Starting Up A Small Business

February 10, 2014 in Business Networking, Marketing, Small Business, Small Business Networking by lizbygrave

by Marcia MacLeod

Do you remember the first time you thought about starting your own business? The excitement of doing something you love, with no boss looking over your shoulder; the fear of failure; the worry about finances; the sleepless nights wondering if you’re doing the right thing? They are all feelings most Small Business Network members have experienced. Maybe you haven’t got there yet. Maybe you’re only just beginning to consider your future options and have all those emotions to look forward to.

Whichever it is, the problem is that emotions can take over: it’s all too easy to let your heart rule your head. For starting a new, small business – any small business – is not for the faint-hearted.

The first thing to sort out is funding. Maybe you’ve just walked away from a hated job with a great big fat redundancy payment; maybe you’ve been saving like mad for a few years; maybe your family is helping you. Whatever the scenario, make sure you have a well thought out budget for your business,  and also a budget to live on.

Don’t underestimate the time required to launch a new business, either. Ask any member of the Small Business Network and they’ll probably warn you that in the first three – six months, you will work 10 hour days, seven days a week – and that doesn’t include the nights spent lying awake trying to work out the best way to market your product or service so that you can get the word out there.

Remember, too, there is nothing (or very little) new under the sun. Research your market carefully, identify the competition and, unless you are absolutely certain you have something no one else can offer, try to carve out a niche for yourself – eg the first to offer a product or service in your area, a new approach to the problem you’re trying to help customers solve, or a twist that makes your new business just that little bit different.

If none of this puts you off, you’ve done your homework thoroughly and in depth, have developed a viable business plan and have money to back you up, it’s time to take the plunge. Just remember: you have to let people know about your new small business, because if no one knows you exist, they can’t possibly buy your product or service. Networking can be a valuable, often essential, part of your marketing strategy, so check out local networking groups and get yourself along to a local meeting or two!