Ten tips for starting a business

By: James Archer

Date: 1 October 2012

Ten tips for starting a business/start up text on keydoard{{}}Setting up your own business can be tricky. The amount of questions flooding your mind can be overwhelming – Who are my target customers? How much stock do I need? Where should I set up? The list can go on and on. If you're starting to give up on your dream, fear not! Hopefully, the following 10 tips might help you…

1 Make sure there is demand

Proving a service that people want or stocking items that will sell might seem like an obvious point, but you'd be surprised how often small businesses fail because they are offering something that ticks neither of those boxes.

2 Lower your expectations

Opening a business, especially if it's your first, can be a head rush. In the excitement, lots of people get too carried away to see the bigger picture. Ask yourself simple questions: Do I really need that much money to start my business? Do I really need this much stock? That attitude will keep your feet on the ground and help you save money.

3 Location, location, location

Location is a more important consideration for some businesses than others. Make sure that you're not too hard to find, or you might lose out on customers. For example, a craft shop might benefit from being located away from the hustle and bustle, but it might not suit a cafe. Think of the lunchtime rush!

4 Stake out the opposition

A spot of espionage is crucial. Find your rivals; check them out; and see what works for them and what doesn't. Then think about what you would do better, and how you can not only emulate their success, but better it.

5 Create a quality website

If your website is shoddy, people will pass by your business quicker than the tinny click of their mouse. Even if you have to pay someone to design your site, it will be worth it.

6 Know what you’re talking about

Again, this might seem obvious. No matter what you're doing, make sure you install confidence in customers by being able to answer any questions that come your way. It's a crucial skill.

7 Check out online forums

The internet is likely to be full of people talking about your area of business. Spend some time looking through posts to see if you can pick up any useful hints.

8 Go to trade shows

Trade shows are a great way to show off to potential customers. They can also be useful ways to snoop on the opposition!

9 Don’t be afraid of big ideas

Taking risks is the lifeblood of a successful business. A quirky promotional campaign or an unusual service on offer can really help small businesses find their feet.

10 Spread the word

More often than not, word of mouth can be a great way to get people interested in what you’re selling. Keep reminding your friends, parents and partner to spread the word!

  • This has been a guest post by James Archer writing for Hill Interiors

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