1. Your New Business Must Fulfil A Need Not A Want
It's always easier to sell a product or service that cures your customer's pain than just satisfies a want. Thing of what you sell in terms of how it can remove something that they don't want.
2. Utilise Your Best Skills
Imagine you are a recruitment agent recruiting You. What would they consider to be your best skill, the thing you can earn the most at? When was the last moment you really shone at what you did? What do you really love doing? How do you spend your leisure time? Get a pen and paper and before you know it you will be bursting with ideas.
3. Learn How To Run Your New Business For Free
Your local library and the internet have huge amount of free business resources. Business Link has an invaluable website businesslink.gov.uk. Your local Chamber of Commerce requires a subscription fee but has valuable resources such as free business mentoring and networking events. Startup Britain startupbritain.org has a free enterprise calendar listing events for entrepreneurs.
4. Make Your New Business Plan Flexible
It's easy to become disillusioned because you have set your sights too high. Make sure you set yourself realistic targets which will motivate you. Break your marketing plan into bite-sized chunks and 'to do' lists based on ways to get to your targets.
5. If You Have A Job, Keep It
Start your business in your spare time, and work in evenings and weekends. This will help create the discipline you need to keep the business going once it starts expanding, and if the new business doesn't work out you have something to fall back on.
6. Use Free Resources To Set Up And Promote Your Website
Domain names are generally really cheap (£10-£15) and once you have decided on yours, WordPress can be downloaded free from wordpress.org. Use social media to spread the word. No longer is it true to say 'build it, they will come', but you can help yourself by spreading the word using free accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
7. Turn Fixed Costs Into Variable Costs
As a start-up, you can't afford to get saddled with fixed costs, but by out-sourcing, you can enjoy benefits at prices to suit your fluctuating cash flow. Examples are hiring meeting rooms by the hour, staff by the day.
8. Do Everything Yourself
'Meet the Marketing Director, Finance Director, Operations Director and Sales Director' That's You, at least until you can earn enough money to support others. A harsh reality, but the only way to build up cash reserves to grow your business.
9. Use The Resources You Already Have
Do you have a spare corner at home? Welcome to your home office. Does your local café have wireless internet? Your new meeting room? Is your laptop a bit old? Make do for now. What better incentive to generate those first few sales than the thought of up-grading.
10. Don't Be Shy About Getting Customers To Pay
If it is normal in your industry to ask for some money up front make sure you do too, but even more important, don't leave doing your invoices until to the last thing on your list. Happy customers will expect to pay for a good job done.
Claire Georghiades, Director of Accounts Resource Limited
If you have a great idea for a new business, and would like some help from people who have been there AND won 'The Best Start-Up Award' at the Richmond Business Awards 2012, we provide a FREE one hour consultation on Skype to help get you started. Get in touch for more information!