career: Start a business

What's it all about

A career doesn’t have to be working under someone else or for a certain company. If you have an idea or a product that you think could get off the ground, it might be time for you to start thinking about starting your own business.

Starting your own business has many benefits. You can be your own boss, work when you want, and take your career in a direction you want it to go. You’re guaranteed to be passionate about where you work…because you created it.

There are, however cons to running your own company. You’re responsible for making everything run smoothly, getting support, the finances and making sure you have a steady income each month. Not everyone is cut out to start their own business, so make sure it’s for you before you commit!

What could I be doing? 

What could I be doing?

  • Start a website
  • Create a product
  • Work with a business partner
  • Pitch to investors
  • Build prototypes
  • Network with other entrepreneurs

Routes in

So, how can you start a business? With any new company, it starts off with a single idea. You can then evolve and change this idea until it becomes a product that could be your ticket to a career in business. To find out if your product is worth exploring further, try testing it out on your friends and family and take on board any constructive criticism. Take their comments and use them to develop your idea.

There’s no denying that building a business costs money. There are a couple of ways you can go about funding your new business idea. The first is to ask friends and family to invest, pitch the idea to them as you would a professional investor so that they know you’re serious about you’re new career path.

The second is to find an investor – if you’ve ever seen Dragon’s Den you’ll have an idea of what I mean. Finding someone to invest is beneficial in a couple of ways, not only will you be funded but you’ll also have a mentor who will be willing the company to succeed.

If neither of these are successful, head to your bank and take out a loan for your business. This can be a small loan for setting up and then once your idea starts generating money, you can begin to pay it back.

What skills will I need 

What skills will I need

  • Self motivated
  • Business minded
  • Team work
  • Leadership
  • Creative
  • Financially responsible
  • Efficient
  • Planning
  • Discipline

Been there, done that


We spoke to Ollie Forsyth, 18, entrepreneur: 

We spoke to Ollie Forsyth, 18, entrepreneur:

I did my GCSE’s in English, maths, biology, french and spanish. I didn’t really pass any of them, but a lot of that was down to the fact that my school didn’t give me much support. I basically said I’ve had enough, and walked out two months early. That was a good feeling.

The idea came around when my history teacher was wearing a friendship bracelet. I did some research and it turned out it was worth £120. I thought there must be a way to get them for free, so I contacted ten different suppliers from around the world. The deal was that they had to give me ten free samples, which all of them did. That meant I had 100 free bracelets. I sold all of them for £10 each and suddenly I had made £1000. So at the age of 13 I had made my first grand.

You can look at it two ways – you can leave school at 16, do an apprenticeship for a year age 18 you have a £12,500 salary a year. Or you can go to uni, by the time you’re 21 you’re already in massive debt, have to look for an entry level low-paying job and you won’t be earning decent money for a few years. The guy you left at 16 might already be on 40 grand a year.

Expert opinion

Are you an expert in this field? Then we want you to tell us what it takes to make it in this industry. Get in touch by emailing us at hattie@unisnotforme.com to find out more.



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