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5 tips for starting your own business

Starting your own business is an exciting step in your life. It can also be a challenge to ensure you get everything done that you need for ensuring it’s right for you, and is set up for sustainable growth, without you getting overwhelmed.

don't lose focus when starting your own businessTo help you get started, we’ve created a start up checklist for the nitty gritty of starting your own business. However, don’t get bogged down in the boring bits, when there’s lots of things to get stuck into when running your own business!

When we help start up businesses, these are the areas we get them to think about to make things a smooth transition into your new business. What would you add?

Tips for starting your own business

  1. Know your reason for starting your own business & keep that in mind. If you’ve created a new product, fantastic. Well done you 🙂 If you’re wanting more flexibility around your family, keep that in mind. Don’t get bogged down in working all hours in your business, when your whole idea was to spend more time with the family! (Believe me, it happens, which is why I mention this first!).
  2. How many hours are you working on your business each week. Be clear. If you’re working elsewhere whilst growing your business, you’ll need to be really strict with yourself. If you have other commitments, it’s good to think about what hours you’re working so you don’t get distracted.
  3. What name are you using for your business. If you’re a sole trader you can use your own name without risking contention with anyone else in business. You own your name. If you want to use a brand name or business name, check out existing trademarks to ensure you don’t get into trouble before you start.
  4. What’s your goal for the next 6 months. I’m sure you’re wanting to “make a million” next week with your business! Well, that’s unlikely to happen! So thinking about what you want to achieve in stages is helpful, even if you don’t achieve them, it’s likely that you’ll achieve something better. Often you’ll find that as you start your own business you’ll change things slightly to make them work better for you, so the goal posts will change over time as you get feedback. Having those initial 6 month, and 12 month goals will help you focus on a target that then moves with review.
  5. Who’s supporting you. Whilst you’re busy starting your own business, how are you being supported? You need to ensure your partner, family and friends are right behind you. Do you have a structure to your week that means you’ve got regular time off to do the fun things you love? Don’t stop doing them, as you can’t work in the business all the time. You need your breaks, and for your brain to switch off from the business regularly. Being strict with your time off is just as important as being strict with your time in the business.

When you’re running your own business, you are responsible for everything. That can be wonderful, but also a challenge. There’ll be some aspects you love, and others you put to one side and leave. Start out thinking about them all and working out how they’ll all get done, even if it’s not you doing some parts.

Free Checklist for running your own business

We’re here to help support you as you grow your own business. For starters, download the free Start Up Checklist, then ask for the help you need:

What other tips would you add for others starting their own business? Let them know in the comments below.

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How much time do you need for running your own business

Running you own business is rewarding, challenging, hard work, and time consuming. Making sure you’ve got enough time to dedicate to running your own business is important to it’s success.

It’s worth reviewing how much time you’ve got to spend every so often. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting your business, thinking about starting a business, or have been running your own business for years.

Life happens. Children grow up, and their needs become different. Parents get older, and we may find that we’re needed to do different things within our families. Expectations change.

The beauty of running your own business is that you can be flexible. You’re in charge! And how you divide your time is up to you.

Running your own business needs time

How much time you need depends on so many factors, that there’s no “one size fits all” answer to this.

time for running your own business v incomeConsider the following questions when reviewing if running a business is right for you, or sustainable:

  • How much time do YOU need to spend in the business? If you’re the only person who can do something, then you’re limited by that available time
  • Is YOUR time flexible, or is it fixed? Will that work for your customers? For example, if you can only work school hours, but your customers want evening appointments, it’s unlikely this business will work for you
  • What can someone else do & how much will that cost you? For example, can you pass work to an administrator or Virtual Assistant (VA), leaving you to carry out the tasks that only you can do?
  • Can you pass work to a contractor to carry out, whilst you simply manage their work each month? For example, using a Public Relations specialist to work with the media can be a really efficient use of your money and time. Leaving them to use their expertise whilst you carry out your favourite work.

We worked with a client recently who had 10 hours a week for her business. She had a salaried job, and looked after her family as well. When we looked at what she needed to do, it was do-able for her. She assigned 8 hours a week to creating new products, (she makes things by hand), and will spend 2 hours across the week doing her marketing. This was sustainable for her for the next few months whilst she created more products and added them to her website. She’d then shift the hours slightly to do a bit more marketing and website work.

Full time, part time or time to time?

There’s many ways to run your own business. There are so many opportunities to create a part-time income, or even a time to time income. You don’t have to think of running your own business as a full time occupation, although for many business owners, this is their aim.

If you’re wanting to test the waters, then it’s likely you’ll start when time allows.

As your client base grows, you may find you need to commit to regular part-time hours each week or month. This doesn’t have to be the same days and times each week or month, depending what you do. Telling yourself, (and your diary), that you’re working on your business, will ensure you dedicate the right amount of time to growing your business.

Sometimes circumstances overtake us. Tracey-Jane’s second business only started to grow rapidly when she was made redundant from her employment. This gave the impetus, and time to grow the business, and it took off. Everything was in place to grow it, and it worked out.

We often have to think about income v time in our considerations of the time we need for running our own business. For many business owners, or those considering starting a business, it’s the income that prevents more time being spent in the business for family security.

It’s often hard to work out if you have enough time available to successfully run your own business to earn the level of income you desire. Be honest when you’re working through your figures, and pretend it’s going to be hard to make the sales to start with.

How much time do YOU need for running YOUR business?

Think it through. Work it out. Write it down. Is this exercise about TIME or MONEY? Or are they tied together for you?

What works for you may be quite different to your friend, or that person who’s doing something very similar to you. We’re all different & our family situations will vary. Ensure you know what your minimum number of hours are that you can commit to running your business and if it gets that you can’t do that, then maybe it’s time to hang up your business owner badge?

We know business owners who do a couple of hours a month, (these are running Multi-level marketing businesses), to those who are working 60 hour weeks when they’re at full capacity in busy periods of the year.

Need help working out how much time YOU need for running YOUR own business? Grab our 5 Day Kick Start Planner and really focus these next few days on the amount of time YOU need. Or join the Business Cheerleading Club & talk it through with other business owners there.