As a business owner I regularly attend different networking events. I enjoy meeting other businesses and it’s a great opportunity to build connections and get advice. At a recent event we were asked to break in to groups and discuss what we would do differently if we started out in business again and what advice we would give a new business owner. It was a really interesting discussion with lots of common themes across the groups. I thought I would share with you my thoughts about starting up a new business.
Get a good accountant!
This is really important. Our accountant offered us a free start up session. She helped us identify the best financial set up for our business and is always on hand for advice when we need it.
Set your price point.
It is really important to get this right from the beginning. When you’re starting out there is a temptation to offer discounted rates. As one of the ladies at the meeting said ‘why is what you do worth less than someone else’. Value the service or product you provide and price it accordingly.
Get some marketing advice.
Nicola and I recently reviewed our original business plan and when I read the market segment section, I fell about laughing. In a nutshell it said ‘we’d like to provide our services to just about anyone’! When you start out there is a temptation to be all things to all people. However, if you spend time identifying your ideal client, it will help you focus your marketing activity and you are more likely to win that business.
Don’t be afraid to invest in specialist advice.
Every business is different and your personal and financial circumstances will dictate what sort of specialist advice you might need. If you are setting up as a partnership, get legal advice. If you provide a specialist service or product, make sure you comply with relevant legislation. If you need to employ staff, get HR advice or support. Your business is your livelihood and you need to make it as secure as you can from the outset.
Do what you love and do what you do well!
If you have gone in to business, you have probably done it because you love what you do and you’re good at it. However, running a business involves doing things that you might not enjoy as much or just might not be as competent at. So, when the time is right, think about what tasks you might be able to outsource. In the long run it will save you time and money!
Do you run your own business? What advice would you offer to someone starting out?