Some of us are fortunate to have more time during these times. Despite warnings about the economy and the loss of mass jobs, this has unexpectedly resulted in more and more people starting their own businesses. Nearly half a million businesses were launched in the UK between March and September 2020, an increase of 44,500 over the same period in 2019, according to the Center of Entrepreneurs. Many switch careers due to job loss, are busy while on vacation, or want to turn their hobby or side hustle into a business, with the gig economy for some time and the rise of influencers. But many of us are becoming multi-hyphenators, turning what we enjoy into stable income, especially now that most of us work from home.
I’m no different Lockr Space was born out of my love for fitness and sport and the importance of sustainability, which has led to my goal of offering functional, high-quality and sustainable sportswear. Taking the step of starting your own business is a big decision on whether to start your empire or temporarily set it up as a lockdown business. There are a few small steps that can make a huge difference and get you on the right foot – from finances to confidence. Here are some tips I learned from starting my own.
Keep up to date!
As clichéd as it sounds, reading informative books or looking up business resources online is a good place to start, especially if you have no business experience. Spending an hour or two a day researching or looking for role models or other entrepreneurs who have successfully made a similar transition is a great way to avoid their mistakes and help us identify the real issues in our areas rather than the assumed ones.
Bills, bills, bills
Finances and the cost of starting and running a business are common deterrents. You may be lucky enough to have savings and support for the family, or to be able to continue working full-time to cover expenses or invest in the company. There are many alternatives such as grants, VC funding, and accelerator programs that can lead to an introduction to investors. In addition, many municipalities and LEPs (Local Enterprise Partnerships) have set aside money for start-ups. Depending on the type of business you’ve started, you may want to allow customers to pre-order your services or goods to cover costs. However, regardless of your business, budgeting and financial planning are important. Similar to the above, however, there are a plethora of free resources and templates that you can use to monitor your expenses, income, and expenses.
Entrepreneurs are not perfect
Your plan or strategy doesn’t have to be perfect to start, as it is very likely to evolve. I also had a misunderstanding that you need to be business capable, have an MBA, or know everything about the sector you have chosen. Mistakes will happen and problems will arise, but you will learn from all of these experiences.
Look into your immediate circle
You would be surprised how many resources are available to you. Ask your friends and family for assistance. You may have a relative who is an expert in accounting, someone who is extremely knowledgeable about website building, or a cousin who wants work experience or an internship. Not only is this a great way to cut costs early on, but it also helps keep you motivated since you have people in your corner.
Don’t turn your passion into a chore
Hobbies and sideline activities usually have positive connotations. For example, exercise and fitness have always been a passion of mine and now it’s the core of my business. It is very easy for your passion to become a chore as it transitions into business processes, customers, sales, etc. So it is important to check in and ask yourself why you are doing this. Are there simple steps you can take to switch off and make sure you keep that passion alive between work and pleasure? Before the lockdown, I played 5v5 soccer every Sunday to get out of business and I swear to push myself forward with at least one form of exercise every day from the start of the year. In most cases, when you are emotionally invested in something, you will work even harder, but that can easily become a thorn in your side. So keep in mind that keeping your passion is okay and that work can be completely separate. Don’t lose what got you started.
For those of us fortunate enough to succeed or make progress in starting a business, there are difficult days, especially at a time when many are suffering, but are celebrating the small achievements and keep striving.
This was published in the news section of Bdaily by Lockr Space.