David previously worked with Europe’s No.1 Marketing Agency & the World’s No.6 biggest Integrated Marketing Agency, seeing first-hand how £150 million+ campaigns are executed to create household brands. Now he is the CEO of YewBiz and is focused on helping small businesses.
Launching Your Dream Start-Up Business
Nearly everyone will have at some point had a dream about starting their own business, or had an idea for a product or for a service. We all have ideas that we think could make us more money.
For many people, they have also thought about making a positive impact on the world. However, the problem for most is that they don’t have the know-how to make it happen, the time or the funds to get started.
So the question is, how do you grab the opportunity with both hands and start building your own business? - even if you don’t happen to have a wealth of experience, lots of financial backing or the right contacts. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.
Don't Procrastinate - Act Now
First things first, just start your business right now!
Too many of us mistakenly assume that we need to quit our current jobs and then focus all of our resources, time and effort into our new start-up business. We believe it is "all or nothing" and that it is pointless if we start a business half-heartedly - it will be destined to fail.
That is not true.
In fact, there is no real reason that you can’t start your new business and work on it in the evenings and weekends.
Even if you just register your company and start operating as a bare-bones business, it is better to test that your idea has some potential before you invest a lot of time and money.
One of the easiest ways is to build a simple website and populate it with amazing content that explains your services or showcases your products. Start small and grow it gradually. You will soon discover if your idea has potential.
One of the most important points is to get started now!
If you don't get started, you will never know. Only then will you discover if you can earn a full-time salary and then you can consider quitting your current job.
Developing A Minimal Viable Product
If you are unsure of the demand or "viability" of your idea, then consider creating a Minimal Viable Product (MVP). This way you can test your business model before you invest too much in it. You can also see if it is possible to make money from it quickly.
Don’t make the mistake of investing large amounts of time and money in a business idea that you have no proof that it will work.
Equally, don’t try to perfect your offering before you launch, this will only delay getting your business up and running. It will never be perfect. Your customers will soon tell you what they want, then you can refine your idea once it's live.
Bootstrapping A Business
Another reason many people hold back from starting their dream business is that they don’t have the funds that they think they need.
For example, if you are planning on selling a product that you have invented, then you will probably assume that you need to invest and secure large order quantities (aka Minimum Order Quantity - MOQ) to begin with.
That is not strictly true. One way to get around that problem is to start your business with multiple revenue streams. Think of a way to start raising capital through other services (or products) and once you are making more money, you can invest this into further research and development (R&D) or to purchase your first large bulk order.
There are other routes of being clever with money to get you going:
- Use your existing connections to buy your products or services in advance
- Consider hiring staff and paying in equity rather than in cash (Facebook took this approach when they started)
- Don't take on overheads such as office rent, especially if you can work remotely or from home
- Ask your suppliers for deferred invoices, that way you can produce goods and pay later
- Consider if you can charge monthly subscription fees for your services, meaning you get money in quickly
On A Personal Note
There were two occasions that I can recall, once in my twenties and the next in my thirties, when I considered starting my own business.
Both times, it was with other people (who would be my business partners), and each time my partners got "cold feet" and did not progress. As a result, I never felt confident that I could do it myself - mostly for the reasons above.
It was not until I was into my forties that I actually took the jump and started my own company - by myself!
Now that I have been running my own companies for years, it gets easier everyday. When I first started, I will admit that I often said to myself "have I done the right thing?" - the answer is Yes.
Knowing what I know now. I wish I had done it in my twenties! So don't be like me, get started as soon as you can, and if you are older than me - it is never too late to start.
I wish you the best of luck in whatever you do.
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