Papers, Bills and CoinsWith the current panorama on the jobs market, there is little wonder that increasing numbers of 16-30 year olds are expressing their desire to start up their own interest, as a career plan, rather than try and find traditional employment. Who can blame them, with the job front looking so decidedly grim, it’s not at all surprising that the freedom of choosing your own hours as well as the no holds barred on creativity that freelancing offers, is certainly very attractive. Nevertheless, starting up one’s own business, whatever the domain can very often prove to be a big gamble. People often start up with unrealistic expectations and many new businesses hit the rocks within the very first year. Nevertheless, provided you follow a series of tips, or good advice, deciding to start up your own enterprise need not be such a leap into the dark.
As just mentioned, one of the first mistakes often made by those ambitious but somewhat naïve people who decide to take the plunge is that of underestimating the endeavour. That is why you should do two things:
1:Save up for as long as possible before you start out, because, especially in the first year, you will most probably not make a profit and you will definitely have to make hefty investments to give your business at least half a chance of success. Many people make the mistake of loaning money from family, friends, and banks, expecting to make profits within the first year. This rarely happens, and you could end up setting yourself up for a fall, with the people you have loaned from withdrawing their money or not wanting to keep funding, what they see as a flop.
The key, is, rather to: No 2: start of SMALL, don’t rent an office if you can work from home, a garage, a tree house, or an attic and don’t take on any staff until you need to and keep them busy enough for it to be worthwhile. You can use temporary staff or contractors as a stop gap, but having reduced overheads at the very beginning will afford you the luxury of making all of those rookie mistakes, without a whole sum of borrowed money being at stake. You will be able to make your mistakes and learn from them without the pressure of such high stakes. Even if business is steady in the first year, the chances are you will still have to keep making big investments in marketing and advertising and running costs to maintain this, and therefore, your savings cushion will prove pretty vital.
The third tip…….is, given that we live in the Facebook and twitter age; to embrace social media. Yes, it’s true; it’s what every new business knows they should be doing but still dreads kicking off … Here again you can start small, look at what your competitors and other related players in your industry are doing, and, at the start at least copy or re-post industry news, and information. You are not obliged to be on EVERYTHING, start off with one or two social media applications; i.e., as we’ve already mentioned them, Facebook and twitter, it is far better to spend an hour a week on two than trying to keep up with 5 and giving up and not doing any. Keep it simple: simple posts, updates, spend that hour, once a week, and make sure your presence is constant and that you are keeping abreast of what your customers are doing, what pages they are ‘liking’ and what they are re’@tweeting’ , and try to take inspiration from it.
At the end of the day, it’s all a learning process, but we are human beings at the end of the day, so provided we set the ground rules and make sure we avoid either running away with ourselves, or chickening out of things because we’ve taken on too much, then we should all, as creatures of habit, be able to build a successful business, and use social media to grow it.
A final word on the specific needs of small businesses: you might think that some things, such as for example insurance, is just something big enterprises should think about. But in the long run insurance can really pay off. If you want to have additional tips or learn about insurance options you can visit this page and get information about indemnity insurance from Hiscox.