STARTING YOUR FIRST START UP
- DO YOUR RESEARCH FIRST
Before you do anything else, you need to take a few steps back and think very carefully about what it is that you have decided to do.
Namely, is there anyone else offering this service or product and how are you going to do it differently?
Don’t be scared off if there is another painter/ decorator, unicycle trainer or cat beautician in your neighborhood. Most areas have room for two or more in any given profession, but you need to think about how you are differentiating from the competition.
So, if you are opening a café and there is one next door, then make sure it isn’t selling the same type of food.
Actually, even then, your success rate may depend on what the demand is.
It may turn out that in the area you are thinking of opening your pop up sandwich shop, there is a big demand and huge queues spilling out onto the street. But if business in sandwich shop A seems a little sparse, you might want to stop and ask yourself if this is the best location for another one.
In other words, you need to undertake a comprehensive piece of market research first.
- DON’T GO IT ALONE
This is the one piece of stand-alone advice we hear, time and again from our bloggers and entrepreneurs. If at all possible, you want a co-pilot. Ideally, a co-founder to go into this with you. If nothing else, to split the workload with.
Particularly if you are in any sort of service industry where someone has to stand there all day (i.e. in a shop). You will need to split shifts with each other, or double up where necessary. Someone may need to be out, doing other important business whilst the other is left manning the decks.
As a start-up business, you may not yet be in a position to pay people to work for you, so a partner or partners are really essential.
On a personal level, you will need the emotional support and guidance that having someone else’s input provides.
For that reason, we really do advise our entrepreneurs to get their partners, if they have them, on board, at least on an emotional level.
- GET LEGAL
Make sure you are registered with all the local licensing bodies that you need to be, to be compliant with the law in your trade.
This also includes registering your business officially and making sure you comply with employment law… and all the other regulations that go with being a business.
- DON’T GIVE UP THE DAY JOB YET
Unless you have fallen into a bottomless vat of money, at least one of you are probably going to have to keep working, in some capacity, whilst you get your idea off the ground.
Don’t equate starting a business with having to quit your job – for now, anyway.
Once you have got money rolling in and you can cover your living costs, then that is the time to leave your day job.
More than one entrepreneur has had to go crawling back to their boss on bended knee, asking to be reinstated when the cash ran out on their start-up.
Don’t be one of them!