It is the time of year where many start to look for, or at least think about, change.
Whilst there are likely some things which may be able to be rekindled from last year's list of resolutions, there will be no doubt some which are more than just short-term aspirational fads.
The Christmas holidays give many the luxury of some downtime to reflect, and time with loved ones often gives a true sense of what is important in life.
Perhaps there has been something on your mind for a while, and you believe now is the time to begin to put it into practice.
It is very common for business owners to start their journey in an area that they are already familiar with, either through a hobby or previous experience in the sector via employment.
There are some notable differences however between being good at what you do in the employed world and making a success of a business in the same area.
The existing world of employment brings many benefits, and those thinking of venturing into the business world for the first time will have to be prepared to potentially forgo, at least initially, the security of a fixed wage, and the structure of a specific job role.
Running a business will likely require you to be a go-to person for 'everything'. No longer will you simply be able to label something as a 'problem for finance' or an issue to escalate to your line manager.
It may be this lifestyle, however, that you are actively looking to leave behind.
As a business owner, you will have the ability to deal with an issue 'your way' without the need for permission or the need to wait on others for an answer. Whilst any poor decision-making may impact you more directly, a good decision may see you reaping the greater rewards you believe you deserve.
It is more than fair to say that running a business is not a 9-5 activity.
There are 2 different sides of the coin to this – firstly the obvious, running a business is incredibly hard work, and a lack of sowing will only ever lead to a lack of reaping. You will be thinking about the business (as you probably already are) at any given moment throughout the day and night. Learning to switch off is an essential skill.
On the other hand, however, running a business does not always have to be a 9-5 activity, with a recent report on IBIS World showing a significant rise in part-time freelancers since 2020.
If you are thinking of starting your own business alongside your current employment, you have the flexibility and choice of how quickly you look to grow it, and how many hours a day/days per week you are looking to commit to the venture. The balance of relative financial stability and a new adventure is one which many find appealing.
This second option gives you the time to prepare and research your plans, and reduces the level of financial risk to your lifestyle should the business struggle to grow at the rate initially hoped for.
When undertaking your research, you will more than certainly find huge gaps in your knowledge. There is a lot of truth in the 'you don't know what you don't know' cliché. You will be grateful of the breathing space which you have given yourself before launching your business's reputation into the big wide world.
The best choice you can make is to not make a choice until you are confident that you are informed enough to be ready to.
The BIPC Northamptonshire's Build Your Business programme can help potential new entrepreneurs understand what the world of business ownership may look like.
The 5 modules cover some of the most fundamental areas of running a successful business and can provide ongoing support at a pace to work around your ambition levels and lifestyle commitments.
Find out more about our new programme Build Your Business. While you're there why not have a look around the rest of the website – you might even discover what IBIS World is, and how the resource could help you with your business!
Whilst the choice to change the direction of your future is solely your own, there is no reason for you to feel alone whilst doing so.