Where would you even start??
Starting your own business can be both exciting and terrifying all at the same time. When you make the decision to start a business where do you go next?
What are the Key things you need to know how to do? Is there a list somewhere and what are the rules! What is everybody else doing? How will you know what you should be doing and if you’re doing it right! What if you make a mess of it and it fails? The list of questions goes on and on and on and on and before you know it your mind and body are gone into a complete state of overwhelm! That big friendly Villan who pops in for a visit every now and then.
Well the quick answer is there are no hard and fast rules to starting your own business. There is no magic list that makes the “Start-Up” stage any less daunting. But the good news is you are in control of this stage. It’s your Business, your Idea and You are the person in the driving seat. What happens next is entirely up to you. How exciting is that!!
So, here are some things I did, and still do, that I thought might be helpful to you.
The Light Bulb
Clearly workout what your business idea is. How will you, as a business owner, contribute to it? Why do you want to start a business based on this idea and what are you expecting to achieve from it. Map it out. What does your business look like now? What do you want it to look like in the future? This will change as your business grows so don’t get bogged down on it, it’s just place to get you started.
The Bargain Hunter
Identify who your ideal client is. Ask yourself who would benefit from your product or service and why? Oh and by the way the answer is NOT everybody! We’ve all fallen into that trap! You are no different. Why should they purchase from you? What makes you different from your competitors? How do you plan on selling to them?What will their customer journey be like – easy or difficult?
Become THE expert in your field. This is a piece of advice I was given early on and I’ve never forgotten it. Write regular blogs, make videos, write articles or posts on social media. Write about your case studies. Ask for testimonials from your previous clients – but I don’t have any clients yet I hear you say? Well if you’re starting your own business as a result of a skill, attribute, hobbie or passion then you must have displayed the ability to do this somehow, somewhere and to someone at some stage! Ask that person for a testimonial. Even if you know that person really well, ask them. Even if it was in a voluntary capacity, ask them. The worst thing they can say is No! If you don’t ask it’s a no anyway!!!
Identify what you can’t do. As Business Owner’s we think we need to be experts in every element of our business. We wear several hats on a daily basis. It is as important to acknowledge what we can’t do so we can get help from the experts outside of our expertise to get stuff done. It’s perfectly okay to ask for help, instead of beating yourself up because you can’t do something and wasting valuable time and headspace. We can’t know everything!!! Plus it will save you time and money in the long run.
Keep some sort of accounts from the start. I struggled with this one. Even if it’s as simple as an excel sheet with a column for “In” and a column for “Out” (another valuable piece of advice I received). Your Accountant will thank you for it and don’t think for one minute that you won’t need one because you will. Unless of course you are one….and then sure you’re on the big’s back! I am lucky enough to have an excellent one who keeps me in toe. An Accountant will save you time and money. End of.
The Mythical Creature
Last but by no means least buy yourself a journal or an ideas book and have a big fat brain dump. Everything that’s going on in your head right now write it down. No matter what stage you are at in your business you are going to have times when ideas are flowing and you are going to have times when ideas are a distant memory. Journaling is a massive asset to you and your business. We all have great ideas but do we always write them down? If you don’t they’re gone! Even if you just write a word as a prompt to remind you. I guarantee you it will serve you in the future. I do this all the time and the more I do the more ideas I get and the clearer my vision for my business becomes. I write down everything, even if I think I’ll never use it. If I think it, I write it! Apart from anything else it de-clutters your head and makes space for more ideas. It also allows room for your existing ideas to grow legs and develop. Since I started doing this my call to action and productivity have increased massively. It complete clears the fog. By journaling on a daily basis I know exactly where my business is and where I want to take it. It helps me identify how I am going to take my business to the next level and what experts I need to call on to help me achieve this. Now I outsource things I’m rubbish at for example my accounts. It helps me get clarity on the things I want to do in my business and the sense of achievement that comes from this feeling is amazing, inspiring and motivating.
So what are you waiting for? Grab yourself a cuppa, pick up a pen, grab the nearest piece of paper or notebook to you and just start writing. You won’t believe the amount of brilliance that is about emerge from the fog!
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