Starting a new business is an exciting process and in the current climate where exposure is easy (if you know how to use Social Media well), the benefits often outweigh the 9 – 5 (more like 8 – 6) that your working life has been until now.
Once you have had the initial idea for your business, you face a host of challenges to ensure that you give yourself the best start. Here are our 9 most important thoughts when starting up a new business.
Dream big, start small
Most people don’t start a business thinking that they’re always going to be a tiny outfit doing the same thing day in, day out. You have to start somewhere and starting small may mean doing the above. This can be a great platform to grow and see where this experience takes you. Everyone needs a plan and starting small ensures that you won’t over invest/over spend before you’re out of the starting blocks.
Set up in something you have experience of
This might seem obvious but people are often interested in something that isn’t directly related to their experience. If you want to start off successfully you either need to use the skills you have gained previously or, if setting up a new venture from scratch, do a lot of research before starting.
Don’t try to be something you’re not
It can be very easy to be swayed by the thought of being the next on trend business, however if you come from a corporate background and want to go for something very trendy, you are better off meeting in the middle and going for a ‘relaxed corporate’ feel. Bear in mind, once you are established, you can always rebrand later on.
Have a plan
Having a long term plan is never a bad thing and ideally, you should set up a company with a 1, 2 and 5 year plan. However, you do need to build in the fact that things organically change with businesses. No matter where you are planning on going, your audience and clients will end up dictating the work that you end up doing.
Have a USP
It can be easy to think that everyone has been before you and have already had the good ideas. That’s not true! Whilst there will always be people who have come before you, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do it as well as or better than them. There is room in the market for a key player as long as you get it right. Make sure the USP is achievable and that you can do it well. Don’t let this be an afterthought.
Get a mentor
Usually we go into business in an area that we are confident and have experience in. This is not an excuse to go it alone. A mentor does not only offer you their experience, they can teach you all sorts of things that you are not experienced in (just ask people about what software they use and you will find that hardly anyone uses the same tools). Their experience can also help when you have a tricky client/situation in the office.
Know how to reach your audience
In these days of heavy Social Media advertising, not doing your research is unacceptable and everything is only a (relatively) quick google search away. Invest the time into finding the best advertising revenue for you and budget accordingly. Social Media may offer free platforms but the time it takes to create adverts that fall within the legal requirements of the websites often goes unaccounted for. Most successful businesses pay for advertising on Social Media to reach their target audience.
Networking events can be worth their weight in gold. They are often low cost, some are free and it is a great way of meeting like minded individuals in a short space of time. Even if you meet people who are offering the same service as you, don’t be put off, there may be projects that you’re too busy to do and would rather recommend someone you know and vice versa.
Integrity goes a long way
At times we all offer something we’re not too sure about and know that we usually have time to do the research before the deadline. However, integrity is what will cement your reputation and it’s ok to say you’re not too sure about something but you would be happy to recommend or work alongside someone who has more experience.