Guess who’s got two thumbs and has just left their stable, full-time, well-paid job to start their own business? This gal *points to self with thumbs*.
That’s right, I’ve done it! I handed in my resignation and I’ve taken a leap of faith into the unknown. The way I see it is the only risk I’ve taken is financial. I care about what I do, I want to help people, and I want to do a great job, and succeed. Overall, I’m actually pretty excited about this new venture.
With starting your own business in mind, here are five things I’ve learned since going on this journey in case you’re planning on doing the same.
I care about what I do, I want to help people, and I want to do a great job, and succeed. Overall, I’m actually pretty excited about this new venture.
Do your market research
I’ve been planning this since autumn 2020. Thankfully, I have a load of marketing skills under my belt, including a Master’s degree in Digital Marketing, and love a bit of research. I’d recommend researching at least 10 companies that do something similar/the same to what you do. When I do this, I use a marketing mix spreadsheet to get myself organised. If you’d like help with this, get in touch.
Write a Business Plan
When starting your business plan, I always think it’s a great idea to start with some SMART goals.
Specific – Think of this as your mission statement ‘Who, What, When, Where, Which, Why’
Measurable – What are your key performance indicators going to be (KPI’s)? How do you envisage measuring success and taking your business on an upward trajectory?
Attainable – Don’t start a business with unrealistic goals. Make sure you have the skills, knowledge, and necessary resources
Relevant – Being relevant focuses on the broader scope of your business. if creating a new project, think about how that relates to your business values and specific goals.
Time-bound – Sometimes it can feel like you’re juggling plates. so make sure you create time bound goals to better manage your time, and make sure they’re realistic. Online diary management, gantt charts, and tools such as Trello and Asana are really useful for this.
Get your finances in order
I’ve read many business books on becoming a solopreneur, and they generally suggest you have 3 months worth of your current wages as savings before taking the leap to start your own business. Plan where your money needs to go, what your general outgoings are that need to be covered (think essentials such as bills, food, insurance). Get yourself a good accountant! Make sure you keep track of your incomings and outgoings on a spreadsheet, and have folders of monthly invoices/receipts so it makes it easier when doing your taxes.
In the digital world, we’re so lucky to have some form of support at the end of our fingertips. Not only is it important to have your friends and family onboard, it’s also integral to businesses to have a solid network to bounce ideas off of, to understand what it’s like from a business perspective and offer relevant advice. I’m part of a few networks locally, so I’d advise having a google to see what’s going on in your local area, or on FaceBook. For example, in Portsmouth there is the Female Entrepreneurs Network, and the Portsmouth Freelancers Network. I’m also part of the Found and Flourish women’s network which I find invaluable.
None of us know it all, the digital landscape is especially forever evolving. I recently completed a short course on sustainability business management at the University of Cambridge (online course), and am always doing some short course or another to brush up on my social media skills and knowledge. Not only is this great for you, it’s also reassuring to your clients that you’re motivated to grow as a business and a person.