We tried out a new format at entrepreneur’s club on 26th January as a speaker had not been booked in. A participatory session drawing out the learning of the start-ups that attended: Amanda Simpson, Olive Hamilton Andrew, Lynette St Cyr Caesar, Stephanie Mugo, Jaswant Matharu, Jitendra Maravana, Ish Younas. Four of the start-ups are a year and half older and wiser and together this list was drawn up of tips….
At the end of the session there was a very wise list of guidance:
- PERSONAL GROWTH… to use what you have at home to start your business and keep start-up costs low… STOP THINKING AND START DOING! – keep on moving forward/dont miss opportunities even if not aligned with original plan/keep in the swing of things to avoid being paralysed by fear… connect/piggy-back on other businesses – for premises/for services/to boost clientelle/to fit in with needs for business..be careful about how money is spent/don’t follow everyone else but realistically assess for your business and yourself… acknowledging and respecting your own readiness and needs – to identify new opportunities/time to find own path/not going too fast and messing up.
- COMMUNITY NETWORKING…. find a support group that works for you…. go to networking events – meeting people/learning from people/finding potential business/emotional support/socialising to build up confidence/new ideas… sharing skills – join the Timebank… look for free networks and resources and select the one that is appropriate for your business..
- MARKETING … just start without waiting for a website or logo or company name… its about techniques not technology… Social media – assess for yourself if it is a necessity or not/how much time can you set aside for it realistically?… have a marketing plan… your Unique Selling Point – go beyond customers expectations whether its a service or product.
- TACTICS/STRATEGY … use the people you already know and sell to them first.
- PLANNING AND STRUCTURE… can starts as a sole trader and grow to a limited company… get start-up support – Sophia Hubs and others/meet and discuss your idea/find out as much info as you can/get guidance that is available… get an accountant or bookkeeper or help with any services you cant do yourself…. a business plan is not absolutely necessary to start…. attend business start-up exhibitions…
- RESEARCH AND INFO… obtain the correct certification for your business... if its a new invention or idea – patent it…. get the free information available at City Business Library and Redbridge libraries…. HMRC has good free resources and webinars… make sure there is a market for your business and a demand for it…use the free online COBRA database
Hope it helps!