try. So, the first step should always be to do some research. That ought to include online, looking at how the market is behaving, whether or not it is growing, what the competition is doing and so on. It must also include some market research from real people, and not friends and family; people you know will never give you a completely honest answer, so try and talk to strangers or potential customers.

Check Out the Competition

Visit your potential competitors with a critical eye. What are they doing well, and just as importantly, not so well? You may have an idea already, but it is worth doing some formal research. Perhaps even pose as a customer and see how you are treated.

Location, Location, Location

Think about where you want to start. Depending on your business idea, location may have little bearing, for example if you plan to trade primarily online. For other ideas, it might help to be in a specialist area. Oxfordshire, for example, is known across Europe as a centre for research and development work, particularly technology businesses. Oxfordshire is driving new technology that helps all parts of industry in the UK, including some sectors that the Government has identified as being potential drivers of national economic growth.

Within easy commuting distance of London, and with good connections to the rest of the country, Oxfordshire is an attractive place for many industries. It is also a beautiful place to live and work so setting up with Oxford offices could be a sound investment.

Local business groups and the councils are keen to grow on the successes that are already established. They are looking at longer-term growth and developing a culture of sharing resources and expertise for the good of all.

The area is world-renowned for its universities, and increasingly for its science institutes, too, which are becoming pre-eminent in the technology market. This is leading to external investment, and some excellent science parks, Science Vale, and the Enterprise Zone as a starting point.

The local council, South Oxfordshire has some help and advice for taking your plans to the next step.

Write a Plan

Getting your ideas and proposals down on paper is essential. It will clarify things for you, but if you need to approach potential investors, they will want to see your business plan. Use your research, be clear, and remember – this is a living document; things will change, and you should update it.

There must also be a section for financials including pricing strategy, anticipated costs for start-up and running, and any rates, taxes and fees you will need to pay.

Oxfordshire is forging ahead, linking businesses with the universities, and with the local authorities and Enterprise Partnership working all the time to improve facilities and attract investment to the area, things look set to continue on an upward trend. Make it part of your considerations if you can.

 

Image Credit: Free Digital Photos

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