Do the things you love, and find out how you can make money doing them. The government supports start-ups as agents that prime the economy, and opportunities are abound. For an eager entrepreneur, here are some tips to get your business off to a dynamic start:
- Know your market. Chef Jez Felwick started getting interested in street food, published his own cookbook, and made a business selling meatballs out of his van. Felwick says that he researched the market extensively before he went for it. He read consumer reports, and followed Trendwatching and Mintel to learn how people spent their money.
- Learn about the industry. Ruark Acoustics founder, Alan O’Rourke recommends going to trade exhibits, and speaking to suppliers and potential business partners. Find a list of trade organizations and suppliers per industry from the Taforum. Inquire about permits, certificates, and other requirements that you will need.
- Study possible fund sources. There are government funding assistance programs available for small start-ups. Ask a bank if they offer loans through the “Funding for Lending Scheme”. Or, try asking for loans from family members; requirements may be more relaxed. Terms and interests will be friendlier, too.
- Build your business from the ground up. Starting small and from the ground gives you the correct perspective for your business. UK stand-up club owner, Tommy Sheppard nailed it on the head when he said that it is better to have a small room jam-packed than to have a large venue with a handful of clients. Don’t be bullied by wholesale trading, which suppliers will push on you. Explore online trading to do away with overhead expense.
- Strengthen your customer base. Be visible online. Be where the customers are: social media! Create lively pages on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, and provide links to your website. Apart from your online database of customers, seek out their physical addresses. Send them emails thanking them for their initial purchase, and encourage repeat business.
- Lastly, your business is about your customers’ needs and what you can do to address them. Promote your business and be its ambassador. Invest dynamism and passion. If you play your cards right, those investments will later translate into profit.