I thought that I would write today about the pressures that new business owners face when they start out in business. At the time of working on this blog I have been in business for over four and a half years. I feel that it is only in the last year or so that I am starting to make the necessary breakthroughs that I have been working towards during my time in business.
Nobody, going into business for the first time, can appreciate how difficult it can be to become established and make a name for yourself. Although I did not go into business expecting things to happen overnight, I realise that I was not prepared for just how long it would take for things to start happening in a good way. These are some of the tips that I have come up with, from my own experience that I wish to share to help others:
- Be prepared to put a lot of time and effort into setting up and developing your business.
- Ideally (and I did not do this enough at the time) research your market and also your competitors to see what is required and who you are going to have to compete with when marketing for the business.
- There is so much marketing information out there, you need to have a Unique Selling Point (USP) to stand out.
- Have a Business Plan and clearly show what you intend to do and when. Review and update it regularly.
- Establish a good list of contacts. Think about other people that you may be able to work with to make your business succeed. You may be a sole trader, but you still have to keep the on the right side of HMRC and may need to use accountants, suppliers, distributors etc. Find people that you trust to work with – perhaps other local business owners that you may meet at networking events, for example.
- Be prepared to put the hours in. At the same time, be productive – no, it is not the same! It is all too easy (as I know from experience) to work long but unproductive hours.
- Step outside your comfort zone. Try new things and don’t be afraid of changing your plan if it is not taking you to where you wish to be.
- Don’t be afraid to ask. Most people, especially other business owners who have ‘stepped in your shoes’ will only be too pleased to help you by imparting their knowledge and experience to you.
- Continually re-assess what you are doing and why certain things are working whilst others are not. Learn from your successes as well as your failures.
- Have fun! If it is not fun anymore, why do it?