Many people have written to me asking me how to start a business. It’s not that they don’t know what product/service they want to offer; they just don’t know how to move it forward.
They are stuck. Well, the only way to start a business is to just start. Here are a few tips to help you along.
There’s nothing that jump-starts this journey more than a real client. Your business plans may look good on paper, but in the real world, with real people who do not act the way you have projected, your best-laid plans may fall flat. Therefore, consider your first clients your teachers. Accept that you are out to learn, not just sell, and go find them.
Say you were employed as an accountant and now you have started a business selling shoes. If your initial client base is your old network, remember that they will now relate to you differently from how they did when you were employed. Be prepared for some of them to not adopt your new identity and even refuse to help you. You will also have to let go of your identity in your previous career and jump into your new business with verve and enthusiasm.
DON'T LIMIT YOUR NETWORK
Don’t limit who you think your network is; it’s not just the people closest to you. It could be a more distant friend, a teacher, friend of a friend, client in a previous job, the person you met yesterday, ex-boss, etc.
Put yourself out there. The business will not come looking for you (even though you think you have the world’s best product or service); you have to look for it.
Businesses do not thrive in disorder. Be organised. Have somewhere to go work on and think about your business. Most people mistake this for having an equipped office.
This is not so. You can create a work-space in your house. A clear table and a chair is just fine. If you don’t treat this business seriously, it will not produce serious results.
Sit here and make phone calls, send a proposal out, update your business social media pages, make a list of your possible network, schedule meetings, call potential suppliers, etc.
All successful ventures are the result of consistent actions. Start yours. Challenge yourself every day to do something that will grow your business.
It is very easy, in the early stages of a business because you do not have many customers (or any at all), to think you don’t have anything to do, and that’s why nothing ever gets done. But remember, preparation meets opportunity and not the other way round.
Schedule time daily to do these tasks. It will create much needed discipline and give you a sense of progression. These small steps make a difference.