Archive for December, 2010

Absolute Essentials for Start Ups

…and businesses that are seriously looking/needing to change direction

The number of job losses and redundancies being made by many companies in the private sector, and now reductions in the public sector starting to kick in, means that there isn’t a huge choice of replacement jobs for those who would normally expect to be snapped up pretty swiftly by another employer.

But then these aren’t normal times. Recession/ depression – whatever label we put on it – there’s no point in ignoring what’s going on in the hope that it will somehow go away. What it does mean is that many more people will be looking at alternative ways to earn a decent, sustainable living and not expecting a pay cheque each week or month from just one employer.

Business Links and Development Agencies are being phased out and that’s a bit of a pain if you don’t know who’s best placed to help or advise if you’re not at all sure if you want to go for a full blown business. Your business plan may run to what need to make to cover your outgoings and that’s about it so far…

Maybe for now you just want to get a few regular employer/client types to bring in steady money and maybe gradually ease you from the mindset of employee to entrepreneur, maybe via ‘intrapreneur’, all the while quietly testing the water… :-) and why not?

It might be a bit scary but at least it means you’ll no longer be putting all your eggs in one basket. One of my books, Redundancy – Survive and THRIVE! is great at helping people decide whether this is a viable route for them. Ignore the title – whether you’ve been made redundant or are changing direction of your own accord doesn’t actually matter a jot for our purposes here.

What does matter is what you need to think about to see where your best chances of surviving and thriving lay.

Just being a great gardener/ party planner/ writer/ organizer/ presenter/ coach/ trainer/ plumber/ vet/ whatever it is that you excel at… doesn’t necessarily mean you can grow a business out of it or that it will pay you enough even for a lifestyle business (i.e. keep you “employed” and pay you the equivalent of a salary).

Even if you go what I call the ‘intrapreneur’ route, you’ll still need to check that essential skills are covered off:

  1. Do what you know – either something you’ve been paid to do or take a hobby you’re darned good at and there’s a market for
  2. Follow someone else who’s already doing it and doing it well – the fact there is somebody else doing it successfully indicates there is a market need
  3. Understand your profit model – in essence break your annual target into months, weeks, and then days and figure what you need to do to reach those targets
  4. Promote yourself – how else are your potential customers know how this fabulous service you offer will change their lives for the better?
  5. Ask for the money – something every sales person has dinned into them from day one: Nothing has been sold till the money’s in

You’re not going to be ace at all of these areas. Let me know which pose the most problems or are the scariest and we’ll tackle them first! I’ll help and draft in my team, too :-)

Linda Mattacks - Small Business Training

+44 (0)20 7209 1284

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"I was very impressed by Linda's determination to help and the constructive, but persistent, manner in which she identified issues and then tried to resolve them. After recent progress I was again reaching a stage where I seemed to be spinning my wheels, and she has given me fresh impetus to start moving forward again."