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A New Year and often a new start. If you’re starting your own business, here are 10 top tips to help you succeed…

  1. Do your market research – You don’t need to invent the wheel but you need to know if there is a demand for your service or product. This doesn’t need to be high tech – you could create a questionnaire online or a poll on social media (public not just your friends)
  2. Write a business plan – This can be used to raise finance but more importantly gives you a road map for when you need it.
  3. Check out all your start-up costs – insurance / equipment / products can all add up. Also make sure you look at start-up support which could help with these costs.
  4. Produce a 12 month cash flow forecast and budget – Sounds complicated if numbers are not your thing however it will be vital to ensure you don’t let the numbers get away from you.
  5. Think about buying into a franchise rather than starting a business from scratch – They will provide training / marketing and a brand with a track record.
  6. Check out your competitors – how can you stand out from the crowd?
  7. Use your savings rather than borrow – using savings will keep overall costs down especially for a start up business with no previous financial records, with which to secure a loan.
  8. Never stop marketing – it’s essential. If social media isn’t necessarily for you, then consider outsourcing.
  9. Keep going with the day job – keeping a reliable source of income whilst building up your business will give you security before taking the plunge.
  10. Most importantly – work with a business mentor- your sounding board and critical friend. They can help your avoid the costly issues and help guide and encourage you.

For more information on working with a business mentor, contact Chris Dowling on chris@dowlingconsultants.co.uk or call 07885 685641.