• Jacqui Williamson

So you want to start a business

Updated: Jan 9, 2021

Many of us of working age have most likely at some point thought of starting a business and just to be clear, if you haven’t already figured it out, outside of your stable personal finances and good credit, there is never a good time to start a business. So, unless you can predict how the economy might affect your business etc., this year or the next get on with it. No point in procrastinating. Whether your passion is something more on the lines of a side hustle to get occasional pocket money whilst working full time, starting very small with savings or all out business account, business loan, website deal, going into business can be a very daunting experience. When we see the success of people who we know have started out where we are and are now millionaires or billionaires it is encouraging, and we should do plenty of research to allow us to get to where we want. I can’t stress the importance of researching starting and running a business enough. Speak to people who have been where you are, get on the internet, read, network etc. We can never know too much. Take all the time you need to do your research, but don’t use this as an excuse not to start up. Anyone can be successful. And no being successful doesn’t mean that you need to reach millionaire status. Success is achieving the goals that you set. Do not seek validation from others.

Online forums can be invaluable, it is likely that any questions that you have will already be answered, and there is always someone happy to help with any other issues that may arise. Local enterprise agencies can be a useful tool, they will be able to offer you start up advice, will have good local knowledge and contacts, they will most likely have a business mentoring program and may also offer courses and networking events to help people like you and established businesses. Also take advantage of their support while your business grows. YouTube, what can I say, if a tutorial isn’t available, who are they? #lifebeforeyoutube ha ha… Consider also attending courses at your local college with like-minded people and attending networking functions. Another option to consider would be to form your own networking group with local Facebook/Insta friends, people you met at class, in the gym etc. Meet during lunch time/evenings for lunch/coffee/drinks whatever your finances allow. There is no need to feel isolated if you don’t have people close to you to offer the support you need. Self-employment can feel lonely a times, meeting others in a similar situation is invaluable and may also provide you with solutions to issues that you are facing or that come up, you will also be helping others in the same situation. It doesn’t matter how new to business you are; you have something to offer others in a similar situation, encouragement and empathy. Invaluable. Don’t allow not having an instant support network to put you off pursuing your dream job.

Set realistic short term, medium term and longer term goals to follow and adjust them as you progress or as things change – do a business plan even if you are not looking for finance to start your business, it will help to guide you and enable you to reach those goals. What if? Your contingency plan within your business plan may help get you and your business over future hurdles.

If you go into a field that you are passionate about, running your business can seem less like work which is a great feeling and will help to keep you motivated and upbeat about it. When you go through struggles with your business, which is normal, remembering why you started may be what helps gets you out of bed every morning. Starting your research/business whilst in employment can be very difficult if you have a career that you are fed up in. Coming home and doing more work feels impossible and may even stop you from moving forward. There will be times when you feel overwhelmed and lacking in motivation, this is normal. Use what your future could look like as your motivation. Tap into whatever you used to do to stay motivated in your current/previous job, doing a workout that you don’t enjoy. Give yourself incentives to meet goals, whatever works for you. Don’t rely on anyone to keep you motivated, they are not as invested in your business as you are, or should be, they may not always be there, you’re on your own. Take breaks otherwise you will burn yourself out. Not working, no business, no money.

Building good relationships while starting up and going forward, is vital to help you to succeed and grow. Being passionate and but professional with regards to how you conduct yourself/run your business, and very knowledgeable about your products or services makes more you more engaging and therefore easier to be liked and be taken seriously. We would rather do business with people that we like and feel we can build a good relationship with, right. Don’t expect money to immediately come pouring in just because you are popular, have a large social media following, have great products/service, it can take weeks or months to get that first online sale. Use two to three social media platforms with two accounts, but do not rely heavily on them, also use other means to promote your business. Stories for another time? Do your research. Be inspired, but don't copy. How many people are offering that service through the platform you are selling with, what could you do better, how can you make yourself and your business stand out?

Look at your competition, but don’t get fixated on them, your time needs to be invested in being proactive with your business. Don't allow the fact that money is slow to come in, to affect your motivation, be prepared for it, have contingencies in place.

Start your research, establish whether your business is viable, ascertain that your goals are realistic and decide whether self-employment is for you. If your current circumstances are not ideal, factor them into your plans with solutions and get on with it. Yep this will probably slow things down, does this matter, not really. You are driving this and setting your timescale. Follow through. Yes, you can. I wish you every success…

Next post, makes/ideas for the Gwen and Bert’s Attic retail shop opening in 2020?

Look out for Gwen and Bert’s Attic on Insta, Pinter and Facebook. What have we been getting up to - check out Gwen and Bert’s Attic Adventures on Insta and Pinter, it’s not all work and no play? Thanks for reading!

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