My wife and I own a business. She is a writer and vlogger and I have a training academy. Both of us started out as auditors and spent a considerable amount of time working for a boss but decided to start up our own company. I learned a lot of valuable things from this but there are 7 things that I feel are most important to know:
1. Do something you like
Your future customers need to be able to feel and taste your enthusiasm.Only if you truly believe in your product or service, you are able to do this.Therefore, do something you really like as it will radiate onto your offering and will make your commercial efforts so much more easy.
2. It does not have to be groundbreaking
Many people think that you need to have a groundbreaking idea when starting up your own business.Often this stems from TV programs like Dragon’s Den where people pitch their new ideas in front of 5 wealthy potential investors.It depends a lot on what you are aiming for: do you want to become the next Jeff Bezos and build a $100 billion company or do you want to build a business that generates a sustainable income similarly or hopefully even better than what you were making before?If the latter, it does not have to be groundbreaking.Find something that makes you enthusiastic, excel at it, find your niche and I guarantee you: people will want to work with you!
3. Commerce, commerce, commerce
In the end, it evolves around getting new customers. If you have a killer product that sells itself, you are a lucky bastard, but for most of us, we have to get out there and sell our product or service. Therefore, a sustainable amount of time should be dedicated to selling your goods. And really, nothing beats winning an offer from your competitors so get out and just do it!
4. Hang in there
People will need to get to know your company. This takes time, you will need to build up your network, let them know you are there, set out a marketing plan to promote your company etcetera. There will probably be many days and nights where you think: why am I doing this and I am not moving into the right direction. Don’t give up or give into these negative feelings. Instead, gear up and intensify your efforts. Something new will come up and change your mood overnight.
5. Be consistent
The best way for people to get to know your company is to be as consistent as possible. Your offering and pitch need to tell the same story every time. Also, stick to your marketing plan; did you decide on a weekly new blog or vlog? Do it and don’t skip a single week. The best way for people to get to know you and your company is if they are regularly fed with news from or about your company and with the same story over and over again.
6. Help will come from those you least expect it
When I started my training academy, quite some people in my immediate environment were skeptic.They did not understand why I would walk away from my current job, whether I have the right qualifications, the ability of my company to get new clients in a saturated market, and so on.
Deep down I think, many of them envied me for having the guts to step out of my golden cage and into the unknown.As a result, they did not put much effort in helping me out.It was their way of proving to me and themselves that they were right to point out I made the wrong decision.
But help also often comes from people you least expected: those who are really convinced of your capabilities or truly believe in helping out start-ups as much as possible or simply because they turn out to be true friends and do whatever it takes to help.
7. Trust yourself
Trust and believe in yourself: if it was easy, everyone would have done it. There will be many times where you will be in doubt whether you should or should not do something. The best piece of advice I can give in these instances, take a decision because more is lost by indecision than wrong decision!
For all people out there who are thinking of starting up their own business, who have started up their own business recently or who are already seasoned entrepreneurs, you all rock!