Setting up on your own can seem like a daunting prospect, so we've broken it down into the three absolutely key things you need to think about before you take the plunge as an entrepreneur.
Business is about people – talk to people as much as you can. You don’t have to give lots of details away, but simply having a conversation with someone about whether they would or wouldn’t use your product, or how much they would pay for it is a form of market research and it’s also free! You can do this by talking to friends and family over drinks or dinner and it’s better to get feedback sooner rather than later to help develop your business. Networking is well known to be a key aspect of business and you never know who knows who or where your next customer or useful contact might come from, so always be friendly and ready to smile in business.
A bank or potential investor may ask to see your business plan, but what’s the point of one and what are they looking for? A business plan is as much for you as it is for a potential investor. It shows you have thought about your business and the key aspects such as costs, competitors and customers. Writing a plan will make you more aware of your business environment and help you to anticipate any problems. In turn, this should give potential investors the confidence they need to invest. And remember, whether or not you get the investment, you are bound to have a better idea about how to run your business having written the plan, so you may not need them after all.
Understand what it is that your business has to offer as well as what is of value to the customer – if you are able to get both these elements right, you will have a pretty good chance of having a successful business. You may be focused on making your first sale, but it’s also good to think about what will help that customer make a second purchase? Is it something that adds on to your first product, something that continues the theme within the product range, or simply that the customer requires more quantity? There is no guarantee that a customer will spend their money with you again, so think beyond just that one sale and how you can make them return.
Harveen Chugh is a talent scout for The Sirius Programme, a pioneering scheme run by UKTI to bring the world’s best entrepreneurial talent to the UK.
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