Starting a business when unemployed

How to get from unemployed to self-employed


Many unemployed people have successfully set up businesses. By careful planning and through hard work and commitment they have been able to turn an idea into reality. You could do the same.

How do you know if you are ready to start up your business? Most unemployed people who have taken the step to start up a business have considered the following questions:

  • Are you a self-starter? It will be entirely up to you to develop projects, organise your time, and follow through on details.
  • How well do you get along with different personalities? Business owners need to develop working relationships with a wide variety of people including customers, suppliers, staff, bankers, and professionals such as lawyers, accountants or consultants.
  • How good are you at making decisions? Small business owners are required to make decisions constantly, often quickly, independently, and under pressure.
  • Do you have the physical and emotional stamina to run a business? Business ownership can be exciting, but it's also a lot of work. Can you face six or seven 12-hour work days every week until your business is up and running?
  • How well do you plan and organise? Research indicates that poor planning is responsible for most business failures. Good organisation of financials, inventory, schedules, and production can help you avoid many pitfalls.
  • How will the business affect your family? The first few years of business start-up can be hard on family life. There may also be financial pressures until the business becomes profitable, which could take months or years. You may have to adjust to a lower standard of living or put family assets at risk in the short-term.

For more information see our step-by-step guide to starting a business.

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