How to start my own business

Want to move forward with your idea but don't know how? Read useful tips and ideas

The excitement and inspiration that comes with deciding to start your own business is undeniable and hard to describe to anyone who doesn’t share the experience. 

Many people dream of opening their own business, but when the time comes for the actual decision there are many parameters that must be taken into account. In addition to a good idea and an appetite for hard work, you need a plan, organization, the required capital and much more, such as having completed your research before you start.

Your idea

It’s important that you have a clear idea on which your business will be built, as well as where you would like it to go in the years ahead, and precisely which consumer needs it aspires to meet. Even if you have experience, be sure to stay updated, especially if the area in which you wish to operate is directly related to technology, which is evolving rapidly.

How to start my own business

Market research

Having decided on the object of your business, it’s important to do sound market research. What market gap have you identified? What market need are you aspiring to meet? What is your competitive advantage and the respective strengths of your direct or indirect competition?

Your business plan

Your business plan is essentially about putting your vision on paper, with the help of appropriate professionals, such as financial advisors, your accountant or lawyer, and professionals in any other key fields your venture requires.

Your plan should show the legal form of the business, the start-up capital, your business, legal and financial moves going forward, your obligations, and a realistic profit forecast.

Can I get a loan to finance a new business?

The rule of thumb is to present the financial data of your business as accurately as possible, to envisage as best you can the likely outcomes and challenges that lie ahead, and to be reasonably sure of your estimates and the funding that you're requesting.

It’s very important to explain your business plan to your bank in detail, providing all the information that will be requested. The bank officer you’ll work with is the right person to inform you about subsidies you may be entitled to as a new business owner. NBG’s specialized staff can guide you to the solutions and programs most appropriate to your needs and goals.


One of the key components for a successful business is the choice of the right premises, whether it’s a business that welcomes customers or whose staff needs special equipment. The task of finding the right space is not always easy, especially considering the recent boom in the real estate market. Both rents and sales for high-street shops or high-end offices have become unaffordable for new business owners. In any case, you should keep in mind the following:


  • The more central the location, the greater the operating costs, which can jeopardise the viability of your business. 
  • Many of the properties available either for sale or for rent are not suitable for attracting customers. They may be, for example, in not very safe or low-income areas, where it will be difficult to attract end consumers.
  • You need to take your time finding the right location and not rush. Shop around until you find something that best meets your business needs while still being within your budget. Above all, however, you need to find the space that will inspire you to create.


Banks offer solutions and facilities for business spaces, such as the option of leasing. NBG, in collaboration with Ethniki Leasing S.A., offers flexible solutions, depending on the object and needs of the lease. 

Tips for setting up your business

As a citizen of the EU you have the right to set up:

  • your own business (even as a sole proprietorship) in any EU country, in Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein
  • a branch of an existing business which is headquartered in the EU and is already registered in an EU country.


Requirements for setting up a business vary from country to country. However, the EU urges all countries to meet certain targets to facilitate the establishment of new businesses, with actions such as:

  • the ability to set up a business in 3 working days
  • cost less than 100 Euro
  • completion of all procedures through a single administrative body
  • completion of all registration formalities online


Setting up a business is undoubtedly a major step to take. And once you've made the decision to go ahead, it’s important to be guided by a financial and legal advisor with whom you can draw up the best possible business plan. However, nothing is more essential than staying focused on your goal and personal vision on your path to success.