10 tips to start your own business

This is one of the most popular questions I have had as an entrepreneur over the last decade in most editorial interviews. Essentially, in all its forms, the main question is: How did you start your own business? What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? If you read between the lines, most editorials are trying to drill out a pattern of entrepreneurship success or understanding for their readers to answer the all important questions most aspiring entrepreneurs have, which is: How do I start a business?

I generally think the answer is quite simple and complex at the same time. For the most part, you start because you start!

Oftentimes, this question is quickly followed by where to begin to become an entrepreneur?
So I have come up with my top 10 tips to start your own business and get your idea going:

1. Get yourself a notepad and pen dedicated to your new business. This is where you will note down all your thoughts, hopes, expectations, dreams, references, etc. It need not be in any particular order but, as it comes, just note it down. Studies have shown that, when we write down (pen to paper), we feel more committed. A great first step if your idea has been living in your head for a while.

2. Review your notes and ideas and then categorise what you have written down. What sort of business do you have? Is it a product or a service?

3. Identify why you are doing it. Be brutally honest! This is probably more important than the first two steps. Your ‘why’ is important because it is your personal motivation and the reason you will be investing your time and energy into this idea. People start businesses for all sorts of reasons so there is no right or wrong answer that will qualify you to keep going and change your life.

4. Make a list of businesses who are #winning at your idea. What do you like about what they are doing? What successes have they achieved that you admire? What would you like to emulate? How is your idea different or special? What you do dislike about what they do? What is their history and where did you find them? How long have they been in business? (this is to keep your expectations realistic, great successful businesses are much older than we think and require much more work than we imagine).

5. Make a list of all the people your product or service is for. Gender, their lifestyles, where they might find you and, ultimately, what problem they may have that your product or service is going to solve (if you do not have a problem that your product or service offers a solution to, please repeat tips 1-4 till you do.)

6. Open your web browser, select your search engine of choice and type in a few of your questions, such as How to register a business in ‘your area’. You will be surprised how much information the Internet provides.

7. For everything you encounter that you are unsure of, most service providers that deal with company registration have representatives that are trained to help you navigate through the process. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call.

8. Collate your visual references in an easy accessible place to make up a moodboard, as you will need this later. My preference is Pinterest (my friends and family reading… yes, I did just put it in a post)

9. The Internet for its knowledge is also real estate, if you have names swirling around now, open your web browser, select your search engine of choice and type in all the names you have in mind (this is helpful so you do not end up building around an existing business that shares your name).

10. Once you are decided, buy your domain name, reserve your name on all social media platforms that you are currently and actively using (if you are unsure how to do this, use step 6)

There are definitely and infinitely more steps to go but the nature of a business is forever evolving.

If you have been procrastinating, the 10 tips above should hopefully help you create enough real estate to inspire you to make it through to the next 10 steps.

Let me know below if you are interested in exploring these together and if you have any questions that you would like me to answer about entrepreneurship life.

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