You may have had a business idea at the back of your mind for a while now but taking the leap and leaving full time employment has been a step too far. Setting up a business while still being employed is often a less risky route, offering the security of a regular salary while building a business.

Outset Cornwall has helped many of its clients do just this, enabling them to eventually ditch the constraints of a 9 to 5 work life to run their business on a full time basis.

If you are wondering if you should and indeed could embark on a new career, two of the key starting points Outset Cornwall would recommend are completing an honest personal survival budget and thorough market research. Creating a Personal Survival Budget is a very useful exercise and drills down to the bare facts to give you a clear idea of exactly how much money you need coming in each month.

Make a list of all your standard bills and direct debits such as mortgage, utilities and insurances but also admit how much you spend on the food shop, hobbies even down to money for days out with the family, birthdays and Christmas. These are all real outgoings that we often forget or ignore and then wonder where the money goes!

This budget planning will give you a good starting point for doing the figures for any new business. It will help you to see how many products you would need to sell or how many customers you would need to make ends meet.

Researching your competitors and potential customers is also time well spent. Don’t stick your head in the sand; identify your competitors, where they are located and the prices they charge. Putting together a potential customer profile can be very revealing and help you better understand if there is a market for your idea.

Personal survival budgets and market research are just two of the elements covered by Outset Cornwall. The award winning programme is run over a series of face-to-face sessions or online and takes clients from the initial idea stage all the way through to getting up and running, marketing, promotion, registering with the relevant authorities and planning for a growing business. Outset provides fully funded business start-up support to people living in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Could you be your own boss? For information get in touch with Outset Cornwall by visiting