Starting a business – Support from the Sligo Enterprise Board

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Starting a Business

Starting your own business can be an exciting and challenging time.

Here are 10 Steps that will help you get started:

Step 1 Know Yourself

  • It is only when you have assessed yourself can you properly assess the potential of your business idea. It is important to think about who will buy your product/service? Why will they buy it and how much will they pay.

Step 2 Are you a Risk Taker?

  • A new business can be an exciting and challenging time, however, it can only be a risky time. For some it means risking their lifetime savings, secure employment and family security. Are you prepared for this?

Step 3 Market Research

  • From the outset, market research is essential in helping you to identify your target market and customers.
  • It will also help you to identify who your competitors are and how to compete effectively in a given market.
  • Research is also effective in assessing demand for a product or service.

Step 4 Examine your business requirements

  • Consider the best location for the business.
  • Identify your basic equipment requirements and costs.
  • Will you need to employ staff?
  • Identify your Insurance requirements.

Step 5 Calculate Investment requirements

  • Identify all start-up costs associated with the business.
  • Identify ways of financing your business venture.
  • Seek financial support i.e. contact your local County Enterprise Board; seek loan options from your bank/credit union.
  • Can you get family support?

Step 6 Estimate your selling price and plan how you will achieve sales

  • Taking the above factors into consideration, estimate your selling price.
  • Who/where is your target market (local/national)?
  • How will you promote your enterprise?
  • What channels of distribution will be used?
  • Determine ‘breakeven’ point.

Step 7 Decide on an appropriate legal business structure

  • It is important to conduct research into the types of business ownership to help you make the best decision for your business.
    • Sole Trader
    • Partnership
    • Limited Company

Step 8 Be aware of legal obligations that will affect your business

  • Register your business name with the Companies Registration Office (CRO). This can be done online at
  • Be aware of your tax obligations and register as self employed with your local revenue office. Information can also be obtained on
  • Be aware of other statutory obligations such as trading licenses, planning permission, insurance, health & safety, patents, trademarks etc.

Step 9 Marketing Strategy

  • Promoting your enterprise is a fundamental aspect of starting up. Research into the most cost effective methods of marketing your business. Think about who your target audience is.

Step 10 Write your Business Plan

  • Business Planning is fundamental to success in business. It is the key to getting things done and making things happen. The finished business plan can be used as an operating tool that will help you to make important decisions and manage your business effectively.

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