10 Top Tips for Starting a Business

Posted: 11th May 2015

So you know you have a great idea for a business and it has been a long -term dream to run your own business but you are in danger of your dream never becoming  a reality if you don’t take positive action and actually make it happen.

Many others like you will have procrastinated and stayed in a safe yet unfulfilling role, only to regret later on in life to have not ‘made it happen.’

Almost every new start-up business will pontificate and worry about lack of funds and security but if you do your planning and research first and work towards your start-up business in a realistic and organised way, the only thing stopping you will be fear of the unknown. Remember: ‘The only thing that is certain in life, is that life is uncertain!

1) Firstly, find out if you have what it takes to be your own boss. How will your skills and personality traits help or hinder your business?

2) Use your existing contacts-family, friends, friends of friends and work colleagues-and ask them about their start-up business experiences. Such information is invaluable and allows you to learn from other peoples’ experiences first hand.

3) Write a business plan. Even if you do not need funding to set up your business, writing a business plan allows you to focus on all aspects of your business in a rational and thorough way.

4) Set yourself short, medium and long-term goals. Write them down and keep them visible. You can evaluate and alter your goals as circumstances dictate and keeping your goals in mind makes you more accountable to take action and lets you move your business forward.

5) Identify who your ideal customers are. Their age, gender and background and why they might buy from you and not from someone else. This will help you decide on your niche market and USP. (Unique sales proposition).

6) Develop a network of like-minded people. Working for yourself can be isolating at times so it is really worthwhile connecting with others in a similar situation and sharing ideas and experiences.

7) Outsource some of the business activities you have little or no experience in or struggle with and concentrate on those aspects that you do best. There are plenty of  reasonably priced web designers, accountants, IT and marketing experts about. This need not cost a fortune as you may be able to trade your skills and expertise with theirs!

8) Setting up a business for the first time can be a huge learning curve so remind yourself that any mistakes made can be valuable lessons and move on.

9) Ensure you work in a logical and organised fashion. Break larger activities down into more manageable tasks and avoid flitting about from one activity to another. Prioritise tasks in order of importance and work through your daily, weekly, monthly, list.

10) Finally, when the going gets tough, remind yourself of WHY you wanted to set up your business in the first place and think about all the positive rather than negative aspects. As I sit writing this at my desk overlooking my lovely garden with the sun shining down and the birds singing, I absolutely know setting up my coaching practice is the best thing I could have ever done!”

Thank you to Pavlenka Small