It takes courage to start a business. It’s exciting...but daunting at the same time. It’s time to get on the big roller coaster of Entrepreneurship!
Here are my top pieces of advice to get you started on your journey.
Do a start your own business course. You local LEO will have details of this course. They are usually subsidised so aren’t expensive. More details here Register your business with the CRO (Companies Registration office)
Sit down and discuss with your family - You will need support to run your business. Whether this means extra help for childcare while you attend meetings or if it’s to get extra housework done by your partner so you can work more, there needs to be a heads up for the family as they are the ones who will be watching your ups and downs.
IMPORTANT: Make time for your family. Set certain hours that your family will have you all to themselves. You are doing this for your family after all. So make time for them away from work and your business. Simple things work best. They usually only want your time. A walk in the park, movie night or just hugs and a story at bedtime.
Surround yourself with like minded people (in other words find other entrepreneurs just like you! Seek them out. Ask other people in business would they like to go for a coffee and meet up. Join a network like Women’s Inspire Network.
Do a business plan. Be honest with your figures. No point in conjuring up figures that don’t work. Your business plan is important. This is your guide to where your business is going and where it should be.
Get a good team around you. If you are not good at accounts, get an accountant and pay them to do all of that for you. If you are not good at emails or making up presentations get a virtual assistant. It’s worth paying someone for the skills that you don’t have or you are not good at.
Get on Social media and find out where your customers are. Are they on Twitter, Facebook or instagram? Explore all of the different platforms and find one that is right for you and your business. Social media is a great free way to connect with your customers and build relationships.
Write a press release - send it out to the media. They are always looking for great start up stories.
Tell your story. We want to know all about you, what made you start your business and what makes you tick. So write it down. Blog about your business and area of expertise. Share your knowledge, By doing this you are helping others and showing that you are the best in this area. The sales will come as a result.
Get a mentor. A mentor is someone who has worked in a similar field or someone who you admire who is already successful. Choose someone you trust and someone who you know really ‘gets you’.
Make sure you have a website ..buy the domain name of your business name. Go to ‘Blacknight’ or similar for your domain name. Create your Facebook page, Twitter and all other social media platforms with the same name. Keep your branding the same on all platforms. Protect your name by trademarking it. See the Patents office website
ASK: Reach out and ask leaders for help. Most leaders in the business world are very happy to assist if they can. Listen to their advice and keep good folk around you at all times.
It’s an exciting time for you, so make sure you look after yourself and keep an eye on your health as us Entrepreneurs tend to work far more than others. We are always thinking of ideas. Try keeping a notebook by your bed or stick notes in your phone when you get ideas. Good luck. Go for it and well done!
Join the Women's inspire network Facebook group and check out our website Womensinspirenetwork.com Take part in the #womensinspire hashtag on a Tuesday night 10pm on Twitter. If you want to meet others just like you join us at our event in April! https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/womens-inspire-network-claim-your-space-and-own-it-tickets-42273184232