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The real business checklist

New business checklist

You'll find no shortage of advice on starting a new business. It seems that everyone from the government to that bloke you met in the pub knows exactly what you should do to start and grow a successful business. And that's before you trawl the Internet!

Here's some brief advice you may not receive from other sources - from people who've been there and done it (several times) before.


  • write a comprehensive business plan: it will help focus your thoughts, act as a reminder and reference when you start to become overwhelmed with the magnitude of what you've taken on - and you'll need it to persuade banks and grant agencies to help you.
  • give some thought to the stress you'll be subjected to: getting any new venture off the ground takes enormous effort, long working hours and associated disruption to family and social life; things WILL go wrong and at times your bank, your customers, your staff, your suppliers and HM Government WILL behave as if they're out to get you - normally all at the same time!
  • make time for friends, family, sporting activities etc. - in short, don't let the business take over your life.


  • use your home as security for loans to fund your new business - fact: new businesses are extremely risky and you don't want to find yourself homeless at the same time as losing all your savings and your prime source of income.
  • think you're on to a sure-fired winner because the bank doesn't lend money to losers - banks operate secure lending policies that get their money back even if your business fails - in truth, they care little about your prospects of success and, if your business shows signs of failing, your bank is the most likely candidate to "pull the plug" on you.


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