How To Start A New Business
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Here we are again at the beginning of a brand-new year!

This time of year often makes people take stock of their lives and create new goals. If you’ve decided that this year is going to be the year you start your own business, you might be wondering where you should even start.

Last year we posted a blog called Business Goals for The New Year – but what if you don’t yet have a business? What if starting a business is your goal for this year?

You might be thinking:
• How do I start?
• Where do I begin?
• What do I need to consider?
• Am I even capable of doing this?

This blog will apply to you if you’re starting a business from scratch or if you’re looking to include a new venture in your business.

There are times in life when it’s best not to overthink or plan, and instead just dive in with both feet. Starting a business is not one of them! When starting a business, planning and carefully considering your options is the best way to ensure success in the long term.

Read on to discover what you should consider and keep in mind as you take your first steps into the unknown.

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I won’t lie to you – there are going to be tough times ahead if you go ahead with starting a business. There will also be brilliant, bright, happy times, but tough times, nonetheless.

Having a reason why at the forefront of your mind can help keep you going when you find yourself getting bogged down and stressed.

It’s a good idea to make sure that your ‘why’ is tangible in some way – consider writing it down somewhere visible or even create a vision board. Your reason for embarking on this business journey will help keep you on the right path when you feel as though you’re struggling!

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“Finance” can be a scary word. If you’re not a mathematically minded person, you might shy away from the whole idea of budgeting and just keep your fingers crossed that it will work out.
You can do a task simply for the love of it, but that won’t pay the bills. For your business to be sustainable long-term, it needs to generate income.

Carefully planning out your finances is a must if you are going to take a leap of faith into the unknown.

• How are you going to stay afloat if you go through a rough patch?
• Do you have the money necessary to get things off the ground?
• Will you make enough to cover your expenses but also make a living for yourself?

If you haven’t already, you might be interested in reading our blog “How to Maintain a Healthy Cash Flow” which should give you a good starting point!

If you don’t know where to begin, it might be worth looking into finding an accountant or business coach who can guide you through what you’ll need to do to make sure you keep your finances in check.

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In a world where new businesses are created daily, what is going to make you stand out? Why should someone come to your business instead of another?

Don’t think of your USP (Unique Selling Point) as purely a marketing ploy – think of it as an opportunity to have a lot of fun. Creating a business that is unique and doing something no one else does can be incredibly rewarding.

Your individuality could be something that you offer that no one else does, or that you offer something in a different way to other similar companies. We’ve listed some examples in case you’re struggling to think of what could make your business unique:

• A sustainable alternative to a product already on the market
• Making something commonly difficult/complicated (for example crafting or cooking) simple and easy
• A more inclusive version of a product which has traditionally excluded certain groups of people
• Offering a product which is typically expensive in a more affordable way (beware: make sure that low-cost doesn’t mean low quality!)
• A product which has ethical benefits (e.g. the sales of which partially fund a community project or charity)

When thinking of what makes your business unique, remember that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You don’t have to think of something that has never been done before in history – you just need to have something which will help you stand out from the masses and from your closest competitors.

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One of the best skills you can develop as a business owner is being able to admit it when you don’t know something. We all have our blind spots and gaps in our knowledge. Knowing about those weak spots gives you the power to do something about them.

Is there any training you can undertake before you launch your business to make sure you get off to a good start?

Are there any gaps in your knowledge that you’d like to patch up, so you are in the best position possible to launch your business?

Everyone has gaps in their knowledge, but it’s far better to face up to these gaps and address them than bury your head in the sand and pretend you know everything!

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Your branding is your business’ identity. What kind of identity do you want it to have?

This is (for some) the most fun part of launching a business, so you may have already thought of this before.
If you haven’t, however, it’s worth spending some time thinking about your branding so that you’re not just throwing it together at the last minute. If you’re struggling for ideas, it might be useful to consult a professional to help you put together your branding principles.

A marketing professional can help you put together the visual aspects of your business that the world will see such as your brand colours, logo, and fonts.

The visual aspects of your business are what will help convey your brand’s overall identity, so it’s worth taking the time to think it through!

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Along with your branding, the values that you instil in your brand are part of what creates your company’s identity.

If someone were to offer you an underhanded way of getting ahead, would you take it? Would you be willing to go to any extreme to guarantee success?

Or would you want to operate on a system of complete honesty and candour with your customers? Would you want your business to be known for its inclusivity?

It’s important to know your own personal values because they will become the values of your business. Which of your own values do you want to pass onto your business when you launch?

Cartoon image of a howling woolf, the woolf is cream and brown and is placed on a yellow background

You may be starting a one-man-band kind of business where you are solely responsible for what happens, but you may also wish to consider having a team from the offset.

Whether you’re planning on hiring people from the start or hiring people as you develop, it’s worth thinking about what kind of team you’d like/need and how you are going to manage that team.

Consider:
• What are you likely to need help with further on down the road?
• How are you going to lead your team if you have one?
• If you’re planning to go it alone, are you going to be able to spin all the different plates that are necessary when running a business?

Cartoon image of a grey road with white lines in the centre and the side, the road is on a yellow background

You wouldn’t go for a long walk without having even a vague idea of where you’d like to end up and starting a business shouldn’t be any different!

It’s completely OK to not know exactly where you want to go at this stage. But in order to make decisions effectively, you will need to know at least the general direction you want your business to take.

• Do you want to launch an online business that will develop into a physical shop?
• Do you want to expand your team?
• Do you want to explore launching new products or services?

Be aware that your destination may change as you go along – and this is completely OK! Your destination doesn’t have to be set in stone; it just needs to be a roughly drawn map that you can use when you’re feeling lost.

If you’ve been thinking of launching your own business, hopefully this has given you an idea of what you should be considering before embarking on your adventure! Don’t forget – we have other blog posts that are aimed at small businesses so make sure that you check back frequently for more advice.

I always knew I wanted to be my own boss one day, but the right time never seemed to present itself.

On a camping weekend, I hurt my ankle badly and I simply couldn’t drive, the mega Corp I worked for as an Executive Assistant were surprisingly sympathetic and rather than just be off work sick, they arranged remote access to work from home, happy days, no commuting. Eureka!! I could do this on a permanent basis if I took “The Risk.”

I handed in my notice and started building my business, sourcing associate work to tide me over until I had my own clients.

One unremarkable day I had a query from a potential client who literally changed my life, she explained that she was Neurodivergent, (something that I’d had a little bit of experience with within my former corporate life) and could really do with a VA that could cope with her particular way of working. I finally realised it wasn’t just the commuting I struggled with, it was the whole corporate world that I didn’t want to engage with, my passion has always been to try and help/assist wherever I can.

Neurodivergent clients are simply the best, no one client is the same as the next and the feeling of accomplishment when I know I’ve actually made a positive difference can’t be beaten.

So if you’re a Neurodivergent business owner, take that “risk”, arrange a call with me, join my Facebook group or take out a membership and see how me and my marvellous team could give any assistance needed.

Taking a risk could mean leaving that job you’ve hated for years. Maybe you’re dreaming of starting your own business or thinking about going back to school because the degree you got the first time just wasn’t the right fit. Or perhaps, it’s about finally saying NO MORE to always trying to make everyone else happy.

To really grow—both personally and in business—you’ve got to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.

Do you have the courage to take a risk?

What’s holding you back?

Are you stuck in the “what ifs”?

Are you just surviving or feeling stuck in your comfort zone, struggling to break free?

If you’ve been thinking about making a change but fear of failure is stopping you, it’s time to ask yourself: What part of myself am I losing because I’m afraid to take a risk?

Only you know what needs to shift for you to move forward.

When I started my own business in 2018, I had those same doubts and fears. Leaving a secure, full-time job with no clients lined up was a huge risk. But looking back, I have no regrets. It was the right move for me, and it’s paid off in ways I couldn’t have imagined.

Now, I wouldn’t tell everyone to just quit their job. It was a decision that took a lot of planning and careful consideration. I was lucky to have a backup plan and the support of my husband. Without that, I couldn’t have made the leap.

Back then, I was stretched thin, working over 70 hours a week at a demanding full-time job. I realised I couldn’t give my all to both my job and my personal aspirations. The thought of continuing on that path, neglecting my own dreams, was fast becoming a non-option.

Leaving a steady salary behind was scary, especially with no clients lined up. But staying in my comfort zone wouldn’t bring the fulfilment and success I wanted. So, I decided to take the risk.

My boss thought I was crazy and even offered to let me stay on part-time, working 20 hours a week. For some, that might have been a good compromise. But for me, it wasn’t just about the money. I pride myself on giving 100% to whatever I do, and I knew that splitting my time would mean I couldn’t give my best to either role.

So, despite the uncertainty and scepticism from others, I chose to just DO IT and take my own path. By no means was it an easy decision and on my last day at work I felt physically sick!  As I walked out of the office for the last time and got in my car, for the 1000th time, that day I had doubts and what if’s running through my head!  What the bloody hell had I done?  And more importantly, now I was on my own, where do I start?  There was no one to tell me what to do and I was seriously thinking of going back and asking for my job back!

Now 5 years on, I can confidently say it was the right decision. It hasn’t been easy, and there have been moments of doubt, but the freedom to pursue my passion has been worth every challenge and sacrifice.

I love what I’m doing!

Taking risks can be inspiring, enjoyable, and help you grow in so many ways. Embrace it!

What are the potential rewards of taking risks in life?

Sense of Accomplishment: Taking risks is scary, but it leads to self-discovery. Many people I know had no idea where their journey would take them, but the sense of accomplishment and pride they feel is incredible.

They feel alive for the first time, I know I did!

Personal Freedom: Imagine working with people you like and doing what you really enjoy – this is your path to personal freedom.

Letting Go of the Past: Challenging old routines and assumptions can be rewarding. By taking risks, you can disprove old beliefs and free yourself from negative thoughts and “what ifs”.

Self-Discovery: This is a biggie; risks help you learn about yourself, your values, and what drives you. With new experiences, you can find what truly makes you happy. My journey from being an employee to running my own business has been a profound experience of self-discovery.

Increased Confidence: Each risk you take builds your confidence and makes you more flexible and a better decision-maker.

New Opportunities: Stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to new opportunities, both professionally and personally and it’s so exciting when this happens and I LOVE meeting new people and learning. No more stuck in that 9 to 5 waiting for someone to leave before you get the opportunity to get promoted.

Resilience: Risks teach you how to handle setbacks, building resilience and the ability to navigate challenges like a pro.

No Regrets: If the risk works out, fantastic! If not, it’s a valuable lesson that makes you wiser. We learn from our mistakes.

 

For those who are neurodivergent, taking risks can feel daunting, but it can also lead to incredible personal development and success. Using a Virtual Assistant can be a game-changer, providing essential support and helping to navigate uncertainties.

Starting to take risks can be scary, but that’s okay. It’s natural to want to stay safe. Trust me, taking risks can be fun too. There’s a whole world out there with endless possibilities. To figure out which risks are right for you, just go with your gut. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Even if something doesn’t go as planned, you’ll learn from it and grow.

Curious about how Virtual Assistant support can change your risk-taking journey with a business that understands what it’s like to run a successful business. Schedule a FREE consultation with me—no risk here, I promise!

 

Ps. Yes, that’s me jumping out of a plane for charity!

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