6 Top Tips for Business Start Ups

6 Top Tips for Business Start Ups

 

So you have an idea for a small business start up but you don’t know where to start. You are an expert in your own field and feel that your knowledge and skills base can not only help you to help others but it can also help to make you a nice steady income allowing you to realize your dream of becoming your own boss.

Great, so where do you start? You know your niche inside and out but your knowledge on business startups and growth pales into insignificance. I’ve put together a list of six top tips for you that I think will help you to start your own business from scratch and to make it really work.

KEEP THE CASH FLOWING

Cash flow is mega important and is the single most problem for small business. Lack of cash flow is the number one reason for small businesses failures. Always make sure there is enough money in the bank to enable you to carry out the day-to-day basics needed to run your business. If cash flow is restricted then try raising funds from sources such as banks, family and friends, crowd sourcing or even local companies who often invest in small business for the benefits of publicity.  If you know that you have a cash flow or liquidity issue you need to address it now as leaving it to chance or opportunity will lead to business failure. Far too many business owners run their business as an extension of their own personal finances. This is a really bad idea, learn to keep the two separate.

ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BUSINESS

First of all, acknowledge that you don’t have the skills to do everything that you need to do to run a successful business. None of us actually knows everything about everything even if we’d like to think we do. With this thought in hand it’s a good idea to decide were your skills are lacking and undertake a small amount of training just so you understand the basics, then hire someone who can. You don’t need to hire employees which will increase your overheads significantly; you can in fact hire really good freelancers from online sources such as Fiverr , Upwork and hunterhawke

ARE YOU YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY?

Most of us like to be in charge of our own futures and definitely our own business. Handing over control, even just a little can leave us feeling empty and scared. It doesn’t have to be like that. You can maintain control whilst allowing those who can to perform the duties that they need to perform. Freelancers are very capable people and know their subjects well, hiring freelancers rather than employees may help you to maintain the control over your business that you desire whilst getting the job done quicker and cheaper.

 

LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS

Why do we tend to think that we know what our customers want, we don’t because we very rarely listen. All too often we continue to look at it from a sales point of view rather than a consumer point of view. Once you put yourself into the footsteps of the buyer and pay attention to what the customer actually wants and needs you’ll probably find out that what you are delivering needs to be readdressed. It’s all about the customer, what the customer wants and what the customer gets. In a nutshell all the customer actually wants is a product or service that fits their needs, is value for money and is administered through amazing customer service. It actually amazes me how little most small business owners value their customers. Not only is their feedback critical to you delivering what your customers need but also for their referrals and repeat business.

LISTEN TO YOUR GUT FEELINGS, THEY’RE NEVER WRONG

Our own instincts or gut feelings are seldom wrong; the issue is that most of us ignore them rather than use them as a valuable decision-making tool. We all too often are left saying; ‘if only’ when we make a bad business decision. My advice to you is to listen to your gut feelings, do some research and then act on the facts.

 

RUN YOUR BUSINESS LIKE A BUSINESS

If you don’t know your revenues, expenses, capital requirements, profits (gross and net), debt, cash flow, and tax rate you’re off to a bad start. First principle of business is getting the money right. Once the money aspect is operating as it should do you will be free to work on other aspects of your company.

If you don’t learn to work effectively with other businesses .i.e. through effective agreements and contracts, you will come unstuck sooner rather than later. People always have good intentions but life sometimes gets in the way and people tend to not keep their side of the bargain. Protect yourself and your business with effective contracts and agreements. Always protect yourself when trading with both companies and customers alike.

If you have intellectual property make sure that you protect it. If you don’t have the funds to copywrite or trademark you IP then you can protect your own IP on a shoestring. You just need your designs, two envelopes, a lawyer/solicitor and a stamp. Secure your signed and dated designs in an envelope marked,’ for court action only’ Date and sign the envelope. Place it into a further envelope and send it by post to your solicitor with a message on the seal stating, ‘Only open for court action’. Create a duplicate, mark it with copy and send it to yourself. Don’t forget to inform your solicitor that the letter will be arriving and needs to remain secure in their safe until needed or they may open it and you’ll have to start the process again.

 

I hope that these six tips for starting and growing your business have been helpful. Please look over  our site to check out what we can do for you and submit your business proposal to us at: www.hunterhawke.com/contacts

 

 

Network: 5 Things You Need to Know

Networking: 5 things you need to know

How to Network – Is Networking Important?

Do you ever get the feeling that no matter what you do or how you do it, it’s just not good enough, or not what people want? Maybe you just aren’t looking in the right place? If so, i’d say you need to start networking, get out there, tell people what you’re all about and how you can help them. Begin to network locally and then move further a field. Tell them what you have to offer and how it will benefit them, but don’t go heavy on the big sell. The idea of networking is to spread the word and build links.

The world it seems isn’t interested in people who want something from it. The world isn’t interested in whether you really wanted that job or not, or why you can’t get ahead in the business world, or why everyone else but you seems to be lucky ! The truth is? The world isn’t interested in takers, it’s interested in givers, people with passion, dedication and excitement. People who are willing to give rather than to take.

I learnt a valuable lesson from a friend of mine when I was younger. ‘Stop wanting and start giving’. I hadn’t a clue what he was talking about. What was the point in life if you wanted nothing and gave everything? At some point, you’d become financially and emotionally bankrupt and in my eyes that wasn’t the answer to a great life.

But that’s not what my friend meant. As we travelled down the path of life together for just for a few years, I came to understand what he meant. Life is about service and in the giving to others. Not in the taking from others or the ‘not caring about others’. To understand what people are really like and what they want we need to network.

So many of us are caught up in the rat race of materialism, so much so that we are unable to see what is important and we look down on those who have no see-able wealth.

Wealth isn’t about money, or status it’s about what you give and become as a person. If you give your whole and expect nothing in return everything you’ve ever wanted will come your way . . . eventually. And Business is no different. A valuable tip on how to become successful at networking is to be who you really are in business as in life and use every chance meeting as an opportunity to network. Don’t fake it.

I’m not one of those people that subscribe to fake it until you make it. I’m one of those people who says, ‘Show me’? Business likes those people who say show me? Tell me? Give it to me! Business likes those people who are successful, those people who never give up. Business likes those people who are genuine, who are givers, who are social, visible and those who help others. The easiest way to help others is to build links, who network and to help others in the process of helping yourself.

Those people, who build productive links, are not scared of letting go of control, of letting go of information, or of someone else steeling their ideas. Link builders build valuable networks and strong working relationships with other like-minded people and organisations. Business Networking is the way new business grows their business fast. Whether it is through the help of virtual assistants, life coaches, accountants or other business support organisations, building links costs nothing and aids the growth of more than one business.

Business networking is invaluable in starting and growing a business and is probably the most cost effective way of marketing. It’s a good way to build contacts and to gain loyal customers. Again, it’s also the perfect opportunity for you to create opportunities for others too.

Business networking offers a way to reach decision-makers which might otherwise be difficult or impossible to reach. It’s a way for you to make you, and who you know work for you.

The principles and techniques of business networking are mostly common sense. As long as you have an ounce of sense and a large vat of courage you’ll do well. Five of the top tips for building strong business networks are set out below:

Attend Industry Meetings – Often

You might be surprised to know that face-to-face meetings still go on. Yes, in every neighbourhood and every industry. Participating in meetings, conferences, and tradeshows is a great way to build strong relationships within your industry. Why not join your local Chamber of Commerce or Business Link and attend their meetings, to catch up with industry developments and build new contacts. Why not look for other ways to increase your visibility within your business community and on a wider basis. Sponsor community activities; get seen doing the right things in the right places by the right people. Show people you care, don’t sit back and wait for business to come your way, because it may not.

Seek Referrals – Always

Nervous? Then start off small. You have at least one or two customers who love your service or product? Ask them to refer a friend who would love your service or product. Sounds cheeky but it’s really not. Ask them to recommend people, take their details and offer a reward for the referral. Your customers almost certainly know colleagues like themselves who need your product or service. It is perfectly acceptable to ask for a referral and request permission to use their name as an introduction. Once your potential customer hears their friend’s name, you will have a much better chance of gaining their business.

Testimonials – Ask and Yee shall receive 

Remember those customers who loved your product or service? The ones that gave you a referral? Ask them for a testimonial of your product or service as well. Your customers are your most important supporters. They will more than likely agree as they want you and your business to succeed, mainly because it reinforces their decision to use your product or service. Once you’ve secured the testimonial, post it on your website, on the back of your business cards, flyers, Facebook page and even Twitter. Anywhere you can get information published, publish it. Just make sure it’s a free avenue. You should also publish on other people’s sites to gain further coverage. Post on sites that would be interested in promoting your products. It’s not a difficult task it just needs a little bit of courage and a lot of cheek.

Blog – At least once a month

If you don’t already have one create one and quick. Everyone has one and for good reason too. Publishing a personal blog on your company website is a great way for your customers to get to know you, your business, your products and services. Blogs also allow comments which enables interaction. You can create new relationships and grow your business network this way too. Your Blog is a place where you can share stories that validate your expertise or position on a controversial topic. Plus it will generate traffic to your site if it has the right title and contains the right info i.e. Keywords. Search engines now identify keywords in blogs which should, if you have the right keywords generate traffic to your site. Woo hoo.

Be nice – I mean Social

You can grow your business network by using social media sites and apps, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. For business opportunities LinkedIn is by far the best media site. Before you jump into social media, you need to fully understand the medium, how it works, and how you can use it to benefit your business. LinkedIn is a great place to start and grow your business network. Twitter is a microblogging site that will complement your blog. You can even start up a Paperli newspaper from your Twitter feeds with no effort at all and send it to your subscribers.

Using a combination of dedication, commitment, tried-and-tested business development tactics along with new social media strategies, your business network will grow, as will your company. Take time out to learn how to build global links and how to market your product or service.

 

If you are interested in receiving help and support on this topic, contact us through our webpage.

 

STARTING YOUR OWN CONSULTANCY BUSINESS

STARTING YOUR OWN CONSULTANCY BUSINESS  – In just about any field is possible

STARTING YOUR OWN CONSULTANCY BUSINESS

 

 

Starting your own consultancy business isn’t as hard as it sounds. All you have to do is have an idea, a field of specialism and the gaul to get up and do it. Experience is one of those things that you build up along the way. As long as you know enough about your chosen field to be able to answer any practical questions and to solve your clients business problems and provide solutions you’ll be able to go it alone as a consultant.

There are so many opportunities out there to be taken yet most people let them pass bye. Why? Some may think they haven’t got what it takes; some don’t consider themselves experts and others simply find it too much hard work. Each and everyone of us has a talent that we can specialise in, whether it’s gardening, cooking or sewing to programming. Yet starting a consulting business is far from people’s minds and is one of the most lucrative ways of drawing on your expertise and creatively making use of your skills.

Yes it’s a popular field to go into but there are so many areas which you could specialise in, it is nearly impossible to saturate a niche market – and potentially very lucrative for would-be business owners. The consulting industry is worth billions globally and a good consultant could earn up to £500 per hour depending on the field of expertise, location and credibility.

Many people enter the consulting field from all different backgrounds and easily find their niche. If you are ready to become your own boss and set yourself free from the 9 – 5 slave trade then start by following the few simple points below to get started.

BUILD YOUR REPUTATION BEFORE GOING IT ALONE Spend a little time in your niche helping others establish their needs. i.e. if you are going to be a business consultant start by helping local, small businesses get on their feet. Don’t charge for your time initially, as word of mouth and a good reputation will serve you well in gaining new clients. Always remember that any expertise that you have gained in your field is not wasted, if you put it into practice what you know by helping others.

PARTNER WITH OTHER BUSINESSES For some, building their company or brand name is of utmost importance, they can’t see themselves credible without it. If name recognition is more of an issue than expertise is for you, start by looking for a local and established company to partner with. This partnership will allow you to build your name, define your services and reach clients that you wouldn’t ordinarily have access.

MAKE A CLEAR DISTINCTION BETWEEN YOUR SERVICES AND THOSE OF SIMILAR COMPANIES One of the most important things to remember when setting up a consulting business is that it is important to call yourself a consultant from day one. So many people do not set themselves up as consultants from the beginning which means that potential customers may not find you or your services credible once you start to call yourself a consultant. Be very clear about the services that you can offer, if you offer business consultancy, don’t advertise non related services to your customers or on your site. If you start off calling yourself anything else than a consultant of XXX services from the start, your potential customers will be confused as to what you are all about.

Make sure your business and your services are clearly defined. If you want to reap the full benefit of being a consultant and for what you are offering, you must only see yourself as a consultant. Consultants earn more money than contractors or a freelancers., it’s as simple as that.

If you are interested in starting up your own business as a consultant make sure that you invest in yourself first. Nothing in this life or industry is rewarded by inactivity. Learn as much as you can, do as much as you can and revise what you’ve done on a regular basis. There’s always room to grow and expand and that’s where you will grow in expertise and confidence. It’s also how you will find your customers, from the need to grow.