Starting a business can be both exciting and challenging. Entrepreneurs come from all walks of life and backgrounds, but successful ones all share a passion for success. They thrive on hard work and believe in their business and ideas, and, above all, they do what they say, when they say.
This enthusiasm is absorbed by customers. Word of mouth still rules in marketing, and the use of social media now means this spreads fast and wide. Get it right and there is money to be made.
A common question from new entrepreneurs is ‘what is a good idea?’ or ‘what sort of business should I start?’ There is no simple answer.
You should consider what skills you have – what are your strengths? For example, being able to communicate well with customers, and a passion for quality service, are transferable to different sectors. You will, however, still need to understand a new (or different) industry and remember that competitors are unlikely to welcome you with open arms! Sticking to what you know might work best, but plenty of people have set up in new areas of the economy. The successful ones have identified their market and designed their business to deliver what customers want.
Don’t assume that the only way to break into a new market is to undercut everyone else. Not only will you reduce your margin potential, the strategy will come unstuck if a price war results. For a small business, you need to research your market thoroughly and understand both your customers and your competitors. Likewise don’t assume that you can command a premium price automatically – it’s all about service, perceived value, and demand.
Finally – don’t expect miracles overnight. Starting a business is hard work – some days will be good, and some not so good:
- Don’t expect that easy access to finance or grants will create success. It will certainly help reduce costs, but repayments can only be made from profitable business, so a clear idea is essential.
- Don’t give up as making mistakes is part of the learning curve – just make sure you learn from them.
- Take advantage of mentoring and coaching – you probably won’t be the first , or the last, to come across many of the issues you’ll experience when starting up so you can easily fast track your own knowledge by learning from others.
- Take full advantage of the services Nwes offers, which are available to help you start your business, and include one-to-one business advice, training courses, loans, and much more.
So if the above rings a bell with you, then you might well be ready to become an entrepreneur and join the growing number of people who have started their own business this year.
With the New Year on the horizon, if you have a business idea and have always thought of setting up on your own or with a partner, call us today on 08456 099 991 and book an appointment.
It could be the best call you make in 2014!!
Paul Gardner, Start-up Loans Manager