Thinking Of Starting A Small Business?
People often ask me why I decided to start a small business which is a very good question especially when I had no previous business experience (I was a gas engineer at the time.) In fact everyone thought that I was mad… especially when I left my secure job and borrowed £250k to open up a chain of convenience stores!
It wasn’t easy at the beginning and I worked long hours and learnt from the mistakes that I made along the way. What I did have, however, was a driving ambition to change my life for the better. I knew that by continuing to work for someone else I was limited to what I could earn and that in turn dictated the lifestyle that I could lead… The car I drove, the house that I lived in and the holidays that I could take. Therefore in order for me to achieve my dreams, I needed to do something different …I needed to start my own business.
I am a quick learner and have a great work ethic and determination to succeed. Therefore within a short period of time my retail business was a roaring success, even winning many national awards including an all expenses paid trip to New York, sponsored by my all time hero Sir Richard Branson. At the same time I also started a successful catering business and built up a land and property portfolio along with a successful building company.
So is starting your own business the right path for everyone? In this current economical climate more and more people are thinking of starting a small business…Some from choice and others from desperation due to not having enough money, personal debt and being fed up of waiting for things to improve. But wanting to start a business is not enough in itself. You will need to be focused and committed to sticking at it through thick and thin until you find the winning formula for success. So what is the winning formula for creating a successful small business?
Below Are 3 Tips When Starting A Small Business.
1. Building Up A Good Reputation
Building up a good reputation is crucial in business. Whatever business you decide to start, chances are there will be a lot of competition; therefore you will need to stand out from the crowd. The Internet has made this task a lot easier due to social media sites that can help you build up and connect with your followers. If you get this part right you will be halfway there as you will have built up the all important trust with your future customers. However if you get it wrong then it can have disastrous results. One such example is Kanye West. Despite his huge fan base and his passion for fashion, his clothing range Pastelle failed miserably, two days after launching photos of his clothing line. Some believe that this was largely due to him interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the MTV music awards. In contrast, fellow musician Jay Z’s clothing company Roc a Wear was a roaring success as were his other businesses including DEF Jam records, carol’s daughter beauty products and 40/40 sports bar.
Therefore it is important to ensure that you connect well with your customers and deliver what they expect of you and your product or service.
One of the main reasons that many small businesses fail in the first year is due to cash flow. When you start your own business you find yourself suddenly without the luxury of a guaranteed wage and sickness and holiday pay. You will also suddenly be accountable to others including your bank manager and your staff (if you have any). Whether you make any sales or not you will still have to pay your bills, including wages and bank charges. Therefore it is advisable to set aside some spare funds to counteract any temporary cash flow problems that you may experience at the beginning.
The general rule of thumb is that you should allow a sum of money equal to at least the projected turnover for the first year of business to be able to survive. This may not always be possible, but it is wise to set aside some spare cash just in case.
3. Analyse, Analyse, Analyse
This point cannot be stressed enough. It is crucial to analyse every marketing aspect of your business on a regular basis, especially paid advertising. There are many easy to use free tools available to help you do this including Google Analytics. You will need to analyse your organic marketing such as blogs, articles, and press releases. Video marketing etc as well as any paid advertising like banner ads or pay per click, in order to stop any marketing that isn’t working and increase the type of methods that are working. This simple procedure is simple to do and can save you lots of time and money.