8 things you need to know when starting your own company
1. Be bold and take that first step
There is NEVER a right time to go it alone, but there has to be an internal driving force that tells you “it’s either now or never”. Very few people who start their own company have the luxury of no mortgage repayments and huge savings, it’s simply about being bold and believing in your ability to make a success of your own company.
2. Remember why you are doing it
After you have started running your own business it can be quite easy to lose sight of why you took the big step. Being bogged down with paperwork, having the initial set up stresses and dealing with company issues 24/7 can be a lot to handle but it’s so important that you don’t lose sight of why you took the gamble. Whatever motivated you to make the decision needs to be your encouragement. Running your own business will be 100% more rewarding and fulfilling. Your initial motivation should remain your compass that guides you and your decisions. Share your vision with close ones and together remember what drove you in the first place.
3. It’s all about networking
Running a business can be a lonely affair. Sometimes you can feel quite isolated – with no one to bounce ideas off or share challenges with. We are social and emotional beings. All through my career I have found it helpful to have a solid half dozen people who I know I can call upon for support, who share my values and who I can confide in. Although I work for myself now, I still have a team, it’s just a bit different. This has grown as I have got to know networking friends that I can share the ups and downs with. Working with other business consultants and advisors with clients has been great and it enables me to play to my strengths and not look at them as competitors.
4. Be visible and credible
There is no substitute for getting out there and meeting people on a regular basis. It’s the best way to make connections and ensure that you are ingrained into people’s minds so that they will think of you when an opportunity arises.
Networking is an essential part of the job when running your own business. Start-ups don’t have the big marketing money, so it’s important to rely on a network of people who can be an extended sales team. There are some great networking groups across Merseyside from BNI to Chambers of Commerce. Find a networking event that suits you in terms of location, time of day, which day, and network culture to ensure that you’re comfortable and confident around like minded people. Always remember why you are networking, have a goal and monitor which network gives you the reward that you require.
5. Be yourself
It’s so important that you are yourself when establishing your own business. It’s easy to lose your own identity when you are establishing your company’s personality, but remember to stay true to yourself. Focus on being professional, but approachable and friendly. Be authentic and people will relate to you better. In turn, it will be easier to build rapport and develop long term lasting relationships.
6. Play to your strengths
Don’t pretend you can do everything and avoid the temptation to try. Recognise the work you struggle with or don’t like, then delegate it to someone who loves doing it and is great at it. It’s important to free yourself up to play to your own strengths. Then you can enjoy it more and be more effective.
7. Give and it will be given to you
Networking is very much a two-way street. When networking with people whilst you should be thinking in your head “How can I help this person?” “Who can I introduce them to?” it’s equally as important to listen to what they have to say as they’ll be similar-minded and keen to provide you with the same kind of useful information and contacts. The main stumbling block for many business owners is acquiring suitable funding. From personal experience, networking has given me the opportunity to point others in the direction of potential funding options and vice versa. Networking led to me securing LEP New Markets funding which has been beneficial to clients and me. It is well run and easy for clients to understand and operate within, with a 35% saving for ambitious businesses.
8. Stay positive
“Smile and the whole world smiles with you.” It’s so true. Yes, some mornings you wake up not feeling great about stuff. Remember, every day brings a new opportunity. Embrace it. Dust yourself down, get out there and smile. It sure makes for a better day.
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