Have a business plan, but don't know where to start?

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You have a great idea for a business, have even spent time working on financials and future profitability, but have no idea where or how to start. This is where many would-be entrepreneurs find themselves, particularly those who are currently in full-time employment. Most people do not have the time or resources to single handedly find out all the required information and chart a course towards actually starting their new business.

Many people are reluctant to share their business plan with co-workers and colleagues for fear of their idea being compromised, even though these are often the best people to consult with. You do however need to get someone with a good understanding of business to go over your plan, poke holes, validate the idea, refine the model, and help develop a roadmap to turn it from a plan to reality.

In our region, MENA, there are many other considerations, particularly for foreigners. There will often be restrictions around your employment visa that need to be taken into consideration. A No-Objection Certificate (NOC) is usually required from an employer if you plan to start your business whilst still under full-time employment. How will your employer react to this, and will it impact your job security? What about moving your visa to your own company in the future? There will be questions around how this will be done, non-competition clauses, impact on bank accounts, dependent visas, and many others.

There is also the important question of jurisdiction. As an example, in Dubai, there are so many choices when it comes to choosing where to license your new business, with the ever growing number of free zones as well as mainland options. You need to make sure that your choice of licensing is future-proof based on ownership regulations, visa restrictions, business activity, target client location, and licensing costs amongst others.

Last and most importantly comes the question of funding. The majority of entrepreneurs in our region rely on personal savings, and investment from family and friends to launch their business. There continues to be limited availability to other sources of funding in our region, although there are a growing number of angel investors, venture capital firms, and crowd funding platforms. It is therefore vital to find the most cost-effective solution when it comes to setting up. Serviced office providers often allow monthly payment plans and provide a host of other services that a startup can benefit from.

If you find yourself in a position similar to that described above and would like professional advice on your business plan and setting up your new venture in Dubai, the team at Sentinel Business Centres offers free impartial advice on all matters relating to business setup. They also look after the entire setup process on your behalf, and provide serviced offices and co-working space suitable for mainland Dubai licensing requirements as well as ongoing support to your business.

Contact Sentinel Business Centres for more information, and turn your idea into reality.