When you’re starting your own business, there is a myriad of things to consider. Money, income, marketing, sales, finance, accounting, websites…the list never ends.
But there are three key things that almost get forgotten in the detail. And they’re the three things that can make the difference between success and failure in your first 12 months.
But what if you’ve considered everything and been through the mill? Well, then it’s best to go back to the very basics so you don’t trip over your BIG idea and let it smack you on the bum on the way back.
There are tons of ideas out there (and we support them!) about getting the vision right; about devising a strategy to attract customers; about getting the prices right and making sure the dreaded taxman stays off your back.
We asked 25 experienced businessmen and women (some of whom now lead large companies) for their advice and these were the top three that came back. So, here’s the pick of the (vox) pop we did. We’ve summarised them into S.A.S.: Let us know your thoughts!
S: is for SPEND
SPEND only what you have to. Don’t worry about fancy furniture and the latest gadgets (unless they’re absolutely necessary). Starting up on a shoestring gives you the confidence you’re not mortgaging your future with debt by getting the very best of everything. Remember, it’s not about getting it perfect; it’s about getting it GOING. You can buy better furniture, printers, pcs and other gear as you generate more revenue. Keep your spend LOW and re/up-cycle where you can.
A: is for ASK
ASK yourself, do you really know where your revenue is going to come from? Bear in mind (especially in business-to-business companies) it’s not always where you think! What gap in the market do you fill? What problem do you solve? What desire do you fulfil? Which niche do you address? What difference do you bring? What will make you stand out? Why should someone buy from you as opposed to a competitor? All very simple questions, but ones that often get overlooked. Most importantly, be honest with yourself and if it helps, ask friends, family and trusted others. If necessary, get yourself a mentor. Try contacting the National Business Helpline on Twitter @businessgov or ask us at @Ent4Success and see if they or we can help you in your area.
S: is for SOCIAL
Be social! Now, there are different ways you can be social; if you’re the outgoing type, you’ll meet stacks of wonderful people just like you at networking events. Your local chamber of commerce will have a whole schedule of free events you can attend; as will your local university or other business organisation. And don’t think that the only useful events are business-specific events! It might be a charity ball, a fundraiser or auction; it’s common knowledge that most business relationships start when you don’t even discuss business, but just get your face and name around. The only cost for many of these events is your time. And if you’re less of a fan of face-to-face events, DO get social on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. Build communities and trust; these can often lead to a meeting or transaction.
But do PLAN and know what you want from your activity! (We’ll come back to this in a future piece).
So, be prepared and get your own S.A.S. right.
For more help with your startup, call us on 0121 516 0330 or book on to one of our FREE 2-day workshops in Staffordshire, Worcestershire or Solihull.
Click here for events in your area to get you started on your business mission.
Go on, Enterprise Yourself!