Guide

Starting a business when unemployed

Test and develop your business idea

Careful planning is essential to test out any business idea you may have. The key steps to validating any business idea are:

  • Writing a suitable business plan. Planning is essential to your business success and will be critical to obtaining financial support. You must be able to show that your idea has a future and will last long term. See write a business plan: step-by-step.
  • Working out how much is required to finance the idea and how to ensure it is secured. See choose the right finance when starting up.
  • Having a clear idea of what is involved in producing and delivering the new product or service for your new business.
  • Working out how you will market and sell your product/service ie how will you generate interest in your product/service and ensure that the sales you require are generated? See create your marketing strategy.
  • Ensuring you meet any legal requirements.
  • Get advice from experienced and suitable business advisers. See how to start a business in Northern Ireland.

There are a number of practical things you can do to help you shape your business plan. Look at the business plan of someone else who has successfully started a business. This will provide valuable insight on how it's done and can be a useful template for your own plan. See business plan: dos and don'ts.

Talk through your ideas with your local accredited business adviser. Get all the feedback you can and be prepared to keep revising your plan until its right.  You can access free start-up business support from your local council. They will organise one-to-one mentoring sessions with your local business adviser and provide tailored guidance to develop your business plan. Complete a short enquiry form or call 0800 027 0639 to register for this free advice and guidance.