How To Start Your Own Business
Photo: Sam Javanrouh via Flickr
When I was 17 years old, I started my first business – and it was a complete accident. After a series of work placements and jobs in politics, journalism, charity campaigns, PR and the arts, I had a considerable CV, a range of contacts dotted around different industries, and, mostly importantly, lots of ideas. I started to promote a friend’s music, and before I knew it, I had launched my own music PR and marketing start-up with new clients getting in touch every day.
It was a modest start and the business remained small until it become just one string in my bow of different activities, but it taught me a lot. The most important lesson I learnt was this: anyone can start a business, all it takes is knowledge and confidence. If you’re thinking about trying your hand at a business project, read on below.
Gain experience in anything and everything
Whether it’s a part-time job in retail or catering, or the perfect internship or work placement in your dream profession, the key to success as a businessperson and to progressing your own company is experience. Experience provides you with the knowledge necessary to make decisions and reassure clients that you’re the right person for the job. Relevant experience is really important, but ultimately, every experience adds something to your viewpoint and level of expertise.
It’s all about the contacts
Contacts are extremely important. When I started out in music, I didn’t think I had any, but actually I’d done a bit of music blogging and knew people at some of the venues local to me. It was an extremely humble start, but it was, nonetheless, a start. Beyond this, I built up contacts myself by sending emails, making phone calls and going to the right kind of events and introducing myself to people. It takes perseverance but it’s an incredibly important component of building your business.
Seek business advice from the experts
When you first start out, you’re unlikely to know all the ins and outs of business and finance, which is when expert advice comes in very handy. Some of the most important people who’ll help you out in the early and later stages of starting a company include your bank manager, lawyer, accountant and any mentors/advisors you might have available to you. Don’t only use them to bounce ideas off of or ask advice from – also let them educate you to increase your business knowhow.
Be passionate, and trust your instincts
The most significant element of success in any aspect of life or work is to be passionate about what you’re doing, and to trust your instincts. If you pursue something and your heart’s not in it, or you don’t have the conviction to trust your gut when it’s speaking to you, carving your own path will be much harder. It takes self-belief and desire!