Thousands of people set up their own businesses every year. Some do it because they want to work for themselves, others because they have a great idea and have spotted a gap in the market.

The Idea

First and foremost you must have come up with a realistic idea that you can turn into a product or service.

You can find local support, including help with developing business ideas, on the National Enterprise Network website.

Protect your idea

As soon as you have come up with an idea for a business that you think there’s a good market for, or invented something you think people will want to buy, you need to check that it hasn't already been registered by someone else by following the links detailed below:

If it hasn't already been registered you need to register your idea to ensure that nobody copies it without your permission. Advice and guidance is available at the following the links:

Research your market

Before you have wasted too much time, effort and money you need to identify who your potential customers are, talk to them about your idea to check if there is a real demand for what you’re planning to sell, and get as much feedback as you can.  

Make any necessary changes and take your idea back to the drawing board. Any weaknesses at this point will cost you money in the long-term.

A guide explaining how you can carry out market research for your business and reach more customers is available at this link.

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