First you need an idea. Maybe you already have one (or two) tucked away that you’ve not told anyone about yet. Actually spend some serious time thinking about these ideas and developing them; however you brainstorm best, go for it. Chat with friends and family and ask them what they honestly think. Do your research. Obviously the internet has boundless information on every known topic under the sun, but don’t forget to get a little old school and speak with real people who have done similar things – ask around and you’ll be surprised to find how big your network already is!
If you have no prior business training and feel the need for some guidance then why not take a short course before you embark on your start-up journey? There are literally thousands of courses available online in all price ranges and many reputable universities also offer short courses (take a look at City University’s ‘Starting Up in Business’ course which runs one evening a week for just 10 weeks and is led by industry experts – who better to give you start up advice?)
There is a government backed scheme in the UK that offers ‘Start-Up’ loans of up to £25,000 to help you get your new business going. The scheme also offers free support and mentoring and help with your business plan. If you decide to go another route, make sure you do at least a few days of thorough research comparing start up business loans and rates to find the best one for you (try sites like Money Supermarket and Go Compare to see what’s out there).
Where to work?
Your work environment is crucial and will directly affect how productive you are. The fabulous news is that a recent global study found that ‘nearly one in three U.K. employees considers working from home to be the most productive’ form of working. The comment they saw again and again was that a lack of distractions from colleagues makes for a much more focused workplace. But for many of us just starting out, our tiny rented rooms are often not the most conducive to a creative workspace. So where do we go? Forget your nearest Starbucks (their coffee is overpriced and not actually very good), there are now tons of amazing workspaces designed for individuals and freelancers and many of them are completely free! If you’re based in London try out the Lobby at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, if you’re hoping to network, or head over to the Barbican, if you just want to keep your head down and get things done; both places are completely free and offer free WiFi.
Track your goals and achievements
Having clear goals and methods for how to achieve these goals will ultimately help your business to grow. One of the best ways to start with your goals is to make sure they are SMART. If you haven’t heard this before the acronym stands for: Specific-Measurable-Achievable-Realistic-Timely. All your goals should be SMART as the acronym is actually designed to give your business project both structure and support whilst also allowing you to easily track your progress. If your goals aren’t smart they will probably be too vague!
Make sure you take time off
So you’ve started a wildly successful business – nice one! But beware of burnout. Successful companies now invest heavily in supporting the mental health of their employees and ensuring that a healthy work-life balance is promoted. If you fail to do this for yourself (and eventually your own employees) you will find that your business will begin to suffer. Sounds like a great excuse for a holiday to me!
Being your own boss is not easy, but in 2019 it’s never been more within your grasp so if you’ve always wanted to start your own business, what’s holding you back? Be selfish, darling!