Want to start your own business in 2018? Here are 6 things you need to do first…

Start up business team meeting working on digital tablet new business project

If you’ve been dreaming of starting your own business, the beginning of the new year is the perfect time to get cracking, and put those plans into action.

We’ve put together a list of tips for getting your business up and running this year.The idea of starting your own business can be intimidating – but once you’ve overcome your initial doubts and the minor hurdles associated with getting started, it can be very rewarding. So, what are the main things to remember in the initial phase of starting a business?

1. Know your market

First you need to establish your market and audience. Is your product or service responding to a certain problem or gap in the market? Who are you competitors, if any? Ask yourself these questions and keep a log of everything you can learn from competitors, or the people who you are hoping will buy into what you’re selling. This is the building block for everything you’re going to do from here on in, from branding the product or service and choosing social media platforms, to pricing.

2. Absorb and learn everything

Listen, listen, listen. You can learn so much from listening to people’s opinions on establishing a business, or on your idea. Ask friends and family what they think of your concept, and ask them to be honest in their response. Ask people you know who have started their own business in the past and have been successful for tips. Ask people who have started a business which has been unsuccessful for things to avoid doing. You don’t need to accept everything you’re told as fact or something necessarily relevant to you, but it’s handy to store up a bank of information to consult when needed.

Business people walking up a flight of stairs

3. Make a plan

This one may sound obvious, creating a business plan covering finance, marketing and strategy is key to make your business a success. You also need to know whether your idea is viable, or whether you’ll be investing all your time and money into something that will have little to no return. Getting a business plan made is a great launching pad for all the subsequent steps in building your business.

4. Get social sorted

These days, the two most important things you need for starting a business are a laptop and a smartphone. Why? Because social media has swept the marketing world and become the most important tool with which to market your services and products. So, take it from us: get social-literate, and begin planning your social media strategy. What platforms will you use? How often will you post? Will you have a website with a blog? Take some time to plan your social media – it’ll be well worth it.

You can find online courses in digital marketing and social media, often quite cheaply. They’re definitely worth checking out for a booming social presence!

5. Consider a launch event

Launch events don’t have to be expensive, and are a great way to boost engagement and knowledge of your product early on. They’re also a great way to get creative. Are you producing and selling a new kind of water bottle for runners? Why not organise a run? Charge an entrance fee, and gift a water bottle to all who enter. And bam! People are already experiencing your great products, and hopefully gushing about them to everyone they know!

Ask around and get help from local businesses and friends who can help you launch your product. You’d be surprised how supportive people can be.

6. Confront your doubts

It’s natural to feel doubtful and nervous as you’re beginning to plan your new business – it’s a lot of responsibility and will often take up 90% of your time building and running it. However, it can also be a real pay-off, and if you love your job, you won’t mind throwing all your effort into keeping it moving. When you’re feeling doubtful or fretful about anything, don’t just push the thoughts away; confront them. Write down potential problems or worries, and, off the top of your head, jot down a potential solution or even the name of someone to chat to for advice. Getting things off your mind and down on paper is a great way to avoid stress, plus, solving your problems as you go along will make things much easier in the long run. So, don’t just confront your doubts; banish them too.

 

Posted by The Secret Businessman