Navigate Success: Business Setup Insights | UAM

27th May 2022

Life post yachting – thinking of setting up your own business?

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We’ve previously looked at how crew can start to plan for their retirement.  However, others may consider leaving crewing to set up their own business – taking the skills learned into a new venture in the yachting industry.  We speak crew on a regular basis who want to set up as an entrepreneur and also have many clients who have subsequently set up their own business.  Here are a few top tips to consider when setting up your own business:

Plan ahead!  It’s worth thinking at least one or two years ahead – and putting in place your savings plan to ensure you can cover your set-up and living expenses whilst you get going.

How much will you need?  Sit down with a piece of paper and work out your costs – where are you going to be based, what is the cost of living (rent/food/taxes etc) there, and how much do you need saved to cover those costs?

Do you need starting capital?  Often you will need a lump sum to pay for initial outgoings – whether that be stock or equipment or an office or premises building.  You may need to look at a loan if your business needs a high level of initial investment.  You will need to make sure you’ve got a plan in place to source your initial funding requirements.

How soon will you be able to pay yourself?  Most businesses aren’t earning straight away – it can take a while to build up your client base and start the money coming in.  How long will it take before you can take a salary for the business – will your savings cover you for that period?

Test your market.  Make sure you’ve fully tested your business idea – you can interview potential customers or carry out questionnaires, but it’s critical that you know that your brilliant business idea has legs – and that people will pay for your products or services.

Cashflow is king!  Most businesses fail because of a lack of cashflow- will you have enough to pay the bills as you get your business off the ground?  Can you plan for all your outgoings in the first few months?

Have you got a mentor?  Having a network of like-minded people, as well as those who have ‘been there, done that’ can really help – not only to provide the inspiration but also for advice when the going gets tough.  There are a wide variety of different formal networking groups you can connect with globally, but also look at your family and friends – who has run a successful business?

And finally – make sure you discuss your plans with your financial adviser.  They can offer advice as to the best way to plan for your new business venture and help you put in place the right savings programmes for your entrepreneurial plans!

This article first appeared in Dockwalk Magazine’s May edition.


Oliver Maher