5 Lessons for Starting a New Bussiness

by Mark Sharron

Starting their own business, is one way to get a job for young people with youth unemployment at record highs.

Why not employ yourself by setting up a company instead of waiting for someone else to hire you?

However, during an economic downturn, how do you launch a business?

Peter Day is a presenter of In Business at Radio 4and over the years he has interviewed a lot of young start-up entrepreneurs and here he recaps the words of advice he has received from them regarding the DIY route.

LESSON 1: HARD TIMES ARE GOOD TIMES TO START A BUSINESS

According to the start-up entrepreneurs, at any time not only during times of recession it’s difficult to start a business however their significant business idea is so special, so focused and so niche that they pull themselves together and just get on with it.

During a downturn the upside of starting a business, as the economic climate improves, is that things can only get better. During the difficult times, you will have learnt a lot in comparison to the easier ones.

Steve Barnes, who is the co-founder of Appetise.com, which is a start-up online fast food delivery service have told us that he has just experienced economic gloom, however this obstacle hasn’t prevented him from actualizing his ambition.

LESSON 2: FOCUS ON THE IDEAS STARING YOU IN THE FACE

Using business school tools like sector research or market analysis, a lot of people go about and eventually find their niche.

If you have a personal need, consider establishing a business based on that need provided that the current suppliers aren’t properly addressed.

You fill the gap while experiencing it in the marketplace. It doesn’t sound so difficult right?

For businesses, campuses of different universities are full of ideas. For instance, David Langer co-founded Group Spaces while still at Oxford University.

For Oxford University clubs, it began as a service that was designed to make life easy for treasurers and secretaries, trying to admin for hobby groups, societies and clubs.

LESSON 3: YOU ALREADY HAVE THE TOOLS YOU NEED

Most students and most homes are already equipped with plenty of tools needed by any business in order to reach a global audience right from the get-go.

Nowadays, university leavers and many schools have their own machines because computer power is quite cheap while a few years back this kind of processing power was considered unimaginable.

At minimal cost, laptops can edit movies or sound, keep records of all the details regarding a start-up business and design software.

The connectivity of Internet provides a start-up entrepreneur with an opportunity to collaborate with video conferencing at a cheap prices, which is definitely a breakthrough.

LESSON 4: CASH IS KING

Money is always important when you try to start any kind of business: from a bank loan, angel investors, relatives and savings. At the moment, the first choice is extremely difficult.

I have met several start-up entrepreneurs who in order to get their business up and running, they only needed credit card loans.

Warren Bennett is a 30-year old entrepreneur who is also the co-founder of the eminent tailoring service A Suit That Fits, which has been in the market for 6 years and each year it sells more than 15,000 suits.

In Nepal, while volunteering as a teacher he had the idea when he came across a great local tailoring business.

By asking customers to pay in advance and only through credit card loans, A Suit That Fits was funded. This type of business doesn’t live off bank borrowings but cash-flow.

LESSON 5: TELL YOUR STORY

In my opinion, young entrepreneurs have the ability to tell the story of their business as well as their own. In addition, they know which need they are trying to address with their businesses.

Spontaneous Portraits is a company that is run by a 27-year-old Birmingham native Arnold Sebutinde.

His story is compelling and helped him get a mentor and funding form the Prince’s Trust.

Story-telling is an important part of the management of any business, but as companies get bigger and bigger it gets neglected.

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