It might sound surprising, but despite all the difficulties of this past year, there’s never been a better time to start your own business. While many larger, established brands have struggled to cope with expensive costs through the global pandemic, small start-ups and solo entrepreneurs have used their wit and creativity to come out of the other side, thriving and even excited about the future.
Starting your own business is always a challenge, but with Birmingham the entrepreneurial hotspot of the West Midlands, you are in great company. Read on for some suggestions of what to consider, if you decide to make the leap.
Create a detailed business plan
Your first step should always be to create a business plan. While this can be a helpful document in later stages, for example, when trying to apply for a business grant or loan application, in the early phases, this is simply a useful way of organising your ideas more effectively.
Your first business plan does not need to be a perfectly formatted, formal document. Instead, think of it as an honest brainstorm of your business idea, and what you will need to make it happen. Planning out costs, potential earnings and what resources you may need to get going will put you in good stead for the future.
Think about enlisting help
While a brand new business might not have the capital to invest in expensive consultants, you don’t always need to try to do everything yourself. When it comes to certain skills that require detailed understanding and expertise, you are likely to be much more successful by making an initial investment in professional help, than trying to figure things out as you go along.
If you’re trying to improve marketing and search engine optimisation for a business website, getting the pros in can make a real difference. However, if you do have the background and skills to do some of these essential tasks yourself, you may want to do at least some of the work, to cut costs.
Connect with your local audience
The great advantage of having the thriving business community of Birmingham on your doorstep is the chance to connect with a diverse audience of fellow entrepreneurs, experienced business people, and potential clients and customers. You’ll find several online groups, webinars and websites dedicated to local business, where you can find everything from used items for resale, to fellow entrepreneurs trying to trade skills and services.
Investing time and energy in your local community can pay off, as word of mouth is always one of the best ways to establish a positive reputation. Don’t hesitate to get involved in local events and activities, even if they don’t seem relevant. You never know who you might bump into, and what it can lead to in the future. Plus, you’ll have a great support network close at hand, to help through the ups and downs of business life.