Have you got a winning business idea just waiting to be brought to life? By starting your own business, you’ll be setting your own rules and working the way you want. But how exactly do you start and maintain a successful small business? Here, we offer some tips on how to turn your dream into reality.
Do what you love
So you’ve decided to start your own business – great! There’ll be a lot of blood, sweat and tears along the way, but it’ll be worth it. It’s normal to have to invest a lot of extra hours in the first few years. You’ll find this so much easier if you love what you’re doing. Passion really is the magic word. People who are passionate about their idea, service or product will always be more committed, and commitment can spell the difference between success and failure.
One of the main differences between running your own business and working for someone else is responsibility. Being your own boss means you’re the one in charge of the budget. You’ll have to make decisions on a daily basis as to what you can afford and carefully consider how much to charge for your product or service. It can be sensible at first to work for less than your ideal fee, to build your reputation and client base, but doing this for too long will undermine your balance sheet.
Networking is one of the most effective ways to grow a business. Services such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are all ways to connect with your peers and potential clients online. And most of them don’t cost a penny.
Face-to-face meetings can be even more powerful for forging business relationships. If you attend industry networking events, make sure you have your business cards at the ready. Networking is a skill like any other – the more you practice, the easier it gets.
Get the right advice
Setting up a small business can be daunting. There are some admin and legal hoops that you’ll have to jump through, even before you consider whether to rent an office space or take on any employees. Thankfully, many people have been on this journey before you and there is a great deal of free advice out there.
Working from your home, coffee shop or shared hub can save you a fortune on overheads that you’d otherwise have to spend on premises. As time goes by, you may want to lease a dedicated office space, with room for more employees and a fast, reliable broadband connection. But if your business needs to change suddenly, to meet a new order or adapt to the market, you could be saddled with a long-term contract that’s no use to you anymore. It can be much safer to seek out a pay-as-you-go package, where you only pay for what you use, with minimal upfront costs.
Embrace the cloud
Most start-ups need a dedicated business line, and VoIP telephone systems can be the ideal solution. Since they’re in the cloud, you can add or remove extra phone lines instantly, without the need for expensive and inconvenient visits from an engineer. Find out more in our guide to business VoIP phone systems. You can also discover how VoIP can transform a small business in our case study.