How to start a business

How to start a business with little or no money.

Starting your first business is arguably the most exciting time of your life. But how do you get from that initial idea of changing the world, to actually having your own business?


Having started a few businesses myself and having run a few “operations” to make some pin money whilst I was growing up, I can honestly say that the best and most exciting ventures for me were the ones in which I saw the results straight away. Be that selling penny sweets from the underground market in the school corridors, or, in later years, starting a video marketing company with a twist – On Grapevine. The best feeling is knowing that people are valuing what you are offering and are willing to pay for it.


I guess that’s the crux of what I am talking about.


Before running off and registering with Companies House here in the UK (or as an LLC if you’re from across the pond), there are a few things I want you to take into consideration.


Firstly, my biggest piece of advice would be to test (at first on a small or local scale) whether or not there is a demand for your product or service. I know from experience that it can be very hard to try to sell something that nobody wants to buy…. so check the demand is there!


Secondly, try to sell before you have made the product. By doing this you are minimising your risk and reducing the financial input that is potentially required. This is also another way of checking whether or not there is demand for your product or service. All this research will be invaluable as your business idea grows. You will begin to learn what language your customers like to be spoken to in, and, as you can imagine, you will find out a lot about yourself.


Last but not least, if you’ve got a job, don’t quit it just yet! Make sure you’ve tested your idea in your spare time to make sure that it is viable.


REMEMBER, friends and family will often say they like something you’re doing, so instead, put them to the test – would they actually part with their cold hard cash for what it is that you’re offering?


Only once you have ticked off all of the above should you set about registering the business and formally start trading.


Until you’ve tested, I’d hold back on buying all those business cards and packs of headed paper….


“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

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