Starting new businesses – How Easy Is It?
When starting new businesses, how easy is it?
A common mistake when embarking on going it alone is overlooking that being a businessman-person is a profession in its own right.
Over the years I have seen many superbly qualified people fail in their new businesses. Because no one taught them how to run businesses.
There are many elements to setting up a new venture. The first, of course, is the knowledge of the trade or profession. A carpenter needs to know how to make things from wood and a lawyer must be legally qualified.
So, ready to go! Well, not yet. When I started Officefront, I had c.25 years’ experience in creating & running various new businesses. And, it was still a hard slog
A new businesses structure needs to be formed. Whether to incorporate or not. Where to operate from. How to present the new venture to the world.
Even fledgling new businesses need to have legal & accountancy advice. There are so many laws and regulations imposed by government that must be adhered to. Registering new businesses activity & taxation are tightly supervised. So keeping good records from day 1 is imperative. The accountant can advise on that but can also help the new venture save money.
Another key requirement is to understand people, that is the client and we shouldn’t forget the suppliers. Having a good manner is imperative. People don’t want to deal with anyone ignorant, unpleasant or arrogant.
Different industries have their idiosyncrasies. Some need to be more conservative and others can be much more flamboyant in their presentation. The carpenter can be seen to be home based and working off a mobile phone, on the other hand, the lawyer needs to be seen to be in an office, with a landline.
We are quite relaxed if we call our carpenter and he answers on his mobile with noise in the background. We would not accept that from our legal adviser, we would want their phone answered by someone on a landline. Appearances, no matter what we are being led to believe, DO matter.
After 40 years in the business world having created new businesses most of which were successful I can truly say that the 3 key areas of any success that I have achieved are:
1. Knowledge of what I do 2. Honesty/Reliability 3. Customer feel good factor.
An often-used excuse from tradesmen/professionals which should put anyone off from working with them;
“Sorry, I have been too busy to call you back” and the final total turn off, “Can you call me at a later date and remind me to do the job”. No, we bloody well wont.
If you want businesses to want you, make provision to assure them that your new businesses want them.
With technology & sub contracted services, there is no reason not to take calls. Your outsourced receptionist can take the information and, within a reasonable time, you respond to the person who is going to put food on your table.
As for your business address, there is no reason to be seen as a home worker. No need to give your personal address to compromise your home privacy and your family’s security.
We live in a 247/365 society, making yourself available as much as possible and within realms of reasonability will propel your success.
Here is a short list to tick:
Know your trade or profession
Have good people skills (make people feel that you care)
Be honest & reliable. Your word must be your bond
Look the part, as perceived by your clients & suppliers
Make sure that you have the infrastructure to operate your venture
Tools of your trade (be it a saw or a legal program)
Communications equipment (mobile, landline)
Premises to operate from (home or office or virtual office)
IT, no matter how basic. Emails, social media etc
Invoicing, banking & bookkeeping
Get advice from a lawyer & an accountant. May cost but your businesses will recoup that quickly.
Get your name out via a website, social media and personal intros.
Make sure that when a prospective client contacts you, you have options available with which to receive the calls, emails, texts.
Always remember, the customer has a choice and now they have easy access to your competitors via the Internet: