Tips if you’re thinking about starting your own business
We live in a funny time, what with the joyful internet it means that we are constantly surrounded by stories of people who have shot out on their own. People who have given up the whole 9-5 to see what they can do for themselves. And to be honest, it’s always been something I’ve thought about. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy my work but nothing is more tempting than shooting on your own, working to build something that is yours from the ground up and getting back some freedom with it too.
But that said, it’s a hard thing and after many a day reading books, listening to podcasts and the like, I’ve come up with some of the most important things to think about if you have been thinking about trying to get out and start something yourself. This post is in collaboration with Boost Capital* as they really back new businesses and their merchant cash advance is a nice option if you do decide that working for yourself is the way to go!
Anyways, let’s get into the good stuff!
1 Make sure it’s right for you
Like I mentioned, you gotta figure what’s right for you first! Although I love the idea of striking it out on my own, you gotta be willing to work pretty long hours especially at the beginning. And it’s pretty likely that you may be low on cash and be by yourself a lot of the time. I mean, I do love a good weekend of tapping away on this blog but by Monday I am ready to be social and back in an office!
That said, if you know it will be a problem then you can always invest in a coworking space with some of your other self employed buds. Always a solution – just gotta think it through first!
2 Have a proper business plan and think at least 2 years down the line
It’s all well and good knowing that you’d love to sell your hand made embroideries for a living, but how does that turn into a business? A business plan basically means that you’ve looked into how much profit you’ll be making (include all your time as an expense too remember) and what you can do to ensure that your business grows and is a success. You might also want to check out ways on how to save money in your business (or how to have the most money), one way you can do this is by getting a cheaper business energy provider (you can check out this solution here). But there are loads of other ways to save money/earn money. It’s a good idea to make sure that you have done your research first, as you want to make sure that you are earning as much money as possible. There are loads of things out there that you can use to help you. For example, you might decide that something like asset finance will help benefit your business.
What do you want it to look like in 2 years? Use that as a starting idea and then fill in all the blocks in order to get there. There are heaps of great business plan templates out there on google too!
3 Get a business buddy or mentor
As with anything, find someone who has done it before!! I know that my self employed friends often cannot get by without working with their mentor or coach, or just having someone else they can bounce ideas off of. It’s always good to split this out from someone close to you so that you can get a proper objective opinion (always hard to find!). Trust me, having a mentor is amazing and rewarding, and you will learn so much just by talking with someone with more experience than you. A lot of companies are now beginning to see the importance that mentoring can have within a business. Through mentoring software comparison, employees can mentor each other through continuous engagement amd contextual mentorship with a low-friction workflow.
Consider research into others who have done something similar and see if they want to chat. There’s so many resources out there that it’s worth having a good search for someone you are really compatible with. I also love joining business networks as they often are so handy. I’ve recently been going to some of the NZ business womens network events in London and I’ve met so many inspirational people!
4 Try it out on the side first to see how it works
I think this is always a good idea – just try it out first! Even if you don’t have the time to do it fully, a small pilot or a cut down version of your idea is always handy. If you read any business book then make it The Lean Start Up which taught me SO many valuable ideas of how to get going on starting up something myself.
Think of it this way, if you start it up on the side and it takes off then you have such great back up and confidence to then take it full time. If it doesn’t go as planned, well then maybe it’s not the right idea, or you know what to change and do differently if you end up launching it full time.
5 Give yourself a time limit
Yep, as with everything – you can’t keep plugging away at something if it just isn’t going to happen! So set yourself a time limit and some milestones along the way. Every 3 months sit down and reflect to see if you’re moving in the direction you want to. If you aren’t, what needs to change? Maybe you might think of investing in a Registered Office address which could benefit your business. And put an end date in there too – if you are losing money still in 6 months then time to give it up and try something else. It can be a hard thing to do, but the best if you want to hit where you want to be!
What do you think you need to do before starting your own business? Any golden tips for us? I’d love to hear more!
*This post was written in collaboration with Boost Capital, but all tips come straight from me! 🙂