How to get clarity and support around starting a new business

Hello Ladies,

I've held off writing for a while as there are a lot of conflicting thoughts going through my head right now. And, I'm writing anonymously as I'm not totally comfortable asking for help or ideas given my "all over the place" state.

My ask is for pointers/guidance on my thoughts below.

Primarily, I'm looking to change my work situation, i.e. set up my own business or have a business with a co-founder.

My motivations for this are:1. To work on something that interests me and/or that I care about2. To use skills and attributes that call to my strengths. I've worked as an accountant for all of my career but am very much a generalist.I had hoped to move from accounting along the way but didn't manage to make that happen, partly due to the fact that this was my strongest skill set and partly because I didn't want to take a pay drop.

Skill strengths are: project management, implementing systems and processes, financial control, promoting products and services, negotiating contracts, collaborating, working across disciplines, broad understanding of tech (AI, Blockchain, Web3, Climate Change opportunity areas).

Unfortunately I don't have a firm idea in my head yet. And, I have fears about the volume of work involved with a startup. I've worked for a few startups as the 4th employer so know the drill! Further below are some ideas I've had over the past few weeks.

I recently finished a short contract and am now taking time off to get myself sorted. I started the process last year when I took time off with the hope of finding something around climate change. I read a lot, volunteered and joined various groups but nothing came of it. After 6 months, I got panicky and returned to short contract finance roles to buy myself more time. So I'm now back to the drawing board!

The other dilemma is I THINK that I want to move from London where I now live and live in a smaller place. I was born in a countryside village of around 100 people. Living in London for the past 20 years has enabled me to achieve career goals but just doesn't seem to appeal or energize me any more.

My husband won't want to move so that's another challenge!! He has a small products business which I looked into expanding but I couldn't get interested enough or see a growth market. This is probably because I'm not so motivated or interested in physical products businesses. Service businesses are much more interesting to me.

Business Ideas.

1. Trust - that person is of good character. Whilst travelling last month I was in a country where lift sharing apps have not taken off yet local buses were infrequent and lots of cars had just 1 person. I spoke to a few people about this and trust is a key reason for it not taking off.

I'm a pretty open minded person but am also wary on this point. For this particular lift sharing service the trust element most important to me is knowing that the person is of good character. Of course being a safe driver is also important..Of good character is also important for baby sitting services.

My idea was around Trustor and Trustee getting character references from a minimum of 3 to 5 trusted people (from a list of say 20, e.g. doctor, lawyer, respected boss, local government official, professor) in the community. The idea is that all of this verifying would happen seamlessly via a platform. The trustee would pay for the ride and share a low % with the platform. For this model to work it would need to be global and would need a talented tech person to build a great app. So I'd need a tech co-founder. I ended up reading on Trust and the Trust Economy, and see it's a big big area and has players like Trulioo. Maybe there is room for different Trust models depending on the context.

This is a great article" https://trustedadvisor.com/trust-and-the-sharing-economy-a-new-business-model?

2. Career Choice & Development Portal.. Personalised HR Training.

I keep meeting people that have ended up falling into wrong careers and then spend lots of money via coaches, courses, therapy, travelling to figure out what be right for them. It would be great if this could be avoided via a One Stop Portal that first of all guides them on the best approach to help them get to the answer. Also, maybe there is some use of virtual or argument reality enabling to try out different roles or other forms or experience that would help them get to a solution. This portal could also help all aspects of career development, i.e. CVs, people who want to move from large corporates to startups, people who want to move from one discipline to another, people who want access to best practice documentation to do existing job or move to another job. This portal would have a network of vetted professionals and would maybe use AI to recommend 3 or 4 people a person should work with given their area for development. This is along the lines of personalised medicine (not mental health) which is now a large growth area.Mental Health is also an area that would benefit from personalisation. This wasn't something I thought about until I saw this YouTube video: https://youtu.be/ytNjWmeKty0 last week.Meditation and deep breaths aren't always the answer!

Thanks for reading.

Some quick notes:- You'll need about 6months savings regardless, as start-ups take awhile to start generating revenue. So don't feel bad about doing the finance contracts, gives you stability. - London is hectic right now, rents (and general costs) have gone up exponentially. - Both are good ideas and you have good skills to deliver. Research both of these ideas & who's already doing it. Try and volunteer with them to get better insight. - Join an accelerator like Founder Institute to vet out your ideas, get feedback from mentors and meet other entrepreneurs (potential cofounders). This might be completely off so feel free to ignore as I know you've been thinking about it for awhile - just something I see alot as a mentor - people's go-to when unchallenged at work is 'create a start-up'. It's more about wanting to learn & make full use of their skills. If you think this could also be a factor - are there other ways you can branch out in your work and take on some interesting projects (or propose your own)? This is 'intrapreneurship', you are effectively an entrepreneur in an organisation, creating new ideas and solutions but with the benefits of access to team members & under their capital. Or perhaps volunteer at (or become a Trustee of) a charity & help them innovate, they always need help so you can really get stuck in. Check out Women on Boards - your skillset is super valuable for charities. https://www.womenonboards.net/en-gb/homeHowever, while they are a huge undertaking, I do also think everyone should create a start-up at least once in their life, you learn so much and I personally got a greater understanding and level of respect for my managers / CEO's - it's hard lol & I understood why they did things better.
Thanks @Ronnie44 for the advice and link. The final point about creating a start up when people are unchallenged at work is valid.