Three quarters of people starting a new business said it was more challenging than they expected, according to the ICAEW.

But with William Shakespeare’s birthday upon us, as well as the commemoration of 400 years since the playwright’s death, the ICAEW has turned to one of the nation’s most famous writers to lend motivation to those who want to set up their own businesses, business leaders who are struggling to find inspiration, and budding entrepreneurs who need a little nudge in the right direction.

“Our doubts are traitors and cause us to miss the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” (Measure for Measure)

Self-confidence is one of the biggest barriers to success. Starting your own businesses can seem like an overwhelming experience, however there are a great deal of free reports and business guides out there to support you throughout the process.

“All things are ready, if our mind be so.” (Henry V)

Preparation is the key to victory. A well-thought out business model lays the foundations for a fruitful business. For any company to triumph on this journey, it needs at all points of that journey to be appropriately financed. A Business Finance Guide can lend a helping hand and provide details of where to obtain free advice on raising finance.

“Strong reasons make strong actions.” (King John)

All of your decisions should be driven by data and experience. The best strategies and ideas are based on hard facts and previous examples of what has worked well and what has not.

“And you all know, security/Is mortals’ chiefest enemy.” (Macbeth)

Believing that you and your business are untouchable will ultimately result in your downfall. In the Digital Age of business, cyber-attacks are increasing in prevalence. By following a number of basic steps, organisations can significantly improve their online security and help safeguard their most important assets and trading relationships.

“Action is eloquence.” (Coriolanus)

Having a positive attitude is only half of the journey, as your optimistic thoughts must be followed through with meaningful and productive actions.

“Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.” (The Taming of the Shrew)

Being competitive is an essential part of business, as it encourages others to succeed and ensures that companies are constantly looking to better themselves. However, it’s also important to network effectively. Sharing best practices and advice in a peer-to-peer network is an extremely cost-effective way of seeking assistance.

“I like not fair terms and a villain’s mind.” (The Merchant of Venice)

Trust your instincts about people and business decisions. If something seems too good to be true, chances are that it will be. Build up your knowledge base, by asking questions and seeking out information, in order to develop a comprehensive view on the topic.