When you think of a business owner who springs to mind? Richard Branson, the panel members of Dragon's Den, Alan Sugar? We live in an age where it has never been so easy to start your own business. The opportunities are immense from turning a hobby craft into an artisan business, up-cycling and restoring furniture, becoming a dog trainer, a writer, photographer, getting involved with affiliate marketing, e-commerce, consultancy, training provider; the list is endless.
Whilst some people sell their services solely online, others attend craft fairs/markets or set up the traditional bricks and mortar businesses. If you feel there is a need for something, then you can probably create a business in relation to it.
You can run your business whilst still working full time. Start a business whilst on maternity/paternity leave. There are toddlers with their own You Tube channels generating incomes for their future through testing and reviewing toys, their parents utilising the power of social media. Teenagers creating their own fashion labels, online estate agency, e-commerce retailing, and all this happening whilst they are still at school. At the other end of the spectrum many pensioners have their own property portfolio, doing public speaking or have an e-commerce business. They use the businesses as ways to supplement, or in many cases, outstrip their pensions. Then there is everyone in between. Age, ethnicity, gender, social class are not barriers to creating your own business.
Taking the opportunity to start your own business comes down to your why? Why are you wanting to create a business and be your own boss? Would you like more money? If so, what for? Supplement your existing income, wanting to go part time in your every day job but not wanting to drop to a part time wage? Maybe you want to save for your children's future or be able to give up traditional work in order to be able to spend more time with your family, watching your children grow up, doing the things you love? Having your own business has the potential to give you the freedom to create the lifestyle you want.
One of the things we use to talk ourselves out of starting a business is that you don't have the money for start-up costs. You get it into your head that it's going to cost you tens of thousands, money that you don't have. That might have been the traditional way to start a business, but there are so many more ways in today’s world. You can make money by selling stuff you no longer use on eBay and build from there. There are over 1000 UK millionaires selling on eBay, with many of them being small businesses. There are so many different platforms to sell your products and services via the internet. When we started our e-commerce business, we had no intention of going beyond what we could afford so set a budget for training and getting the know-how and an investment budget to spend on stock. In the beginning, all profit made was reinvested back into the company.
There are businesses you can create with low budgets, investing only in what you can afford. There are even business opportunities that exist where you don't need any initial money but the majority you do, even if it is just a small amount of money for advertising to do something like consultancy or offering virtual assistant services.
In a world where everything is the same and mass produced, there is now a demand for bespoke, unique or handmade items. From wedding planner to beekeeping, Instagram guru to fitness instructor, there are countless business opportunities out there which utilises your everyday skills or gives you a chance to expand and showcase your hobbies, interests and newly acquired skills and knowledge, and make money in the process.
What stops people from creating their own business? Well for many, they don't think they know enough to do it or that they will fail. If there is one thing that is certain, it is you can't fail if you don't even try in the first place. That is sometimes the difference when it comes down to success. Some people are prepared to try and see what happens, others aren't prepared to try at all. When it comes to having knowledge, if there is something you don't know about then you can always learn it. You don't have to know everything beforehand. There were lots of things we didn't know before we started, somethings we had never even thought of, they came up as we were building the business. Don't wait for things to be perfect, they're never going to be, just get started.
If you want inspiration about what's possible then use the power of the internet, go to networking events, and look for people just like you who are building their own businesses and their brands. If you have an idea for a business, what's stopping you from starting?
Creating a business is not always easy, they'll be set backs along the way, people criticising you, your products or services, you'll get stuck, there'll be tears and laughter and you may change direction from time to time. Anyone can create a business but it's not for everyone. There are no get rich quick schemes in business. You need to have courage, commitment, dedication and a willingness to work hard. But when you are successful, the pay off in how it can change your life is worth it.
If you’re looking to create your own business but don’t know where to start, check out my programme, Smart Business Creation, and see if the support that comes from business coaching is first step for you.