Now if you think you can read this article and I will give you the next big tip to make millions of money, I’m afraid it doesn’t work that way, otherwise I would have done it myself. What this article will do for you is take you through some of the important steps you need to know in order to start-up your own business, which types of businesses are likely to succeed, where you should be going to get your business noticed and whether you need much capitol to start it off. So let’s get straight to the important stuff:
Get a great idea
The first step to any good business is a great idea or a fantastic product, something that fills a gap in the market that no one else has thought of before. And this is usually the hardest part as if the idea or product is wrong the whole venture is doomed from the outset. You can get inspiration from almost anything in the media, from talking to your friends, from music, beauty products that you feel could be improved upon, nothing should be out of your limits. Consider for example, the Cambridge Satchel Company, a relatively small family run business who took inspiration from the Harry Potter films when they were designing their very own satchel bags. The founder of the company was actually searching online for replicas of the school bags in the Potter films for her children and when she could not find any, decided to produce them herself, believing that there was a wider market for them. She found a reliable supplier to produce the satchels and then emailed fashion editors and bloggers until a few celebrities were spotted out and about with her satchels on their arms. Her latest achievement was an order of 600 for the cast and crew of the hit US series Mad Men.
Make sure your figures add up
How many times have you howled at the contestants on The Apprentice when they had ballsed up the figures, leaving them with a deficit instead of a healthy profit? Me too but when you are bogged down with so many other aspects of running a business, sometimes the easiest calculations can seem like an advanced Math degree. So keep your eyes fixed firmly on your costings and profit margins. Include absolutely everything when you are totting up the expenditures to arrive at a total price for your product or service. That way you won’t be left with any nasty surprises when you finally come to work out what amount of profit you should have left.
Market it Online
Any new businesses that start-up in 2012 should be online, mobile and social as this is where most of the action in the next ten or so years will take place from. In fact, you can expect to see a huge amount of businesses start-up on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. You only have to look at how celebrities such as Kim Kardashian or Katie Price tweet about a new product they have as soon as they want publicity for something they are about to advertise. Of course, none of these celebs rely totally on social networking sites but they do have input into what they do on a daily basis and it is a great way to get your product or service out there. And best of all of course it’s FREE!
Be creative when asking for cash
Banks have changed in the last few years and are now much more reluctant to lend money to new businesses, in fact, they may even tell you that your business is too risky to lend money to. Shazia Awan was told this by her very own bank who refused her a cash loan for her now successful shapewear brand called Peachy Pink. Shazia is a size 14 and never felt comfortable in normal control underwear so she decided to design her own, but without a bank loan she had to use her savings and open up two credit cards to fund it. On the day of her new business launch, she arranged for 50 models to walk down London’s Bond Street wearing nothing but her Peachy Pink shapewear and lo and behold, the pictures were in all the glossies and national newspapers the following day. She was also featured on TV programmes Daybreak and This Morning. Her free advertising strategy had worked and she started selling out immediately. So even though you may not get the funding you require from your bank, it pays to be a little creative in what you do next to get your business up and running. You can also approach friends or former employers, or again use the social networking sites to appeal for investors.
Products or Services?
When it comes down to what sort of thing you are going to sell, a product or your very own services, I would plump every single time for a product as these can be manufactured cheaply, distributed by a third-party and if you actually manage to invent something and get the patent for it, could keep you in pay cheques for a very long time. Selling a service however means that you yourself, or a team organised by you are actually doing something or providing a service and there is only one of you who can only be in one place at a certain time. So you are always going to be limiting yourself if you provide a service.
Finally – it’s all about hard work and what you put into your venture you will invariably get out. But remember, it’s not a charity (unless it is!) and the whole point is that it makes you money so keep an eye on the cash flow and client bases and if you are not making a profit after three years you should really have a rethink about whether the business is destined to be a success or not.