By Ben Dowd, Director of Business at O2 and Harriet Hastings, Founder of Biscuiteers

With the Office for National Statistics announcing the latest unemployment figures, we will offer advice on becoming your own boss and starting a business.

Just do it

You won't know what works until you try it. Sometimes you just have to jump in particularly when starting a new business. If you are given an opportunity, grab it.

Focus on your USP's

You need to know what makes your product or service unique in the market and be able to communicate that clearly. Writing a launch press release is a really good exercise in working out your proposition before you start talking to customers.

Be customer focused

Every customer matters. Your customers are your greatest advocates and potentially your biggest critics.

Don’t give up

Not everyone will have as much faith in your business as you will. While it’s always important to heed the advice of others, if you think it’s a brilliant idea then you can make it work. Don’t give up with the first knock back, there’s always another route to success. Taking a risk is the start of every new invention – and cake!

You can teach an old dog new tricks

There is a lot of entrepreneurial spirit in the UK, but many dreams are never realised because we aren’t confident of our own abilities. Our research shows that almost two-thirds (61%) of people in the UK aren’t confident that their grasp of modern technology is good enough to start a business.

Get a good work-life balance

Starting a business takes a lot of work and it won’t stop once you’re up and running. But this isn’t a reason to let the job get the better of you. It’s important for your business for you to be happy, and if you’re living in the office it’s unlikely you will be. Utilise technology such as such as Office 365, 4G, cloud, and collaboration tools to make it easy to conduct business from beyond the confines of the office.