It pays to carefully weigh up your options before going solo, says Pip Furlong, national director of Donington NZ.

Pip Furlong is Many corporate executives dream of one day breaking free and having their own businesses where they get to make the decisions. For some, it will remain a pipe dream as they lack the bravery or the capital to make the leap. How much of a risk-taker are you with 90 per cent of small businesses failing within eight years?

I am working in a large corporate business but would like to run my own business. I am concerned that some of the businesses I am looking at will be so small-time I will get bored very quickly.

Becoming self-employed and moving into the business world is a challenging career option which many may wish to seriously consider.

It can be particularly appealing to those who are leaving big, highly structured organisations, where the chance to "be one's own boss" suddenly seems to be within reach, or for individuals receiving a significant payout package which could be used to provide capital backing for a business venture.

Self-employment, whether through contract work, consulting, owning a franchise or managing your own small business enterprise, can be very attractive. It offers the opportunity to use your experience, knowledge, skills, personal attributes and creativity in a new and exciting context, where the chief beneficiary of all your efforts will be you, through your own business enterprise rather than your employer.

Go into it fully informed and look at the pros and cons.

* Personal satisfaction.
* Independence of decision-making.
* A social role in the community and social recognition.
* Job creation for yourself, perhaps even your children.
* A sense of achievement.
* The opportunity for leadership.
* An effective way to build capital.

* Risk - it's all yours!
* More bosses than you ever had! The landlord, customers, the Government, your bank manager, suppliers - you're answerable to them all.
* Sole responsibility - no chance to pass the buck.
* Usually longer working days.
* Harder to take a holiday, especially in the early years.
* No such thing as a sickie.
* Few people (if any) to share your problems with or talk to.
* Often lower wages for a long time.

Are there certain industries which would suit me better going from the corporate world into being an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurship offers many advantages and rewards, but its requirements - emotional, physical and financial - are also high. Clearly you need to promote and market your existing skill set as a service into the marketplace. You need to determine what that service is and do a thorough SWOT analysis to identify your customer and industry base. Develop a clear and compelling value-proposition and be able to succinctly articulate your point of difference.

Before I leave the corporate world, should I see a careers consultant and make sure I'm not making a big mistake? What can they do for me?

Planning is the key to success in business! Working with a professional career consultant and accountant while you are still employed will help you explore and access thoroughly whether or not self-employment is the best career option for you.

They will critically examine your talents, capabilities, expectations and motivations and measure these against what is needed to be successful in self- employment.

You will also gain a better understanding of areas where you may need to review your thinking or improve your skills.