You have long wanted to be your own boss, all you have needed was the idea and the opportunity.

Now, you are in a position where all of the stars are aligned, so what is holding you back? How about the anxiety of just where the hell do you begin?! For many, this is the stumbling block.

It is a crying shame many nascent entrepreneurs, with their unique ideas we would all benefit from, give up before their enterprise has even taken its first breath, purely because they faced just this dilemma.

However, where do you get advice on how to overcome this obstacle and the other challenges on the road to lift off? Historically, you could find an accountant, who may give you some free advice. Alternatively, you could visit a Small Business Advisor in your local high street bank. You might even have an acquaintance who has trod a similar path.

The main challenge with all of these is will they give you informed, up-to-date and ongoing support?

The concept of a Business Mentor or Business Coach is one which has grown in prevalence in the past 10 to 15 years, aside of the reasons set out above, if you look at the proliferation of small and medium enterprises over the past couple of decades, nowadays many more people are taking the plunge themselves. Gone are the days of the large employers offering job security and people only having one career. Instead, we are becoming a nation of entrepreneurs and many people reach a situation where working for someone is either no longer acceptable or they are in a position where they wish to control their own destiny.

However, I should caution, given that 4 in 5 new businesses never see their 5th birthday, it is essential to give yourself the best possible chance of success. How do the 20% of those who do make it stack the odds in their favour? It is a proven fact, over 80% of these will have taken advice, both at the outset and on an ongoing basis. Therefore, doesn’t it make sense to follow this basic success principle, rather than leave your enterprise, and your future, to the hand of fate?

What does a Business Mentor or Coach give you? In short, most will either have had their own business or undertaken a series of studies on the subject, preferably both. As the saying goes, you can either learn by your own experiences or through the wisdom of others. The former is certainly more painful and generally more costly!

Whether you are looking for someone to act as a sounding board as your business grows, or you wish to have an independent objective eye cast over your company when it has either hit problems or stagnated, or you need someone to provide clear and concise guidelines for getting started, a Business Coach can provide all of this.

One of the other key failings of a business is where it does not have a viable and up-to-date business plan in place, often through ignorance or a perceived lack of time. As failing to plan is tantamount to planning to fail, it makes sense to have a roadmap in place as soon as possible.

It is never too late, but if you are looking to take the plunge, it makes sense to start with the right structure as soon as possible. If you think logically, would you set out on a long journey to a place you have never been without the slightest clue where you are going? I am sure some reading this will answer with saying they would use their satnav, well, bingo! This is what a business plan can be for you!

With the assistance of your Business Coach, you can create a plan which will have all of the fundamental points in from the start, but, more importantly, it will be updated regularly with new information and will reroute you around the roadblocks and the delays which will inevitably occur.

If you are seeking to take the plunge for the first time, or you are looking for a new approach, why not have someone in your corner, who is both objective and supportive? You could go it alone, but why not stack the odds in your favour?