By Lyndsey Hall
January is traditionally a month when people make big changes and take on new challenges for the year ahead. While many opt to give up smoking; take up juicing or join a gym, there are a few brave folk whose New Year resolution is to finally follow their dream and start a new business.
As exciting as it can be to branch out on your own and turn your dream into a reality, it can also be terrifying and incredibly stressful. There are a lot of things to think about, and some tough decisions to be made. Knowles Warwick are here to help! Take a look at our top 5 tips for starting a new business this New Year:
Love what you do.
You will be working all hours, especially at the beginning, so it helps if you enjoy your work. The more passionate you are; the more infectious that passion becomes; the more people who will want to come on board – and that includes investors. If you don’t love what you do, you’ll either end up miserable or with a failed business, so only put your effort into something you truly believe in and will still come home raving about with 6 months of 12 hour days under your belt!
Take (calculated) risks.
In the early stages of starting a business, you may feel like you have to be extremely careful or your fledgling enterprise could easily turn to dust; but the beginning is when you have the least to lose, so take a risk! If an opportunity arises that you feel you’re not quite ready for, say yes and work out how to make it a success later. The biggest risks often represent the biggest opportunities, so be brave and believe in your business; you never know, it might just pay off!
Believe in yourself.
There will be times when it feels like the only person who believes in your idea is you. Do not give up. Every “no” is an opportunity to go away and improve upon your product or business plan and come back with an even better idea. Not everyone will get your vision, not everyone will be willing to invest their time, money and reputation in you or your business; but if you give up at the first sign of criticism then you could miss out on that one investor who loves your idea and can’t wait to work with you. Keep the faith, and if you truly don’t believe your idea needs to change, don’t change it – plenty of hugely successful business owners would never have made it if they had taken bad advice from a peer or mentor when they started out.
Surround yourself with awesome people.
“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” I’m not sure who originally said this, but they were right. Try to employ people who possess skills that you lack; people who inspire you and make you excited to go to work every morning. One of the most difficult things to do when starting a business is admit that a member of your team isn’t a good fit, or recognise someone who simply isn’t helping you to take the business in the direction you want. The kindest thing for everyone is to have the conversation early on, and if it’s just a case of misunderstanding and improvements can be made, then great, but if not then it’s better to cut ties as soon as possible.
Take advantage of the help available to you.
There are some excellent resources for new businesses out there, like the new Business is Great Britain website, which provides links to government support and funding, and offers insights from other small business owners. An experienced business advisor can be invaluable, so make sure you speak to a few and choose the one who is the most compatible with you and your business – someone with specific industry knowledge could help you get a foot in the door, as well as avoid any rookie mistakes. A good accountant can help you get the funding you need to get your idea off the ground, and make sure that you are fulfilling all of your financial obligations to HMRC – they also take the hassle out of the numbers side of business ownership, allowing you to focus on the more creative side of your business.
So there you have it, our five top tips for starting your business this New Year. If you are planning to start a new business this year, or if you already have, we’d love to hear from you. Let us know your tips for anyone who is thinking about taking the leap in the Comments, or on Facebook and Twitter.
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