starting your own business

Top tips to help you finally get around to starting your own business

If you are finding you have sat on an idea too long and are looking for that extra push to help get you started, below are some less well-known tips to get over the jitters and start making positive moves towards starting up your business. Sure, the practical considerations such as being financially secure and writing a business plan are all-important, but often it is the more personal hang-ups and hesitations that are more important to get over first.


Ask yourself what is stopping you from getting started

Starting up alone and relinquishing the security of regular employment and an income is unsettling, but that does not mean you should let fear stop you from realizing your dreams. It is worth remembering, every business (big and small) started with someone taking the first step. Of course, there will be testing times along the way but as the old saying goes: “We regret the things in life that we don’t do more than the things we do”.

Take an unbiased look at what is stopping you from going all-in and try to evaluate whether your fears are justified or not; note, it can also be very helpful to run these hesitations, past friends and family, from an impartial point of view.


The internet may be global – but physical location is still important

Computers and the internet have opened up global opportunities to firms, regardless of size or financial constraints, but your physical location is still important. No matter what type of firm you intend to start, you will likely find that some locations will be more suitable or advantageous for your company than others.

For example, if your goods or services are going to be related to the arts, starting a business in Brighton – a city famed for its arts and culture – could give you an immediate head start.

When choosing the location for your firm consider whether it offers the potential for you to make valuable partnerships, suppliers nearby and whether it is likely to have the customers you need. You should also work out what competition already exists in the area.


Think in terms of providing solutions rather than just selling

There is a widely accepted and respected wisdom among salespeople that you should sell the benefits – not the features. A feature is something a product or service has – a benefit is what that same product or service can bring, how it can solve a problem, make life easier, etc. At the core of this concept is the idea that rather than thinking about what your customer can do for you, you should instead consider what you can do for your customer.

If you have a novel business model that you think fills a niche and could prove to be a success, try flipping the idea on its head and see it from a potential client’s point of view. If you still have faith in your idea and can see how it could bring benefit to your customers, chances are you could be onto a good thing.


Start simple and build up

Far too many business ideas fail before they have even had the chance to get started because of the all-too-common temptation to overcomplicate a product or service. While you obviously want your business to offer a valuable benefit to your clients, it does not need to start as the all-singing, all-dancing version.

Rather than getting bogged down on expansive details, try to start simple and build up from there. Embrace the Minimum Viable Product (MVP)concept and start small with a view to building up thereafter.

The MVP strategy is perhaps best exemplified in Mark Zuckerberg’s famous statement, “Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough”.For reference, Zuckerberg is CEO of Facebook, one of the world’s most successful firms and his statement outlines the importance of first getting a product or service to market, then tweaking and refining the details later.


Envisage all possible outcomes

While it is important to stay positive when you are starting a company, you still need to be realistic and try to imagine all possible outcomes. Over half of small businesses fail within the first five years, so it is important that you envisage how it is going to feel if your idea does not take off and the very real prospect that you may end up making zero money. Take sensible precautions to ensure you do not risk losing your home or other personal items and always stay grounded with your concepts.

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