Key advice to anyone starting their business today

Key advice to anyone starting their business today

Recently in my Facebook group, I asked the fabulous ladies what piece of advice they would you give to someone starting their business today.  There were some great answers so I thought I would share them with you here today.

  • Be consistent and positive at all times
  • Failure is natural and part of the process. Learn from it and do things better next time! 🙂
  • Be consistent
  • Enjoy it. Be patient, it won’t happen overnight
  • Be sure that there is a niche in the market for your product or service and be different!
  • Research, research, research.
  • Join groups like this one as going it alone never works.
  • Cultivate the art of patience, have an open mind, learn new things and remain flexible
  • Make sure you have a solid foundation first before you to try to run & lots of patience
  • Ensure you absolutely love the product or service you are offering, otherwise it will never reach it’s potential!
  • Trust your gut, even when ‘experts,’ can’t see what you can see!
  • Find your tribe – we all need people to support and believe in us. Appreciate them hard!
  • Be the person that you want to be, act as if you’ve already achieved everything you want
  • Accept every offer of help that you are given, it’s tough going solo.
  • Don’t buy crap you don’t need.
  • Read lots. Set goals.
  • Get one package done really well before branching out.
  • Focus on one social media platform.
  • Surround yourself with brilliant people.
  • Spend time on your business from the start. Get great systems and take note of everything you do. It’s amazing how fast we forget how we started.

 

Feel free to add your own piece of advice that you would give to someone starting out in the comments box below.

Starting a home business

Starting a home business

Here we are with Easter holidays upon us once again and the children at home.

For working women, this can be a time of both joy and stress.  I remember only too well the joy of having my children around and going on days out combined with not having to do the packed lunches, school run etc.  But I also remember the incredible stress of having to organise childcare for the days I could not take off, the feeling of guilt of still having to work and the feeling of disapproval for requesting time off with my children or to finish work early.

Do you dream of starting a home business?

So many other women feel the same and this can lead them to starting to think about starting their own home based business.  They long for starting a home business which can be flexible enough to be run and organised around their family commitments and still provide them with a regular monthly income.

In a recent report to coincide with International Women’s Day, James Pattison, CEO of Startup Direct, said:

“A growing number of women are disillusioned by the difficulties of combining family life with a traditional 9 to 5 job, not least the inflexible hours, lack of well paid part time work and the cost of childcare, which continues to spiral.

The internet has made it easier than ever to start up a business from home and women are drawn to the prospect of being their own boss, choosing their hours and cutting childcare bills by working flexibly around family life.”

Unfortunately, too many women thinking of starting a home business start to worry about what they will do, if they are good enough, what they have to do to start up and how they will manage initially until the business is fully up and running and providing a secure income.

But there are many options out there now and it is far easier to start up a home based business today than ever before.  There are many simple ways to make money working from home that can be started at little expense.  You also don’t need to immediately hand in your notice in order to start up as many businesses can initially be run alongside a full time job.  Yes, it will take time and organisation but then, as a working mother, you will already be an expert in this field.

There is more and more support out there today for women wanting to start in business and your local business support organisation should be able to point you in the right direction.  There are also many online options available such as The Small Business Kit which can provide you with everything you need to start, run and grow your business.

As your business starts to build, you can then think about reducing hours and working part time until you are in a position for the business to fully support you financially.

The hardest part is usually the first step.  It can be as simple as having the confidence to test out your ideas or to actually ask for money in return for something you already do as a hobby.  It can be writing that first blog and the fear of putting yourself out there into the public domain.

But be brave.  Get someone to confide in with your ideas and who will give you realistic advice (not friends and family who will sugar coat everything for you, or adversely, tell you it will never work).  Look for someone who has been there and done it before and got the tee shirt (and bruises) to show for it!

So don’t sit wishing and wondering what if.  Take those initial thoughts and start to put them into action.  In ten years’ time, you will wish you had started today.

If you are thinking of starting a home business and would like unbiased advice, support and a helping hand, join The Small Business Kit now and start your journey to success.

Are you happy at work?

Are you happy at work?

Are you employed?  Are you truly happy in your job?  Be honest now.

Over the last few weeks I have been amazed by how many women I have met who are desperately unhappy with the job they are in but are too restricted by having to pay the bills etc to be able to walk away.  They have fabulous business ideas and the talent to make a business work but are just too afraid to take the ultimate step.

Are you like that?  How many others out there are like that?

We can all read the self help books telling us to step out of our comfort zone and jump into the unknown where great riches await us.  But how many of us really have the belief to take that jump?

There are so many people, both male and female, who feel trapped.  They need the immediate ‘security’ blanket of a regular income no matter how unhappy it makes them and with the inherent risk in today’s world that they ‘security’ blanket may be whipped away at any moment and replaced with redundancy.

It takes a truly brave person to leave a 9 to 5 employed job to jump into the unknown, but at the same time, the people I know who have taken that jump are infinitely happier long term than those who have not.

So how about you?  Are you brave enough to take the jump?

It is a scary decision.  I know because I have been there and done it.  I have had success and I have also had failures (or learning curves as I prefer to call them) which resulted in me having to re-enter the world of employment for a while.

If you are waiting for the right time to quit your job and start your own business, I doubt that time will ever come.  If you really feel the risk is too big to take, how about testing out your new business in the evenings and at weekends whilst remaining in your employed role?  This can be the lesser of two evils and can give you valuable research opportunities as to whether your business will work or not.

The worse thing you can do is to stay in a job you hate, with unfulfilled ambitions and dreams.  Life really is too short.

If you would like a chat about your new business idea, get in touch now.

 

Thinking of starting a business

Thinking of starting a business

Are you thinking of starting a business?

If so, there are a few considerations to bear in mind before ploughing ahead in order to give your business idea the best chance of success.

Create a business plan.

It is very easy during the initial enthusiasm of thinking of starting a business to jump in with your new idea and overlook the finer details that can help indicate the likelihood of success.  Many think that business plans only need to be written when trying to raise finance, but the actual writing out of a business plan can help you define your business idea, assess it’s viability, define your goals and plan how you are going to achieve them.  It will help you think about your competition and what you are going to do to stand out amongst them.  It will help identify where you product or service will be placed in the market and what people are likely to pay for it.  Most importantly it will help you plan your cash flow and how you are going to survive in the early days until you get it fully off the ground.

 

Beware of going ‘all in.’

There are many people who have used their credit cards to the max or re-mortgaged their homes to fund their business idea.  For the rare few, this gamble paid off.  But for many more, this led to tears and financial ruin.  Think carefully before putting everything on the line for starting your business.  Starting a business is stressful enough as it is without the additional worry each month that you may be on the verge of losing your home.  Do your research, write your business plan and consider carefully how your business will be funded.

 

Test the waters before giving up the day job

To minimize the risk of failure, try testing your business idea out on a small scale before you throw in the towel on your day job.  There are numerous small business owners who remained in their day job whilst building their own business slowly in the evenings and at weekends.  Yes, it will take you longer, but the risks are far lower and you will still be able to earn a salary to pay the household bills each month.  A word of warning though, do check there are no restrictions in your employment contract restricting you from carrying out work elsewhere.

 

Save for a rainy day.

Even the most successful of start-up businesses can be caught in an unexpected market downturn.  And there is always the unexpected scenario or emergency that no one could have predicted.  From the moment of thinking of starting a business, make sure you build up a financial buffer and continue when your sales are good so that you have something in reserve in case the lean times hit.  If the unexpected does happen, you will still be responsible for the business bills.  Having a cash buffer will take the pressure off if the bad times hit and could mean the difference between your business surviving or failing long term.

 

Protect yourself.

Too often I hear ‘it will never happen to me’ but every business is vulnerable to potential risks.  It is so important to have a backup or disaster recovery plan in place and to protect yourself and your business from potential risks.  Take some time to think about worst case scenarios and how you’d handle them. What if a fire or flood destroyed your office? What would happen if a customer or employee sued your business?  What would happen if you were ill or injured and couldn’t work?  Make sure you have insurance protection in place and put procedures in place to ensure your business could continue to run in the worst case scenario.

 

Start with the end in mind.

Start with the end in mind.  Many start up business owners think it crazy to be thinking about selling their business before it is fully up and running, but by planning what will ultimately happen with the business in the future, will help you plan and set goals to achieve along the way.  Without an end plan in place, a business can drift along and go off track and not be as successful as it could be with a clear exit plan in place.  Remember, one day you will either want to hand over the reins or sell on and have a nice lump sum in place for your retirement.

 

Seek professional advice.

If you’re serious about starting your own business and making it a success, find yourself a mentor or advisor to give you expert advice.  An experienced business advisor can be there to help you develop your business plan and launch your new career. They can be an invaluable sounding board and their experience and independent perspective can help you steer clear of the numerous start up mistakes so many make.

 

So if you are thinking of starting a business follow the steps above to help you make it a success.