A New Business Idea – Now What?
Many starting out fresh in business find this question very difficult to answer. Unfamiliar with the state agencies processes, unsure of how/if financing can be come by, how to conduct market research, how to attract customers, not fully understanding the accounting side, the list goes on and on.
So where do I start?
The best place to start when establishing the business is to get in touch with your local Enterprise board, or Enterprise Ireland if you have export potential and the ability to generate jobs over 3 years. This may seem an over-simplification, but as someone who didn’t really understand the role of the CEB and delayed going to see them, it cost me both time and potential funding. Why didn’t I go earlier? No-one told me too and I didn’t know where to start.
Our CEB in Wicklow is superb and I’m sure that others around Ireland are just as effective. They are not just about grants. They provide training, networking, mentoring and advice on a whole range of business topics of relevance.
Can I get a grant?
Yes, with a few conditions. The most important one is “Do I directly compete with anyone in my area? Or will what I do put others out of work in the area?” If the answer to either of these questions is yes – then you will not get a grant from the CEB. If the answer to these questions is “no”, then you should be going in to talk to them. There are some other conditions and you should be familiar with them but your local board can advise you of these.
Oh, and if you are planning on validating your business idea, don’t forget to ask about the feasibility grant to help assess the market potential.
What do they want to see?
For the first conversation, a simple plan of what your business is about and where you see it going. You do not need War and Peace at this stage, keep it simple. If the CEB is going to help you, they will then steer you on what you need to do next.
There is lots of other things I could cover here, but the CEB can do it far better than I. I just wanted to give you the nudge that I wish someone had given me.
Go on, call them, they are highly unlikely to offer you no help at all!