Deciding to start a business is really exciting. Starting a business is also really hard work. Like really hard work!
So here are my 6 tips to help you start a business from scratch.
If you fail to prepare then you prepare to fail. This is so very true in business. You may not need an exact science, bank-style business plan, but you do need some sort of plan. You need to establish where you are, where you want to be and how you are going to get there. It’s a bit like going somewhere in your car. You may not always know your exact route. You might change the route during your journey because you hit traffic or diversion. but essentially you know when you set off where you are heading to. Your business is exactly the same. You need to know where you are going and what you want to achieve otherwise you will end up drifting aimlessly and that’s basically preparing to fail.
2. What Can You Do?
What are you good enough at that other people will pay you for? Basically, that is the sum total of your business. There is no point being rubbish at the thing you set yourself up in business as because a) you won’t enjoy it b) nobody will pay you and c) just because you think it’s a good idea, it doesn’t mean you can actually do it. Likewise, are people actually willing to pay for the thing you want to set up? I hear so many business ideas but I know there’s no money in them. There is only so much people will pay for certain things and yes it might be a very busy or popular business but if you end up charging what equates to £2 an hour then you are never going to make it a sustainable business and a living wage for yourself.
You need to know your market inside out and know what people will pay for and how much they will pay. If you want your business to grow then it has to generate enough income to pay you and for growth.
3. Sort Your Money
Being in business and being self-employed doesn’t mean that you are always going to have an income. You don’t suddenly earn a full-time wage the minute you go into business. Therefore it’s really important to know exactly how much you need to live off and how much your business needs on a weekly/monthly basis to keep on trading. Know your finances down to the last penny and always be thinking of new income streams.
4. Start Marketing
Even though you may not have a fully formed and functioning business, you need to start marketing yourself. In the self-employed and small business sector, people buy from people. It doesn’t matter how cool your logo is, nobody will buy from it. You can have the flashiest website on the planet, but if nobody has ever heard of you, they won’t buy from you. So it’s important to always be marketing yourself. Be your authentic self, show the true you. Let people get to know you, then they will trust you, then they will want to buy from you. You can’t just open up for business and expect customers to come running. They won’t.
Get yourself a website and some social media presence and start marketing yourself. Go to networking meetings. Show up like you mean business. Perfect your personal brand.
5. Find Help
By help, I don’t mean someone to do your accounts or make you a cup of tea. I mean other people in business that you can have a business conversation with. Being able to talk actual, proper business with others in the same boat will help you loads. Having people around you that have been through it all will help you. Join networking and masterminding groups. Don’t ask your partner or your mum for business advice unless they know what you do as well as you or have been in business themselves.
6. Stop Playing Small
Be careful of those that surround you. Are they on the same path as you? Do they want to grow their businesses or are they playing small? If you find that you are mixing with others that are just working for pocket money or have none growing business, then you might end up going the same way yourself. You are the average of those that surround you. So make sure you aim high with your circle.
Are you in need of some marketing tips?
Download my 20 quick, kick-ass marketing tips to kickstart your online presence and sort out your social media. Each one takes less than 10 minutes and could make a huge difference to your audience that hasn’t found you yet.
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