Tag Archives: start-up

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young professional, young entrepreneur,

5 Killer Tips Young Entrepreneurs Need To Know

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Has it crossed the minds of the young people  in your life to set up a business?

There’s always a lot of pressure on the younger generation. Young people are unemployed. Young people find it harder to get on the property ladder. Young people are rude. Young people are lazy. At times that seems like the general consensus on the news and in the media but, according to The Guardian, UHY Hacker Young found there were 26,420 companies with a director aged 21 or under in the UK in 2015.

We’re in the business of helping businesses grow- that means enterprises that are in their infancy or long established, led by entrepreneurs young and old. With that in mind we’ve put together five killer tips young entrepreneurs should have in their arsenal if they’re considering launching a start-up- after all we’re depending on them to pick up the entrepreneurial mantle and carry on innovating, (no pressure!).

 

#1 Lasting Passion 

This tip isn’t just limited to young budding business men and women but all entrepreneurs. For your business to be successful you’re going to be pouring a lot of effort, energy and hours into it and making sacrifices, such as when it comes to your social life. If you set out to just make money, or launch a business just to say you have or just to be your own boss, eventually you’ll end up resenting and regretting it, especially as most successful entrepreneurs live and breathe their business.

Be passionate about your business idea from the word go. Make sure your business notion is one that you look forward to working on when you wake up, that brings a smile to your face not a groan. Ensure it’s a passion that will withstand the test of time. Have a zest for your idea, confidence in it and you stand a chance at success.

 

mentor, business, support

Valuable Insight: Your mentor can help you steer clear of business mistakes.

 

#2 Maximize Your Mentor

Owner and CEO of PilmerPR, John Pilmer recommends finding a mentor on Entrepreneur and we couldn’t agree more! Your tech and social media knowledge might be great, you might be even greater, and your idea might be the greatest but what you can’t possibly have as a young person is experience. Experience is a valuable thing. It teaches us how to avoid making mistakes, especially the same ones we have made before, and avoids wasting our time and taking unnecessary risks.

So why not find a trustworthy and knowledgeable mentor who’s been around the business block a few times? Glean all insight you can from their experiences, shadow them at work, observe, keep in regular contact with them, and take their advice on board. Having more than one mentor isn’t greedy either as we’ve all had different experience and picked up different tips along the way.

Who knows maybe your mentor’s business advice could save you from business suicide…

 

#3 Do Your Homework… And Then Some

Everyone knows starting a business involves some element of risk so why not take the riskiness out of risks? Our blog post ‘Are You A Riskaphobe?’ reveals how to turn a potentially dangerous chance into a ‘careful risk’ (and no it’s not a paradox!) but the crux of it is: never underestimate the value of doing extensive research.

Research the industry you’re going into, find out if there’s room in the market for your product, familiarise yourself with the competition and get to know your target customer inside out. That way you’ll be prepared for anything, give a great first impression to investors and people you sell your business idea to.

Startups cite the British Library’s Business and IP Centre in London for unlimited access to an abundance of market research and all for free!  They have centres  through the central libraries in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield if you’re not located near the capital.

 

#4 Have A Plan A…And Plan B

You’ve heard the saying “failure to prepare is  preparing to fail” right? Having a solid business plan can help you feel confident with the knowledge that you’ll be prepared for all eventualities and have a back-up. It can also prevent you from over estimating your budget and limits, whilst setting out bite-sized steps for you to follow to bring your business to life.

The Prince’s Trust offers some great business plans to help you get started…you can even ask your mentor for a hand!

 

business plan, business idea, success

Route to success: A business plan can keep you in check and make growing your business less daunting.

 

#5 Face-to-face is the way Forward.

Though social media is a powerful tool and a nifty way of reaching a lot of people to spread the word about your business for next to no cost, don’t underestimate the value of face-to-face networking. One day having that personal touch and taking the time and effort to follow up with prospective could help them travel that last part of their customer journey to signing up to your company’s services.

Building relationships with like-minded people can also mean you have support when you experience set-backs and people to celebrate with as your business grows.

If you’re based near us in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, there’s a great networking event held on the last Friday of every month called Young Professional Fridays– why not pop along?

For more advise on how to succeed in business contact us on 01484 401737 today or email support@thebusinesshub.uk.com. 


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business idea, start-up, entrepreneur, idea, business

Top 5 Signs Your Business Idea Will Take Off

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Ideas are often great in our minds- in fact they’re epic. We’re ll James Bonds of espionage, Alan Sugar’s of business and Bill Gates of tech in our heads, but that’s all it is…all in our head. This is until we have a light bulb moment, an epiphany, a spark that this idea that we have might actually work as a fully fledged, successful, profitable, *insert positive adjective here* business venture.

Although our motto might be ‘Making it Happen,’ before anyone embarks on making their enterprising plan a solid reality there’s a few catches. As Entrepreneur contributor and founder of AudienceBloom, Jayson DeMers outlines there are some obvious risks and sacrifices involved when hopping aboard the entrepreneur express. You can kiss goodbye to the stability of a steady pay cheque as you pour your savings into trying to break even let alone make a profit straight away, wave farewell to sleep and a social life as your new start-up demands more of your time, energy and effort and you can say ‘laters’ to a stress-free life when you have product launch deadlines to meet and investors to impress.

Clearly, going into business isn’t a decision to be taken likely so we’ve put together five indicators that your brilliant idea is actually feasible and might take off…before you get too carried away.

Sign One: Remember that kids’ film Robots, where the main character and budding innovator Rodney’s inventor idol’s motto is ‘see a need, fill a need’?  A new product or service should solve an issue. The secret to a halfway decent business idea is the fact that it offers some sort of solutions. Consumers love answers, efficiency and ease. Ask yourself does your grand plan make life easier for people? Even more importantly, if your idea does solve a problem, ask the question does it resolve a dilemma big enough to make people sit up and pay attention and part with their hard earned cash?

Sign Two: Identify if a strong niche market exists for your product/idea. Just like Goldielocks and The Three Bears, you don’t want a market that’s too wide and diverse as you can’t make enough noise and compete with large corporations that appeal to broad markets and you don’t want a market that’s too niche and narrow that’s too obscure to generate any interest in your proposal. You want a market that’s just right enough for you to seem unique and stand out, preferably one with one or two companies already offering a similar service or product, so you can offer the consumers in that market a better alternative.

 

idea, business, start-up, start up, entreprenuer

Tweaking & Planning: Your idea will need a lot of adapting and researching before you Make It Happen.

 

Sign Three: You wouldn’t buy from someone that didn’t seem credible or hire a builder to renovate your house when they didn’t have any relevant qualifications to back them up would you? Having knowledge, skills and passion in your chosen business niche is essential for it to be plausible. It isn’t advisable to just set up a furniture company, say because it’s the ‘in’ thing to do or because your friends reckon it’s a good idea. After all, you will be sacrificing a lot of your spare time to get your enterprise off the ground so having a background in the services you plan to offer or enjoying creating the intended product is a must in order to be taken seriously.

Step Four: Have you tested your idea and has it passed with flying colours? Holding focus groups and conducting surveys and interviews with your target market, who will be more objective and beneficial to obtain feedback from than biased family and friends, can help determine if your idea is destined to be a flop or not- before you invest your time and energy into it.

You may have to carry out this market research around your day job in your free time but it’s worth it. You’ll have to be prepared to use your own money to fund the research, though grants may be available and things like polls on social media are free and can potentially reach a wide range of people. Be willing to implement this feedback and don’t be too proud or put-out to tweak and adapt your idea- after all what’s the point in offering a product no-one wants? Not taking constructive criticism on board is business suicide.

Step Five: Earlier this month we published a post offering tips on how to blow investors or potential clients away with a killer pitch. Somewhere down the line if you really want your idea to be a reality you’re going to have to sell your business proposal, show other people why it’s got legs, convince them that saying ‘yes’ to it is the best decision they’ll make. So ask yourself- ‘even though my idea solves this brilliant, complex and challenging problem, can I sum it up in a concise way that everyone – from a stay-at-home mum to a pensioner – can grasp what it’s about and what it’s trying to achieve?’

We don’t want to be bubble bursters so don’t be too disheartened if this particular business idea doesn’t work out as a viable notion- it just might not be the right time or place to launch the particular product or service you are considering. No one has an oracle, crystal ball or an all-seeing knowledge of the future and people and the marketplace can be unpredictable, but the above signs should go someway in telling you if it’s a smart move to invest in your idea and embrace entrepreneurship.

 

 


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The Price of Undervaluing Your Skills

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Did you start out in business on your own? Most business owners did- whether it be copy-writing from their spare bedroom or running a cake retail enterprise from their kitchen. Perhaps now your business has grown and you employ and outsource some of your business needs and jobs to others who you know can do it better than yourself or maybe you’re one of the cogs that keep a business ticking over by fulfilling your job role well?

In one of our previous blog posts “Ditch the Juggling Act”  we noted how important it was for business owners to delegate as you just can’t do your best for your business when you’re trying to spin so many plates. Delegating itself is a skill, one especially important for business owners. So, too is ‘real listening’ reckons James Cowan, Editor-in-chief of Canadian Business, one that he thinks is all too undervalued.

‘Undervalued’ is the key word here. Why is it we undervalue the skills we have? In the same way that we British people are never known for accepting compliments generously and honestly paid to us, we’re never comfortable to blow our own trumpet about our skills, shout about them or even own up to having them.

Blogger Ali Luke on productiveflourishing.com chalks this apparent modesty up to the fact that we might have had and been practicing our skills for so long that we no longer register them as special. Instead, we take them for granted. A person who has been organising events since they were a child for friends, then as voluntary work as a teenager, progressing to Events Management at PR company as an adult will think their organisation skills are nothing spectacular as by then they are pure instinct…

but those skills are still unique and should valued as such by you and be reflected by how much you charge for them or get paid for using them, especially given your experience…

 

knowledge, skills, undervalued

Awareness: Making your skills known at work can help you company prosper.

 

We can probably take an educated guess at what skills a successful business leader or CEO needs to have even without being one or what talents we, as employees have that help the business we work for move forward. As business owners, we need to be able to identify what skill-gaps exist in our companies. Info Entrepreneurs outline all the skills business owners and growing businesses require to thrive but ask yourself what skills do you have? Are they numbers and analysing? Marketing and promotion, or organising and admin? Ideas and strategy?

Wherever your gifts lie, you may be a cog that keeps your employer’s business going but you’re also a vital asset to that organisation, so more than a mere part in the proverbial business machine. Think about it- you were hired for a reason. You’ve kept your job for a reason. Ask yourself: “What couldn’t they do without me?” Another good idea is to consider what type of work doesn’t get done or completed to the usual high standard whilst your away from work, on holiday for example.

Paying the Price

 

Inc.com’s Elizabeth Wasserman  provides a handy and in-depth guide brimming with tips on how to price your business services and what things to consider. It’s important to take into account a number of factors listed in the guide when pricing up your services as when you overcharge customers won’t take your seriously and are likely to mock your business venture. Under charge and clients will probably take advantage and offer to pay even less than your initial fee, warns business writer, Jaimy Ford on quickbooks.intuit.com.

We all want what’s best for the company we work for or own and actually, not confessing to having certain skills could be doing your place of work a disservice and be costing them dearly. This isn’t an attempt to guilt trip you or encouragement to fess up to that secret poetry talent you have. It is a good idea to make your boss or colleagues aware that you have a certain relevant talent though. If you’re keen on photography your company might not have to hire an expensive professional photographer. Instead, you could be responsible for taking product shots of your company’s goods alongside your regular duties as say, an Advertising Manager.

Part of our 90 Day Business Transformation programme, involves helping the business owners we coach get clarity on what they offer and refocus their pricing strategy. Sometimes just reminding yourself of your skills can help you value them more in the long run. So go on, take some time to think about what makes you, unique, and a valuable asset. 

 


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