So you’ve decided it’s time to start your own business – that’s the first step! Many of us will have noticed many British mums lead thriving businesses here in Dubai, but what are the essential tips that you need to know before you launch right in? Whether you were well up the corporate ladder but took some time out for family, or you’ve had enough of the rat race and want to pursue your own professional goals, or maybe you just want more control over your own more flexible approach to working, there are plenty of opportunities for you in Dubai. Luckily, entrepreneurship offers us in Dubai the chance to be creative, bold, and to excel on your own terms in a vibrant business landscape. But before you launch your new venture, you’ll need to ask yourself a few key questions to make sure you get it right.
Who is looking for what you’re offering?
Make sure you explore your market at the very beginning of your journey. By doing this, you can identify critical areas that are vital for your success. Completing or commissioning a comprehensive business plan is a great place to start. It will include market research, competitor analysis, target demographics, and much more, in order to help you understand who is (and isn’t) likely to purchase your products or services. With this understanding, you can develop a focused marketing plan, choose your premises, and increase your chances of securing investors, bank loan approvals, and government buy-ins.
What is your budget?
Starting a new business is exciting, but you’ll need a clear idea of what your starting costs and expenses will be. Since it may take some time before you start seeing significant revenue, it’ll be important to map out your budget for setup and your initial operating expenses. If numbers are not your thing, get help from a professional who can help you to carefully analyse, manage, and review your budget before you begin setup. With your budget in place, track your outgoing expenses and closely monitor your costs.
Where should you setup your company?
Ah, the million-dollar question! Start by taking a look at your objectives. Are you particularly keen on owning 100% of your company? Do you feel like you would benefit from being surrounded by others in your industry? If so, then you may want to consider setting up your company in a free zone. You can keep full control of your company, enjoy supportive infrastructure from the free zone authority, and usually complete the set-up process in a relatively quick fashion. However, keep in mind that rents are usually higher (unless you are eligible for a virtual office), and there are strict restrictions on conducting business outside the free zone that could, in theory, negatively impact your business. Also, for some industries, you’re required to have an onshore (non-free zone) license. This type of setup would require a local partner who would own 51% of your company and have considerable authority over business decisions and access to bank accounts.
Do you want a partner or investor?
Maybe you’re excited about the possibility of going it alone and relying on your own drive and funding to conquer the business world. However, if you think you’ll work best with a partner to share ideas and spur each other on when times are tough, make sure you discuss expectations, remuneration, stock options, and exit strategies from the very beginning so that everyone is clear about their roles. This foresight will save you time, cost, and maybe even some heartbreak. The same advice applies to a potential investor, in addition to thoroughly reviewing their credentials.
How can experts help you?
Starting a new business is an invigorating time, but it can also be one of the most stressful times you’ll ever experiment. It can be a bit overwhelming, especially as most of us also need to balance our family responsibilities. Thankfully, there are loads of companies who offer expert help and Dubai is full of professionals ready to help you launch your next great adventure. Using a reputable company formation service can reduce setup time, meaning your business will be up and running (and earning revenue) faster and more efficiently than tackling all of these tasks by yourself.
Dubai offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to reach for the stars, but first you need to have your feet firmly planted on the ground. If you take time to prepare yourself before you start your setup, you’ll be soon be soaring toward success.