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Running a business means being multi-skilled

To succeed in business you need to be determined and to have a clear, well-planned strategy.

A business plan may be a boring way to start when your keen to get out there and sell you product, but it isn’t just a one-off requirement. Effective business plans live with your business and guide it both short and long-term.

Too busy? Here’s your business in 30 seconds.

  • Your business lives and dies on effective planning
  • Writing a business plan teaches you many of the skills for running a business
  • You will need to be passionate, determined and willing to work HARD
  • Friends and family can be advisers and customers to help kick-start your company
  • Network often, not just with customers but with similar and adjacent businesses
  • Mistakes are also lessons – don’t lose heart!

Plan First

To properly complete a business plan you have to have researched and understood your budget, potential market, production costs, possible pitfalls and opportunities, your competition, expected income and costs and more. As you can probably see, this really equips you to establish and run your business from a place of knowledge and confidence, massively increasing your chances of success.

Here are a few places to look for more advice:

Small Business.Gov Business SupportStart-Up Donut

The following list of Start-Up Tips also contains good ongoing advice. You should try and audit yourself by this list at least yearly. Ask yourself, if you were starting this business today what would you do differently. Would you start this business, or consider it not viable, in which case it’s time to change direction.

Staying alive to changes in the market and the shifts in your own company can help you steer away from trouble and exploit new opportunities.

Start-up Advice

1) Firstly, find out if you have what it takes to be your own boss. How will your skills and personality traits help or hinder your business?

2) Use your existing contacts-family, friends, friends of friends and work colleagues-and ask them about their start-up business experiences. Such information is invaluable and allows you to learn from other peoples’ experiences first hand.

3) Write a business plan. Even if you do not need funding to set up your business, writing a business plan allows you to focus on all aspects of your business in a rational and thorough way.

4) Set yourself short, medium and long-term goals. Write them down and keep them visible. You can evaluate and alter your goals as circumstances dictate and keeping your goals in mind makes you more accountable to take action and lets you move your business forward.

5) Identify who your ideal customers are. Their age, gender and background and why they might buy from you and not from someone else. This will help you decide on your niche market and USP. (Unique Sales Proposition).

6) Develop a network of like-minded people. Working for yourself can be isolating at times so it is really worthwhile connecting with others in a similar situation and sharing ideas and experiences.

7) Outsource some of the business activities you have little or no experience in or struggle with and concentrate on those aspects that you do best. There are plenty of reasonably priced web designers, accountants, IT and marketing experts about. This need not cost a fortune as you may be able to trade your skills and expertise with theirs!

8) Setting up a business for the first time can be a huge learning curve so remind yourself that any mistakes made can be valuable lessons and move on.

9) Ensure you work in a logical and organised fashion. Break larger activities down into more manageable tasks and avoid flitting about from one activity to another. Prioritise tasks in order of importance and work through your daily, weekly, monthly, list.

10) Finally, when the going gets tough, remind yourself of WHY you wanted to set up your business in the first place and think about all the positive rather than negative aspects. As I sit writing this at my desk overlooking my lovely garden with the sun shining down and the birds singing, I absolutely know setting up my coaching practice is the best thing I could have ever done!

This list is courtesy of Wire UK

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