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I recently joined the ranks of the self employed. I had spent a few years as a public servant advising people on how to set up in business so it now my turn to do it for myself –


A consultancy service is easy to set up but difficult to build. So 2011 will be an exciting year. A key decision was to be independent (operate as a sole trader) but to work with other ‘like-minded’ mentors and training organisations. I spent December 2010 submitting tenders and preparing a business plan presentation – the process helped to formulate and refine the product/ service range (and most importantly clarify what I don’t do!).


Around that time I attended a Limerick City Enterprise Board event Building the Business You Want 2011! which was delivered by John Fitzgerald Harmonics. One of the questions he asked everyone to answer for themselves was ‘why were they setting up’. This is an issue that the GEM (Global Entrepreneur Monitor) and many entrepreneurship reports have dealt with while remaining a very personal choice for everyone.   My reasons:


  1. I believe that I can succeed with my small business. I have a belief that I can offer specific management consultancy, training and mentoring services to start ups in the areas of business plans and marketing.
  2. I have identified partners that I can work alongside – everyone has to be really good at what they do. I firmly believe that I can assemble teams that can make a difference for our clients. It is the intention to work closely with all customers to ensure that we provide value.
  3. Financial Reward The ultimate reward from customers will be when they pay our invoices (and are happy to give us testimonials and referrals).

Other reasons that people could pick could include:


• Be your own boss

• Work in your area of speciality or interest

• Control & responsibility

Ability to use creative skills

• Profit

• Always wanted to do it

• Job satisfaction


A quick word on finances and the negative impact on savings of setting up, anyone considering the leap from paid employment to self employment should check out the Short Term Enterprise Allowance. This allows a person to retain Jobseeker’s Benefit for one year while the business is being established. The local Social Welfare office and Galway Rural Development were very professional in our dealings. And to finish with good news. Getting your first customer of the year is a great boost. Thanks to Clare County Enterprise Board for selecting us to deliver their Start Your Own Business programmes in Clare in 2011 (and beyond).

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