Setting up a new business can be anything but smooth. When you start out it can seem like you are taking risk after risk as you try to get your name out there.
I remember in the first few years of The Money Shed I would do all sorts of things to get noticed and wasted a whole host of cash. I’d pay for the wrong type of advertising, I paid people to write content for me that was riddled with spelling mistakes and I paid for an ‘SEO Review’ that cost me £250 and was sent a generic SEO PDF report that you would get off fiverr for $5!
With all that in mind, I thought I would try and give you 5 top tips for making sure your first few years in business are easier than mine.
1. Don’t go too fast too soon!
It can be very easy to get carried away when you first start out as you want to be all things to all people. It’s important you take things slowly and keep track of where you are spending not only your time but also your money. It’s easy for you to get sidetracked when you are starting out a new business as you try and find which way to take it and during that period it’s very easy to get influenced and lose your original focus so make sure you write down your original aims for the business and stick to them as much as you can.
2. Try to keep tabs on your money
Money will be one of your most valuable assets in the early months. Unless you are starting with a pre-existing audience it can be very hard to gain traction. I found at the start I was overly keen to throw money at things to avoid having to do them myself. That would be anything from writing promotional material to paying someone £250 a month to do my social media when the reality is that if I spent a day or two learning how to do the stuff myself I could have saved a LOT of money.
3. Make sure everything is above board!
It goes without saying that keeping everything legal is the only way to go when you run a business. Try to cut corners and it WILL catch up with you one way or another. Make sure you use websites like http://www.9001simplified.com/ to help keep your ISO standards in check and always make the best use of HMRC and their various toolkits for self-employed people if you are starting out as a sole trader.
4. Talk to your peers
This can be easier said than done but speaking to someone who has been through this journey before can really help keep your reality in check. One such website I used was UKBusinessForum where I not only made a great number of contacts who were in the same boat as myself but I was also able to connect with local UK businesses who could offer me services that could help me. I found out pretty quickly that if you ask for help from people who are working in the same niche as yourself 9 times out of 10 they will do!
5. Accept the fact you will make mistakes!
A lot of people don’t want to hear this and are adamant at the start that they won’t make the same mistakes as their predictors but the reality is that its human nature to learn by doing. I honestly don’t know anyone that runs a business either offline or online that hasn’t made mistakes along their journey and if anything it’s better to make them at the very start than a few years into it when more money is at risk.
No matter what your business I think it’s more important than ever to use the resources available online available to you and these tools just weren’t here 30 years ago so anyone starting out has not only a fantastic opportunity to create their own business but a real opportunity to learn along the way.